Congratulations, New Jersey!
Yesterday I posted an essay announcing that New Jersey was about to legislatively abolish the death penalty. I was elated. Apparently, I was not alone. Today the IHT reports:
Rome will light up the Colosseum in support of the planned abolishment of the death penalty in the U.S. state of New Jersey, a lay Roman Catholic organization said Friday.
The Sant'Egidio Community, which is at the forefront of an international anti-death penalty movement, said in a statement that the arena will be lit up when the state's governor, Jon S. Corzine, signs the legislation within a week.
New Jersey is poised to become the first U.S. state in four decades to abolish the death penalty after votes by state legislators this week.
Sant'Egidio praised New Jersey's decision, saying it is a "crucial passage" for a worldwide moratorium on capital punishment.
Rome's Colosseum, once the arena for deadly gladiator combat and executions, has become a symbol of the fight against capital punishment. Since 1999, the first century monument has been bathed in golden light every time a death sentence is commuted somewhere in the world or a country abolishes capital punishment.
I am so happy that this news is receiving the response it deserves. And I hope that those abolitionists who worked so very hard and consistently to bring about this legislation-- that means you, too, Abe Bonowitz-- are enjoying the fruits of their victory. I also hope this will inspire all of the rest of us!