NJ woman feels defeated in fight to keep death penalty

As New Jersey lawmakers get set to consider abolishing the death penalty, the widow of a murder victim feels her fight to keep capital punishment in the state is lost.

Marilyn Flax says she lives in fear that the man who kidnapped and killed her husband will one day come back for her.

?The death penalty was designed for the most cruel, the most vicious killers,? Flax says. ?John Martini is one of the select few.?

Martini is one of New Jersey?s eight residents on death row. In 1989, Martini kidnapped Irving Flax from his Fair Lawn home and demanded $100,000 ransom for his release. Flax says she only came up with $25,000.

Martini later drove Irving Flax to the Garden State Plaza and fatally shot him.

Flax says in recent months, her voice has been lost in the clamor of those who want to end capital punishment. The Legislature plans to take up the issue of abolishing the death penalty next month.

Eight other states have suspended capital punishment over the years. However, if New Jersey lawmakers vote to abolish the death penalty, it will be the first state to do so since the U.S. Supreme Court re-enacted such laws 35 years ago.

Thomas Weisert, a legal expert, says the chances of death row inmates getting out on the streets again are slim to none. Weisert says the legislation up for consideration could keep the eight members on death row in prison for the rest of their lives.

For an extended interview with Flax, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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