Horrific quadruple murder prompts call for death penalty in New Jersey

December 06, 2018 - 9:52 am

TRENTON, N.J. (1010 WINS) -- A horrific quadruple murder in Colts Neck has some New Jersey lawmakers asking for the death penalty to be reinstated.

Paul Caneiro is accused of killing his brother, his sister-in-law, and their two young children.

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Authorities say he shot and stabbed his victims, and set fire to their home. They say he also set his own home ablaze to divert attention from the murder scene.

State Assemblyman Harold Wirths (R-Sussex) is among those asking for the death penalty.

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"We owe it to the loved ones who are grieving this tremendous loss.They deserve the ultimate form of justice. By reinstating the death penalty, we can give it to them," he said.

State Senator Steven Oroho (R-Sussex) concurs.

"Eliminating capital punishment has placed countless residents at risk," he said in a statement. "The horrible truth is that unless killers know the death penalty is on the table, there are monsters out there that will kill."

New Jersey outlawed capital punishment in 2007 during the Corzine administration on the grounds that it was backwards, immoral, and expensive. The last time New Jersey executed a prisoner was in 1963.

Wirths says it's worth it.

"I see this as taking out the garbage," he said. "There's no reason for anyone, once convicted of a heinous crime of this nature, to be around any longer. To be on this planet."

Oroho proposed reinstating the death penalty back in 2016, but the legislation didn't make it through the Senate. Under that policy cop killers, anyone who kills a juvenile during a sex crime, and terrorists would be eligible for the death penalty.

(AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

Assemblyman Parker Space (R-Sussex) said it's about sending a message to violent criminals.

“Monsters, including Paul Caneiro if convicted, need to know that the punishment for committing such a malicious, immoral act will be that they will meet the same fate as the one they forced on their innocent victims," he said.

Wirths was skeptical that the bill would make it through the New Jersey legislature, but was confident that voters would pass it on a referendum.