Rome will light up the Colosseum in support of the planned abolishment of the death penalty in New Jersey, a lay Roman Catholic organization said today.
The Sant'Egidio Community, which is at the forefront of an international anti-death penalty movement, said in a statement that the arena will be illuminated when Gov. Jon Corzine signs the legislation within a week.
New Jersey is poised to become the first U.S. state in four decades to abolish the death penalty after votes by state legislators this week.
Sant'Egidio praised New Jersey's decision, saying it is a "crucial passage" for a worldwide moratorium on capital punishment.
Rome's Colosseum, once the arena for deadly gladiator combat and executions, has become a symbol of the fight against capital punishment.