Legislation was signed Wednesday in New Mexico by Governor Bill Richardson that repeals the use of the death penalty. He said "the potential for … execution of an innocent person stands anathema to our very sensibilities as human beings."
"Faced with the reality that our system for imposing the death penalty can never be perfect, my conscience compels me to replace the death penalty with a solution that keeps society safe," he said. The vote passed 24-18 and takes effect July 1.
"If you’re going to put somebody to death, the … criminal justice system has to be perfect, and it isn’t," he said. 15 states now have no death penalty and several other states may follow suit this year. The ruling has no effect on death row inmates.