Next week, the state of New Jersey will begin the process of abolishing its death penalty. In doing so, New Jersey will become the first state to abolish capital punishment through legislation since the United States Supreme Court re-allowed it in 1976.
Eight people are on New Jersey's death row, although the state has not executed anyone since 1963.
This surprising news gives me hope. It shows that in the midst of the madness going on in the US, some people can still see their way clear to do the right thing.
1,099 Americans have been put to death by their states since 1976. Here is a state-by-state map of those executions.
For more information on capital punishment in the United States, see the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. A good talking-point list is here.