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April 11, 2019

After veto-proof vote, New Hampshire appears poised to be first state to repeal death penalty legislatively since 2013

For a number of years not too long ago, a number of state legislatures got in the habit of repealing the (usually dormant) death penalty in their states.  Specifically, legislatures in five states over a span of six years led death penalty repeal efforts that become the law in New Jersey (2007), New Mexico (2009), Illinois (2011), Connecticut (2012), and Maryland (2013).  But thanks in part to a voter referendum rejecting a legislative repeal in Nebraska in 2016, it has been a full six years since a state legislature initiated a successful repeal of a state death penalty system.

But today, as reported in this local article, headlined "Death penalty repeal passes NH Senate with veto-proof majority," it looks like New Hampshire might soon be added to the list of states to repeal the death penalty legislatively during the modern era. Here are the details:

A bill to repeal the death penalty in New Hampshire cleared the state Senate with a veto-proof, 17-6, two-thirds margin Thursday, setting the stage for the end of capital punishment in a state that hasn’t executed anyone since 1939.  The House passed the repeal measure, HB 455, on March 3, also by a veto-proof vote of 279-88....

Gov. Chris Sununu has promised to veto the bill, but the votes in the House and Senate signal he most likely will be powerless to stop the repeal from taking effect unless two senators change their minds for the override vote.

The bill revokes the existing capital punishment statute and replaces it with a penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole for murder of a police officer or other capital offenses.

New Hampshire currently has one person on death row — Michael Addison — who was sentenced to death for the 2006 killing of Manchester police Officer Michael Briggs. Opponents of death penalty repeal argued that Addison will never be executed if capital punishment is repealed, while supporters of the repeal said the law would not be applied retroactively.

Because I am pretty sure no state in the modern era has yet to execute a previously condemned person even after a "prospective only" repeal of the death penalty, I am also pretty sure that it could soon become very unlikely that Michael Addison will be executed for the 2006 killing of Manchester police officer.

April 11, 2019 at 02:47 PM | Permalink

Comments

To kill a human seems to be an evil thing. Religious people can go two ways on the topic. To punish a human with life in prison is a mean thing. Killing that person puts him out of misery. A prison should also not give them access to suicide products. I knew of a prison guard who found an inmate who had tried to hang himself in his cell. The rope he had stolen and brought to his cell was not strong enough. Damage to the guy's neck was done and the eyes almost popped out of his head. But he survived. The guard was depressed.
Maybe the death penalty should be for certain crimes like those committed by pedophile priests. Some adult male who rear end rapes a child needs to be killed. The Pope leaves them on their pedestals.

Posted by: Liberty2nd | Apr 12, 2019 12:50:52 AM

Doug:

Like every other state, except Illinois, they stated those currently on death row would not be affected. They all lied, just as Gov. Newsom lied about honoring the pro death penalty votes in California.

How long it takes for folks to know these anti death penalty folks will just lie and lie and lie, after so much evidence, is hard to explain.

In ever legislative repeal, the majority of the population supported the death penalty and the anti death penalty folks lied.

Posted by: Dudley Sharp | Apr 12, 2019 9:38:42 AM

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