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Death Penalty Rejected Once More

Bay Area Murder ChargeDefense Lawyer

Recently, the state of New Jersey outlawed the death penalty, making life in prison the state's most severe punishment. However, New Jersey is not the first state to ban the death penalty, and many other states use it rarely.

The death penalty has long been controversial, in large part because of the vague wording of the U.S. Constitution's 8th amendment, which forbids "cruel and unusual punishment." While the Supreme Court has yet to consider the death penalty cruel or unusual, some states have instituted a temporary ban on the death penalty due to "botched" executions that could be considered cruel. Florida imposed a moratorium for six months in 2007 while the state explored whether its lethal injection guidelines were cruel. California currently has a
moratorium in place for the same reason. North Carolina ceased all executions after the state medical board ruled that physicians could not participate in an execution, which is required by state and federal regulations. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering whether lethal injection violates the 8th amendment in the murder case Baze v. Rees, with a decision expected later this year.

The death penalty has also been controversial because some argue race plays a role in whether a convict receives the death penalty or a lesser sentence. The landmark Baldus Study argued that the race of a murder victim, as opposed to the race of the murderer, played a key role in whether the death penalty was used or not used in murder cases.

Along with New Jersey, twelve other states have formally abolished the death penalty in homicide cases, including Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Iowa. Other states have allowed the death penalty to fall into disuse. Other states have embraced the death penalty, such as Texas, which executed 405 people over the past 20 years.

Facing a capital crime is extremely serious and requires a talented and experienced lawyer. Seth P. Chazin has practiced criminal defense for more than twenty years and has represented clients who faced the death penalty. None of those clients were sentenced to death. Mr. Chazin has worked tirelessly to make sure his clients never face the death penalty and continues to do so.

If you are the subject of a murder investigation or have been charged with murder, protect your rights and your future. Start planning your defense strategy and contact murder defense lawyer, Seth Chazin.


“The death penalty is a lie, a misguided mistake born of anger and frustration. Capital punishment has become a perverse monument to inequality, to how some lives matter and others do not. It is a violent example of how we protect and value the rich and abandon and devalue the poor. The death penalty is a grim, disturbing shadow formed by the legacy of racial apartheid and bias against the poor that condemns the disfavored among us, but corrupts us all. It’s the perverse symbol elected officials use to strengthen their ‘tough on crime’ reputations and distract us from confronting the causes of violence. It is finally the enemy of grace, redemption and all of us who recognize that each person is more than their worse act.”
- Bryan Stevenson