Death Penalty Repeal Fails in New Hampshire

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Death Penalty Repeal Fails in New Hampshire

A majority of New Hampshire legislators want to see the end of the death penalty in that state. However, there aren’t enough of them to overcome Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of their death penalty repeal bill.


Last week legislators met in a special session to consider overriding six bills vetoed by Gov. Sununu. The most high-profile measure was one that would abolish capital punishment in the state.


Earlier this year, both houses of the General Court passed a bill that would end the use of execution as punishment in New Hampshire. There was bipartisan support for this legislation, which came on the heels of two previous repeal attempts in recent years. Governor Sununu vetoed the bill on June 21.


No other state in New England permits the death penalty. New Hampshire still allows it, but has not executed anyone since 1939. There is only one person on the state’s death row – Michael Addison, who murdered a police officer.


Those opposing the death penalty point out that it is very expensive to execute prisoners. They also say that since it is not consistently applied, it is not a deterrent to crime. Those who support it argue that it is only right to have the most severe penalty available to punish those convicted of heinous crimes.


The override vote was 14-10 in the state senate. Sixteen votes were needed.


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