House Approves Second Attempt At Repealing N.H.'s Death Penalty

May 14, 2014

Credit NHPR Staff

For the second time this year, House lawmakers have sent a proposal to repeal New Hampshire’s death penalty to the state Senate.

Given the Democratically-controlled House had already passed a death penalty repeal bill earlier this year, Wednesday’s 218-117 vote came as no surprise.

The first bill stalled in the Senate, on a 12-12 vote.

Representative Renny Cushing of Hampton says he’s hoping the Senate will reconsider, given recent events.

“I actually had somebody who told me after the botched execution in Oklahoma a couple weeks ago that in some ways it made them rethink the vote that they had taken to keep the death penalty in the state of New Hampshire.”

Wednesday’s vote was actually an amendment to an unrelated Senate bill and would require anyone convicted of capital murder to receive life in prison.

Opponents argue the issue has already been decided this session.

The Senate could take up the bill as early as Thursday.

Governor Maggie Hassan has expressed her support of repeal, as long as it doesn’t affect the sentence of the state’s lone death row inmate, Michael Addison.