News Release ~ 01/05/2007

Criminal Defense Bar Applauds N.J. Death Penalty Study; Other States Must Reassess Capital Punishment

Study shows costs without benefit  

Washington, DC (January 5, 2007) -- The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and supports reforms, including abolition of capital punishment. The NACDL welcomes the recommendations of the New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission that the state death penalty be abolished, and that the resulting cost savings be passed on. The Association encourages the other 37 states which still have the death penalty to follow New Jersey’s example.

NACDL President Martin S. Pinales amplified the Association’s position in a statement released today:

“Study after study has shown that the death penalty – besides being unjust, uncivilized, and inconsistent with the fallibility of our justice system – is also economically untenable. Prosecuting a capital case to execution costs far more than incarceration without parole and provides absolutely nothing of real value in return. As the New Jersey study indicates, that money that would be far better spent on services and benefits for the survivors of homicide victims. Diversion of state funding from retribution to compassion would be a shining example of our ‘evolving standards of decency.’” 

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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