A column by Tom Moran in today’s Newark Star-Ledger considers the dangers of executing an innocent person. The article comes in the wake of the release last week of Innocence Project client Byron Halsey, who narrowly avoided the death penalty when he was wrongfully convicted in 1988 of murdering two children in Elizabeth, NJ.
Halsey’s attorney told Moran that "everyone in the legal community in Union County was pretty damn sure Byron Halsey was guilty as sin, and it is only by the grace of God that he wasn't sent to death row. There were a lot of people who were very wrong."
Halsey is at home now, doing all the things he couldn't do in jail, like eating chocolate when the mood strikes. He couldn't sleep after his release because the absence of guards left him rattled. But he is alive.
Read the full column here
. (Newark Star-Ledger, 5/23/07)
New Jersey has had a moratorium on capital punishment since 2005 and special panel (the New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission) recommended earlier this year that the state abolish capital punishment, saying it is "inconsistent with evolving standards of decency."