death penalty

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Organizers of an anti-death penalty coalition say they have delivered over 56,000 petition signatures to New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, urging him to sign a bill to repeal the state's capital punishment law.

Sununu has vowed to veto the bill, saying he stands with crime victims and members of the law enforcement community.

Before presenting the signatures, the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty held a news conference Thursday where family members of murder victims spoke in favor of repealing the death penalty.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

A bill that would abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire has cleared both the House and Senate, but Governor Chris Sununu has promised to veto the measure. Sununu says he's standing with law enforcement in his promise to veto.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Former members of New Hampshire law enforcement are going to be talking about their opposition to the death penalty, following support in the Legislature to abolish capital punishment in the state.

A bill passed by both the House and Senate would change the penalty for capital murder to life in prison without parole.

The bill now heads to Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's desk, who has vowed to veto it. A two-thirds majority in both chambers is needed to override vetoes.

Will N.H. Repeal the Death Penalty?

May 8, 2018
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, via Wikimedia Commons

For the first time since 2000, state lawmakers are sending a bill repealing the death penalty to the governor's desk, despite his vow to veto it.  We examine the arguments on both sides, recap the history of the death penalty in N.H., and look at how a repeal might affect the state's sole inmate on death row, Michael Addison.  

GUESTS:

NHPR Staff

Governor Chris Sununu has promised to veto a bill that would abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire. But some of his fellow Republicans say ending capital punishment makes fiscal sense.

They're hoping that argument could, in part, help sway enough votes to overturn a veto.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House voted 223-116 Thursday to pass a bill to abolish the death penalty in the state.

New Hampshire's last execution took place in 1939 and the state currently has one person on death row.

Rep. Jeanine Notter, R-Merrimack, spoke in favor of maintaining capital punishment.

"That doesn't mean that I think that every murderer should get the death penalty, only the worst of the worst," Notter said.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 27, 2018

Apr 27, 2018

The New Hampshire legislature approves a bill to repeal the state’s death penalty, sending the measure to the governor despite his vow to veto it.  A bill re-defining “domicile” for voting purposes is headed for an up or down vote in the Senate.  Debates on Family Medical Leave and school choice may be over...for now.  And four state employees unions may finally have a contract. 

All these stories and more on the Weekly NH News Roundup.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The state Senate has voted to repeal New Hampshire's death penalty – though Gov. Chris Sununu says he'll veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

The 14 to 10 vote Thursday comes after the Senate rejected repealing the death penalty twice in recent years, even as the House supported it. 

Now, the House will take up this latest proposal to change the state's highest punishment – for capital murder – to life in prison.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu says he will veto a death penalty repeal bill if it reaches his desk.

The Republican released a statement on Wednesday saying that a top priority for his administration has been strengthening laws for crime victims and their families, and that “the most heinous crimes warrant the death penalty.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are backing a measure, SB 593, which would do away with capital punishment in New Hampshire. The bill has 13 co-sponsors in the Senate, enough votes to pass the chamber where similar bills have stalled in recent years.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

  State lawmakers will consider a bill this year that would make anyone convicted of killing a minor eligible for the death penalty.

New Hampshire is the only state in New England with capital punishment still on the books, though the state hasn’t put anyone to death since 1939.

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The 12-12 vote means New Hampshire is likely to remain the only state in New England  where the death penalty is still on the books.

After the vote, backers of repeal say this year’s effort, which was spearheaded by Republicans, show the issue is a bipartisan one. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's state Senate is slated to vote on suspending the use of the death penalty. According to the bill's lead sponsor, Republican Kevin Avard, suspending the death penalty is good sense.

Avard once supported capital punishment, but says there are too many examples of the people improperly ending up on death row to remain confident the punishment is worth the risk.

“You know we are all capable of fallibility, and if you have 156 people who have been exonerated, we should take a real sober look at this.”

SCOTUS Will Not Weigh In On N.H. Death Row Case

Jan 19, 2016
POOL

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to reconsider the case of New Hampshire’s only person on death row, Michael Addison.

In October, Addison’s attorney David Rothstein filed a petition with the nation’s Supreme Court arguing that in allowing and refusing certain pieces of evidence during trial, the New Hampshire Supreme Court violated the eighth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects citizens from cruel and unusual punishment.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says it's time the United States join nearly every industrialized nation in the West in saying no to capital punishment.

Sen. Sanders' remarks on the Senate floor Thursday came a day after rival Hillary Rodham Clinton voiced support for taking a "hard look" at the application of the death penalty, though she stopped short of advocating for abolishing the punishment.

