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.

NHPR Staff

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice and current UNH Law School Dean, John Broderick told lawmakers that  NH is better than countries like Iran, Iraq, North Korea, where the death penalty is used.

Broderick said anyone who's spent time in a prison knows it's a hopeless and demeaning place, and asked lawmakers to consider what it would be like to by laying on a gurney,  a lethal injection headed your way, knowing you were innocent.

Broderick stressed mistakes can happen.

The state’s Corrections Commissioner says his department is preparing to carry out the state’s first execution in more than 70 years.

On the Political Front, NHPR's Josh Rogers speaks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about the state Senate considering a bill to repeal New Hampshire's death penalty.

The House of Representatives has voted 225-104 to repeal New Hampshire’s death penalty.

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

House lawmakers are set to take up a bill this week that would repeal New Hampshire’s death penalty.

artbucher / Flickr Creative Commons

The legislature is again considering a repeal of the state’s capital punishment statute. While supporters say that their cause has gained momentum over recent years, others argue that the death penalty still plays an important role in state’s justice system.

GUESTS:

orangesparrow via Flickr CC

Former Attorney Generals Phil McLaughlin and Greg Smith both told the House Criminal Justice Committee they’d prosecuted dozens of murders in their careers, and had they’ve come to believe the death penalty is wrong.

McLaughlin said the very rarity of capital punishment in N.H. is an argument for its basic unfairness.

"If punishment supposed to be neither cruel nor unusual, how do you take 1 in a 1000 over 75 years and persuade people that’s not unusual?"

Greg Smith went even further.

This week, the legislature returns and hears new bills. Up before the Senate judiciary committee are a proposal to establish domestic violence as a separate crime and one requiring certain persons with mental illness to be barred from owning guns and placed on a federal registry. On Thursday, the House holds its first hearing on a bill to repeal the death penalty.

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte says she’s pleased with the state Supreme Court's ruling this week to uphold the conviction of Michael Addison

Addison was found guilty and sentenced to death for shooting and killing Manchester police officer Michael Briggs in 2006.

As attorney general, Kelly Ayotte was the lead prosecutor in the Addison case and she featured her role in her 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate.

Ayotte says she expects the court will uphold Addison’s death sentence.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the case of the only man on death row in the state - Michael Addison, who was convicted in 2008 of capital murder for shooting and killing Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs.

To explain the ruling we turn to Buzz Scherr, law professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.  He speaks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson.

Infographic: N.H.'s Death Penalty History

Nov 6, 2013

In light of today's State Supreme Court ruling on the Addison case, here is an abbreviated timeline of the history of New Hampshire's death penalty.

b4kedscr0d / Flickr Creative Commons

In a highly-watched decision yesterday, the justices upheld Addison’s conviction of “capital murder” for killing a police officer. But the court said at a later date would it rule on Addison’s death sentence itself. We’ll look at this decision and its possible ramifications.

GUESTS:

  • John Greabe – professor at UNH School of Law, specializing in constitutional law
  • Josh Rogers - NHPR's senior political reporter

CALLOUTS:

The state Supreme Court is set to release its ruling Wednesday in the case of Michael Addison, who was convicted and sentenced to death in 2008 for killing Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs.

The Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty includes, liberals and conservatives, N.H.’s Catholic and Episcopal bishops, as well as the former Chief Justice of the State’s Superior Court.

It also features State Rep. Renny Cushing, whose father was shot to death in 1988. Cushing has been a key player in past efforts to repeal N.H.’s death penalty law, but thinks this time the chances are good.

Gregory Bayne

When Kirk Bloodsworth was convicted and sentenced to  death for raping and killing a nine year-old girl, the audience in Baltimore County’s circuit court in Maryland broke out into wild applause. It was July of 1984, and at 22 years old, the former Marine was the most notorious man in Maryland. His crimes were so brutal, that even inmates threatened to kill him; one bashed him on the back of the head with a sock full of batteries.

After serving nine years behind bars­­--two on death row--Bloodsworth became the first person in America to be exonerated by DNA evidence and released from prison. He is now director of advocacy for “Witness to Innocence”, which is attempting to convince the 32 remaining states where the death penalty remains legal, to repeal it.

NHPR Staff

In a highly-watched decision yesterday, the justices upheld Addison’s conviction of “capital murder” for killing a police officer. But the court said at a later date would it rule on Addison’s death sentence itself. We’ll look at this decision, what it means for the capital punishment debate in New Hampshire and its possible ramifications.

GUESTS:

Court proceedings wrapped up recently in the state’s only Capital Punishment case, meanwhile a new Governor and Legislature could re-examine our death penalty statute.  We’ll find out how Granite Staters on both sides of this argument might be gearing up for another look at death sentencing. 

Guests

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Michael Addison.  Four years ago, a jury found Addison guilty of first degree murder in the 2006 shooting death of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.  The jury then sentenced Addison to death.

Addison’s lawyers have appealed to the state Supreme Court, and the court will hear a full day of arguments beginning at nine this morning.

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