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May 30, 2019

With legislative override of Gov veto, New Hampshire formally repeals its death penalty

As reported in this local press piece, "New Hampshire became the 21st state to repeal its death penalty Thursday, after a vote in the Senate to pass legislation over the objections of Gov. Chris Sununu." Here is more:

In a 16-8 vote after unusually brisk debate, senators passed an override measure with the necessary two-thirds of support to override Sununu’s veto, issued earlier this month. In a series of emotional pleas, some senators sided with governor, arguing that the prohibition served as a deterrent for the murder of law enforcement and provided justice that life imprisonment cannot.

But others argued repealing the punishment was a matter of humanity. “This question will be answered but not by political philosophy or alliances but by lifetimes of individual experiences that we all carry with us,” said Sen. Harold French, a Franklin Republican who voted to override Sununu's veto. “Today I will vote to voterride the veto of our governor. Because this vote is about our state and about what kind of state we are all going to be a part of.”

The vote followed an equally narrow vote in the House, which voted this month to override the veto with no votes to spare....

The repeal takes effect immediately, and according to the statute applies only to convictions from May 30, 2019 and onward.

“I have consistently stood with law enforcement, families of crime victims, and advocates for justice in opposing a repeal of the death penalty because it is the right thing to do,” Sununu said in a statement after Thursday’s vote. “I am incredibly disappointed that the Senate chose to override my veto."

As noted in prior posts linked below, supporters of this repeal claims the law would not be applied retroactively to the benefit of the one person on death row in the state, namely Michael Addison who was sentenced to death for the 2006 killing of a Manchester police officer.  But 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, so Michael Addison is surely among those celebrating this capital repeal.

Prior related posts:

May 30, 2019 at 02:27 PM | Permalink


Death, thou shalt die.

Posted by: anon1 | May 30, 2019 11:33:44 PM

All who voted for death penalty repeal and the veto override were aware that no one has been executed in a state that has repealed the death penalty, in the modern era.

I don't know about states that repealed the death penalty, prior to 1972.

Posted by: Dudley Sharp | Jun 5, 2019 3:36:24 PM

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