New Jersey became the first US state in four decades to abolish the death penalty Monday.
The bill, signed by Governor Jon Corzine and approved last week by the state's Assembly and Senate, replaces the death sentence with life in prison without parole.
The measure spares eight men on the state's death row. On Sunday, Corzine signed orders commuting their sentences to life in prison without parole.
A special state commission found in January that the death penalty was a more expensive sentence than life in prison, has not deterred murder and risks killing an innocent person.