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State Supreme Court To Release Ruling Wednesday In Death Penalty Case

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 court will rule on whether the state’s death penalty law is constitutional and whether Addison’s death sentence will stand.

Michael Addison’s defense team is asking the court to vacate his death sentence and grant him a new trial, arguing the jury was tainted by media coverage.

He would be the first person executed in New Hampshire since 1939.

UNH School of Law professor Buzz Scherr says the ruling is the first test of the state’s death penalty law, but it won’t mark the end of this particular case.

“Even if the conviction is upheld in every regard, there’s still a rather significant litigation remaining before any final resolution to this case occurs.”

Should he lose, Addison could appeal in U.S. District Court in Concord or directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling comes as lawmakers will likely consider repealing the state’s death penalty law next year.

Governor Maggie Hassan does not support the death penalty, but has said she will not commute Addison’s sentence.

Michael serves as NHPR's Program Director. Michael came to NHPR in 2012, working as the station's newscast producer/reporter. In 2015, he took on the role of Morning Edition producer. Michael worked for eight years at The Telegraph of Nashua, covering education and working as the metro editor.
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