N.H. Supreme Court Set To Rule On Lone Death Penalty Case

Apr 30, 2015

Michael Addison
Credit AP/FILE

 The state’s highest court will weigh in Thursday on whether Michael Addison’s death sentence is considered fair. This is the first time the N.H. Supreme Court has ever ruled on such an issue.

The court opinion looks into whether the death penalty sentence given to Addison is out of line based on similar cases nationwide.

Michael Addison, who was convicted in the 2006 killing of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs,  is the only one on death row in the state. The last person to be executed was more than 75 years ago.

UNH Law professor Buzz Scherr says the justices have looked at this issue since January.

“Much of the decision is going to hinge on what number of cases the court compares this to and what they decide is similar or not similar. The more cases they compare the better a chance Michael Addison has on getting the death penalty vacated.”

If the court rules against Addison, Scherr says the defense can decide to take the case to the federal district court or to the U.S. Supreme Court. Which depending on the appeals, could take 5 to 10 years, he said.