Jim Cole | AP

New Hampshire’s only death row inmate Michael Addison is asking the United States Supreme Court to review the state court’s decision to uphold his conviction of capital murder.  

In a petition filed by his attorney, Addison argues that in allowing and refusing certain pieces of evidence during trial, the New Hampshire Supreme Court violated the eighth amendment of the US Constitution, which protects citizens from cruel and unusual punishment.

m01229 via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/dTC9q5

Last week, the New Hampshire supreme court unanimously upheld the death sentence for Michael Addison, who was convicted in the slaying of a Manchester police officer. On today’s show we’ll look at the bipartisan politics of the death penalty, and why fewer Americans – both Democrat and Republican – support it.

Plus, nearly 60,000 books have covered the Civil War that ended 150 years ago this month. We’ll speak to an illustrator about his new graphic novel that goes for a human-scale history from the ground up.

NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire Supreme Court for the first time will review whether the death sentence given to a man convicted of killing a police officer is fair compared to similar cases nationwide.

This marks the last phase of Michael Addison's direct appeal of his death sentence for the 2006 killing of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.

The high court unanimously upheld Addison's convictions and death sentence in November 2013. That was the first time a death sentence had made it to the court in more than half a century.

This week All Things Considered is looking at the key bills at the statehouse this year – which passed, which didn’t, and why.

Proponents of repealing New Hampshire's death penalty law had new allies this year, including Governor Maggie Hassan, who promised to sign a repeal measure as long as it didn't affect the sentence of Michael Addison, the state's lone death row inmate.

The State House approved a repeal measure, but the Senate deadlocked 12-12 over the bill and ultimately laid it on the table.

The state Senate has again rejected a proposal to repeal New Hampshire’s death penalty.

The Senate is voting for the second time whether to repeal New Hampshire's death penalty, but the loss of a key supporter may doom the bill.

Sen. Bob Odell, who had voted for repeal, says he won't vote to take up the issue again.

The first bill stalled in the Senate on a 12-12 vote last month. The House then passed a second bill repealing capital punishment which the Senate is scheduled to vote on on Thursday.

cmh2315fl / Flickr/CC

N.H.'s Death Penalty Faces a Last Repeal Attempt for the Year

Although the matter seemed settled for the year after the State Senate tabled a repeal bill, longtime opponents of capital punishment in the House are making one last attempt. 

Statehouse
Amanda Loder / NHPR

New Hampshire's House has twice passed legislation to repeal the death penalty with the governor's blessing, but the second attempt has cost them a key supporter in the Senate.   Republican Sen. Bob Odell, who voted for repeal, said Friday that he won't vote to take up the issue again.  The first bill stalled in the Senate on a 12-12 vote last month, but supporters may have overplayed their hand by sending a second bill to the Senate for a vote Thursday. The Senate has the option of passing the amended bill, killing it or asking the House to compromise.

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.

NHPR Staff

 

A month after the Senate voted to leave New Hampshire's death penalty on the books, the House plans to vote again on whether to repeal capital punishment.

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about the fallout from last week's Senate vote on the death penalty repeal.

They also talk about Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein's stance on political issues and what's coming up at the Statehouse this week.

NHPR Staff

Michael Briggs, the Manchester Police officer shot in the line of duty in 2006, and his killer, Michael Addison, who now sits on death row, both loomed large in the debate.

An indication of how large could be seen in the front row of the senate gallery.

That’s where Manchester police officials, including the chief and he lead investigator of the Briggs muder stood in full uniform the whole time. 15 feet down in the senate floor Michael Briggs name came up almost immediately – by people on both sides of the issue.

NHPR Staff

 

New Hampshire's Senate has voted to leave intact the state's centuries-old death penalty.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

An intense campaign to repeal New Hampshire's death penalty comes down to the wire with a vote by the full Senate.

The House last month voted in favor of repeal 225-104. Gov. Maggie Hassan said she would sign the measure into law.

Those on both sides of the issue say Thursday's vote is too close to call in the Republican-controlled Senate.

This marks the closest the state has come to repealing its centuries-old death penalty since 2000 — when the bill passed both chambers but was vetoed by then Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat.

NHPR Staff

Senate lawmakers are set to take up a bill this week that would repeal the state’s death penalty.

Daniel S Hurd via Flickr CC

The 3-2 margin came two days after an initial vote ended in a tie

The revote was requested by  Senator Donna Soucy (D-Manchester).

Soucy's district was where N.H.’s lone death row inmate, Michael Addison, committed the crime that persuaded a jury to sentence him to death -- the 2006 shooting of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.

Soucy says given that, and the importance of the issue, she didn’t want to give the impression she might have been dodging it.

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