I spent almost nine years as the Prosecutor of Essex County. And in that capacity I sent seventeen people to the electric chair... it was me who decided which cases would be exposed to the death penalty. And I think that that's shocking. It was me. And I remember one case where I withdrew a recommendation for the death penalty because the attorney for the defendant was having a nervous breakdown. And that man did not go, was not sentenced to the electric chair, and not because of the evaluation of the case, but because his lawyer was having a nervous breakdown. That's how arbitrary it can be.
— Former New Jersey Governor Brendan T. Byrne, at a press conference, December 11, 2000