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Sununu Vetoes Bill to Repeal N.H.'s Death Penalty

Josh Rogers / NHPR
Gov. Chris Sununu vetoes a bill to repeal New Hampshire's death penalty law at the Michael Briggs Community Center in Manchester.

Republican Governor Chris Sununu has made good on a promise to veto a bill repealing the death penalty in New Hampshire. Sununu did so at a community center named after Michael Briggs, the Manchester police officer who was killed more than a decade ago, and whose killer is the state's only death row inmate.

When he vetoed a death penalty repeal last year, Sununu invited police officials to join him in his office. This year, Sununu traveled to Manchester where he was flanked by 40 state and local police, and the family of Michael Briggs.

"I firmly see along many folks across this state that this bill is an injustice, not just to Officer Briggs and his family but to law enforcement, and other victims of violent crime across this state."

Sununu's veto is not expected to stand. The death penalty repeal cleared the House and Senate earlier this year by wide majorities.

As drafted, the bill would not apply to Michael Addison, who killed Briggs in 2006 and is the state's only death-row inmate.

New Hampshire is the lone New England state that allows capital punishment but hasn't executed anyone since 1939.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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