Panel to eye role of death penalty

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:57

    newton - While most civilized nations view the death penalty as cruel and inhuman, debate continues in the U.S. as to whether it constitutes an appropriate punishment, particularly for the most heinous crimes. Debate in recent years has been further fueled by the use of new technologies that have shown that a significant proportion of people sentenced to death are innocent. A distinguished panel of professionals, representing three different views on the death penalty, will give perspectives, answer questions, and provide insights, during a program titled, “The Death Penalty: Is It Necessary?” The program will begin at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 15, in the Theater at Sussex County Community College. Anthony Balzano, associate professor of anthropology and sociology at SCCC, will moderate the discussion. Celeste Fitzgerald, director of New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, will speak first, taking the position that the death penalty should be abolished as not only inhumane, but also because it is an ineffective tool for law enforcement. Richard Pompelio, Esq., director of New Jersey Crime Victim’s Law Center, will present the second position, namely that the death penalty is an effective tool for law enforcement, but it must be modified to insure that it is imposed in an efficient and equitable manner. Ernest Hemschot, III, Esq., former Passaic County assistant prosecutor and an adjunct professor of criminal justice at SCCC will offer the third view, that the death penalty must be protected, strengthened, and available to law enforcement as a deterrent to crime. Admission is free and refreshments will be made available. For information, call 973-300-2116.