TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey lawmakers voted Monday to suspend executions while a task force studies the fairness and costs of imposing the death penalty.
The measure now heads to Gov. Richard J. Codey, who has indicated he will sign it before leaving office on Jan. 17.
Under the measure, a 13-member commission would have until November to report on whether the death penalty is fairly imposed and whether alternatives would ensure public safety and address the needs of victims’ families.
New Jersey would become the third state behind Illinois and Maryland to suspend executions, but the first to do so through legislation. The others were done by executive order. Maryland has since lifted its suspension.