death penalty

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.


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. 


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.