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Timmendequas's Law

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The New Jersey Assembly passed Timmendequas's Law today, as expected. Jeremy Peters reports here in the NYT.

Joe Logan has this story in the Philadelphia Inquirer of the opposition to the law by the family of Megan Kanka, who was murdered at the age of 7 by Jesse Timmendequas. That crime sparked the enactment of the first "Megan's Law," back in the days when the New Jersey Legislature cared more about victims than about criminals.

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It didn't matter anyway. The NJ Supreme Court and the federal courts responsible for NJ weren't going to allow any executions anyway. They went out of their way to reverse them. I believe there has been only 1 involuntary execution in PA in the 3rd Circuit's jurisdiction since 1976 reinstatement.

From the NYT article:

"Some of the most violent death row inmates — those who are allowed no contact with other inmates — would probably be placed in a unit of the prison nearly identical to death row, where they spend almost the entire day confined to a seven-foot-by-eleven-foot cell. The less violent death row inmates could be moved to the prison’s general population.

How long before this is challenged? Sure, there may be good arguments against this "supermax" treatment, but I'm still waiting for someone to suggest a proper alternative. It's easy to say we shouldn't punish and instead rehabilitate, but beyond the rhetoric lies the stark fact that there are some people who are very dangerous and deserving of punishment. No amount of rehab is going to change their propensities. An unfortunate fact, but undeniable.

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