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April 11, 2014

Is New Hampshire on the verge of becoming the next state to abolish the death penalty?

As reported in this local AP article, headlined "On revote, N.H. Senate panel endorses death penalty repeal measure," the Granite State appears to have now moved a step closer to possible repeal of capital punishment. Here are the details:

The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday revisited the idea of repealing New Hampshire’s death penalty and recommended that it pass, setting up a potentially historic vote in the chamber next week. The bill represents the most energetic recent effort to repeal the state’s centuries-old death penalty. It passed the committee by a 3-2 vote, days after the same panel issued a tie vote that could have sounded the death knell on the repeal effort.

The House has voted resoundingly for repeal, and the governor supports it. The Thursday vote in the Republican-controlled Senate is said to be too close to call. “I think it will be a tight vote,” Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley told the Associated Press. “I think it will not break down all that much on party lines.”...

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 2-2 Tuesday with one member absent, an outcome that would have automatically sent a message to the Senate to kill the repeal measure. The committee reconsidered the issue yesterday in deference to Democrat Donna Soucy of Manchester, who missed Tuesday’s meeting due to a family medical issue. There was no debate.

Sens. Bette Lasky, a Nashua Democrat, Sam Cataldo, a Farmington Republican, and Soucy voted for repeal. Sens. Sharon Carson of Londonderry and David Boutin of Hooksett, both Republicans, voted against it.

The state is the closest to repealing the death penalty that it’s been since 2000, when both houses of the Legislature approved repeal, but then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen vetoed it. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan has said she would sign the repeal measure, because it wouldn’t affect the death sentence of Michael Addison – convicted of killing Manchester police Officer Michael Briggs in 2006. Addison is the only death row convict in the state, which has not seen an execution since 1939.

Death penalty opponents greeted yesterday’s vote with cautious optimism. Rep. Renny Cushing, a Hampton Democrat whose father and brother-in-law were murdered in separate crimes, has not wavered in his opposition to the death penalty through nearly two decades of sponsoring repeal measures.

“Everybody’s a swing vote,” Cushing said after yesterday’s vote. “It’s not a party issue,” he added. “There are a lot of senators genuinely wrestling with this.”

The House last month voted 225-104 in favor of repeal. The vote in the 24-member Senate – with 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats – could come down to a one-vote margin. A tie vote would kill the measure.

April 11, 2014 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

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“Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan has said she would sign the repeal measure, because it wouldn’t affect the death sentence of Michael Addison”

----- ..... ------ What kind of logic is this, unprincipled, political “logic”?

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 11, 2014 12:31:28 PM

▼ This says it all: People in NH are possibly too mentally deficient to support the death penalty ▼

For the Concord Monitor
Thursday, April 10, 2014
“We have only one way to long survive as a species, which is learning to be a kinder, gentler human society. It makes no sense trying to end the violence
of the death penalty while trying to make exceptions for dark-skinned people or white-faced fat people.

If you care about human life and the prevention of violence, you end the death penalty now. Period.
SELDEN R. STRONG

{Future Democratic Attorney General}

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 11, 2014 12:42:11 PM

The never-ending series of cases showing prosecutorial misconduct in hiding exculpatory evidence from the defense is rightly undermining the case for the death penalty.

Posted by: obective observer | Apr 11, 2014 12:46:08 PM

Twenty four -- that is the number of executions the state has had since the 18th Century. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/state_by_state

None -- that is the number of executions the state has had since 1939:

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/state_by_state

One -- number on death row.

A comment suggests the people of the state are "too mentally deficient" to support the death penalty. Well, not for me to say. Still, as usual, all this talk of "abolitionists" aside, nearly no one actually is executed in most states, even those with the death penalty. Only adds to the arbitrariness and leads one to question the need. I assume, e.g., since the 18th Century, there were a lot more than 25 or so heinous murderers convicted of crimes.

Posted by: Joe | Apr 11, 2014 1:30:52 PM

Likewise, some focus on "Democrats" around here. Takes bipartisanship to not execute anyone since the days of Shirley Temple dancing with Bojangles.

Posted by: Joe | Apr 11, 2014 1:32:54 PM

and leads one to question the need [for the death penalty]-- Joe

and leads one to question the need [for the bill to repeal] -- Joe's left brain

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 11, 2014 3:48:49 PM

Well, not for me to say.--Joe

You could be "[led] to question" the logic of Gov. Maggie Hassan or of Selden R. Strong, your ideological companions.
---------------------------____________________---------------------------
Too bad we have an apathetic public, aside from the Selden Strongs of New Hampshire.
Once again, liberal elites intend seek to impose their contrary position on the people,
quite incompatible with the citizenry.

| Majority of NH residents support death penalty, according to poll|
WMUR.com. |EST Feb 07, 2014
DURHAM, N.H. —A new WMUR Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center shows there is wide support for the
death penalty in New Hampshire.
Of those polled, 58% said they favored the
death penalty, while 29% were opposed.


Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 11, 2014 4:06:05 PM

"rightly undermining the case for the death penalty"

-- In whose so-called mind?

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 11, 2014 4:07:10 PM

@Joe

About Shirley Temple, the last N.H. execution dates from her glory days.

Posted by: visitor | Apr 11, 2014 4:58:43 PM

Adamkis, does it concern you at all when prosecutors hide exculpatory evidence from the defense?

Posted by: anon14 | Apr 11, 2014 5:53:04 PM

Of course.
Do you understand that you have a problem with relevance?

Double support in NH in favour of the death penalty,
no cases of "prosecutorial misconduct"
or any other factor resulting in an innocent
person being executed in NH (or USA)... ...

Perchance these be relevant.

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 11, 2014 6:22:34 PM

Adamakis, you write "Do you understand that you have a problem with relevance?"

N.H. maybe is lucky so far. But maybe the N.H. legislators read cases from all over the country of prosecutorial misconduct, and of folks being freed from death row after innocence shown. Do you think these instances, "perchance" might be relevant considerations for legislators? Shall I list a few of these case for you. Perchance, you might then see the relevance.

Posted by: anon14 | Apr 11, 2014 7:01:35 PM

These "cases from all over the country" have failed to con-vince even a plurality of people in New Hampshire.
These "instances" have never resulted in 1-single-innocent-person
being executed in NH (or USA).

If you prefer
oligarchy to republicanism,
elitism to democracy,
immaterial fears to irrefutable facts,
then you should support the NH legislators who endeavor to ban the death penalty
over the 2 to 1 will of the people of their state.

Posted by: Adamakis | Apr 11, 2014 9:25:50 PM

Adamakis, I admire you parallel construction, but observe that you no longer dispute the relevance of my point, so I assume you accept it.

Posted by: anon14 | Apr 12, 2014 11:04:41 AM

Sixth Commandment. No exception for so called sovereigns to kill.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Apr 12, 2014 9:04:54 PM

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