[JURIST] New Jersey Gov. Richard J. Codey [official website] on Thursday signed several bills, including one which creates a special commission on the death penalty [JURIST news archive] and places a moratorium on capital punishment until at least 60 days after the task force releases its findings. The New Jersey Legislature [official website] passed the bill [JURIST report], which makes New Jersey the first state to suspend executions via legislation, on Monday with the expectation that Codey, who leaves office on January 17, would sign the bill. The New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission [statement, PDF], a 13-member panel charged with studying the fairness and costs of the death penalty, has until November to report its findings. The task force also plans to evaluate alternatives to the death penalty, accounting for both public safety and the needs of the victims' families. Also on Thursday, Codey signed a bill extending spousal rights [JURIST report] for funerals and disposition of remains to domestic partners. AP has more.