N.H. Senate Fails To Override Sununu's Death Penalty Repeal Veto

Sep 13, 2018

Credit NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire Senate failed to override Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of a death penalty repeal bill on Thursday.

As it did during the session, the Senate voted 14-10 in favor of repeal, which fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to overturn the veto.

The House and Senate both passed Senate Bill 593 repealing the use of the death penalty this session, but Sununu called it the “ultimate legal deterrent” and an important way to deliver justice for victims of crime.

During Thursday’s debate to override that veto, Republican Senator Bob Guida of Warren said he supported repeal because there is no perfect system of justice.

“Do we risk taking the life of one innocent person as an acceptable consequence?” he asked colleagues.

Democrat Lou D'Allesandro of Manchester countered that keeping the death penalty was an important signal for law enforcement.

“Don’t those who protect us deserve our support?” asked D’Allesandro.

The state’s only current inmate on death row, Michael Addison, was convicted of killing Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs in 2006. This bill would not have altered Addison’s sentence.

The state hasn’t carried out an execution since 1939.

With the veto sustained, New Hampshire remains the only state in New England with a death penalty law.