What the death penalty cost the state since being reinstated in 1982.
Former death row inmate, John Marshall, featured in the book, Blind Faith, gives his two cents.
I interviewed this guy, who escaped execution after the death penalty was repealed the first time. Creepy guy.
The issue of Thomas Trantino's parole was a frequent newspaper topic as the convicted killer was eligible for parole every other year or so. It became a semi-annual ritual in New Jersey that went roughly like this:
- Trantino would become eligible for parole
- His victim's families would mobilize against the proposal
- Demonstrations would be staged by both sides
- Lawmakers in Trenton would hold a hearing
- Parole would be denied
Except for 1988. That year two members of the state parole board, meeting in secret, granted Trantino his freedom. After much protest, the full board intervened and the parole was rescinded.
When the death penalty was first overturned in 1972, Trantino received a life sentence. But not a sentence of life without possibility of parole. I'm not sure such a thing existed in New Jersey at the time. The new law ensures that these guys won't be up for parole any time soon. At least I hope so.
MORE: John Derbyshire wrote about Trantino in 2002, when he was actually, finally released. He made a short return visit to jail in 2004, but the charges were dropped.