New Mexico Ends Capital Punishment
New Mexico abolished the death penalty in March, becoming the second state to do so since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. New Jersey repealed the death penalty in 2007.
In signing the repeal, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson pointed out that over the past 10 years, four of his state’s death-row inmates (and more than 100 nationwide) were freed after courts determined they had been wrongly convicted.
This year, lawmakers in 10 other states took up bills to abolish the death penalty; as of press time, four remained active: Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois and New Hampshire.
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