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April 18, 2014

Effort to repeal death penalty in New Hampshire falls one vote short

As reported in this New York Times piece, headlined "Measure to Repeal Death Penalty Fails by a Single Vote in New Hampshire Senate," a tie vote yesterday in the Granite State will keep the death penalty alive there for now.  Here are the details:

In a tie vote, the New Hampshire Senate deadlocked Thursday on whether to repeal the death penalty, leaving the current law intact and New Hampshire as the lone state in New England that allows the execution of anyone convicted of a capital crime.

Only one person here is on death row, but his fate had as much to do with the vote as anything else. That inmate, Michael Addison, was convicted in 2008 in the shooting death of a Manchester police officer in 2006.

Proponents of the death penalty want him executed, but his case has been tied up in legal appeals.  State senators opposed to the death penalty said that they understood the visceral feelings against Mr. Addison and that their measure would still allow his execution even as it abolished the law authorizing it.  Death penalty supporters said that the bill posed constitutional problems and that Mr. Addison’s life could end up being spared.

“Trying to have it both ways was problematic for proponents of the bill — execute one person but repeal it prospectively,” Senator Jeb Bradley, a Republican and the majority leader, said in an interview after the vote.  “That was a bridge too far for a lot of people,” said Mr. Bradley, who opposed repeal....

New Hampshire’s action on Thursday stalled for now what had appeared to be momentum toward the abolition of the death penalty.  The State House of Representatives approved the repeal 225 to 104 last month, and Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, had been prepared to sign it.  Repeal would have made New Hampshire the 19th state to abolish the death penalty and the last in New England.  And it would have been the seventh state in seven years to do so.  New Hampshire’s last execution was in 1939.

But the State Senate, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 13 to 11, split 12-to-12 on Thursday, and tie votes are considered defeats.  Party leaders had freed their members for what they said would be a vote of conscience.  Two Republicans broke with their party and voted for the repeal, and one Democrat voted against it....

Death penalty opponents were disappointed and said they would continue to lobby senators in hopes of bringing up the bill again before the legislative session ends June 30. Arnie Alpert, spokesman for the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, said that many people “evolve” on the issue over the years and that there was still hope of changing minds.

Senator Bette Lasky, a Democrat and the chief sponsor of the bill, said she regretted that she did not have a chance to talk to all of her colleagues. “Many senators were so inundated, even when it came to colleagues talking to them, that they shut down,” she said.

Ms. Lasky said she would bring the bill up again if she knew she had the votes to pass it. Mr. Bradley, the majority leader, said it was hard to say whether supporters of the repeal could get enough votes to bring the measure back. “At 12-12, it could come off the table, but I suspect it won’t,” he said.

April 18, 2014 at 04:12 PM | Permalink

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Final Statement of David Dawud Abdullah Muhammad:
"'Oh Allah, O Allah, condemn and lay a curse upon the killers of Dawud Abdullah Muhammad.
Cursed be the people who did this injustice to me and cursed be the people who heard this
and were pleased with it.' -- David Junior Bown/aka Rasul Muhammad &ct., &ct., executed
for murdering Shelly Diane Chalflinch, 26, with 100 stabs,
and her 9-year-old daughter, Christina, with the knife and an electrical cord:
"his ring found underneath the victim's liver".

[Of those some would presume to harbour.]

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 19, 2014 11:02:20 AM

For those who voted no. Their time will come. When they croak and go to the Pearly Gates to await their interview with Saint Peter they will have time to contemplate what to say. On the wall in the waiting room are posted (in stone) the Ten Commandments. Prominent is the Sixth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Saint Peter's stand in on golf day one time scrawled under it with a crayon: No exception for Southerners with laws that say: Y'll Can.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Apr 19, 2014 11:41:28 AM

well liberty1st I guess that means one of those you also won't find on the other side of the Pearly Gates will be GOD! last time I looked he got pissed of and blew two cities off the map? you think nobody died when he/she did it?

or when he/she got pissed off and killed pretty much EVERYTHING on the friggin planet but noah and what was on the ark?

Posted by: rodsmith | Apr 19, 2014 7:08:40 PM

Rodsmith: It was Truman who blew two cities off of the face of the Earth. They let him into Heaven because he had put up with his wife Bess darn near his whole life.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Apr 21, 2014 12:11:54 AM

It is likely as obvious to rodsmith as to I,
that you worship a "God" of your own design.

The Apostle of the God of the Bible, Paul, contrarily stated:
"For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death,
I refuse not to die:"

Do you disagree with Paul that there are legitimate reasons for the state to execute an offender?

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 21, 2014 9:29:14 PM

It is sad when injustice is done and especially worse when we are at the receiving end.

Posted by: Allison Williams Esq. | May 12, 2014 5:24:15 AM

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