death penalty

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte says she is disappointed and angry that New Hampshire has abolished its death penalty.

As the state's attorney general, Ayotte was the lead prosecutor in the case of Michael Addison, who killed Manchester Officer Michael Briggs in 2006 and is the state's only inmate on death row.

While the bill ending capital punishment is not retroactive, its opponents argue Addison eventually will see his sentence converted to life on prison.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

  The New Hampshire Legislature has banned capital punishment, overturning the veto of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu. The outcome was narrow but anticipated.  And, for opponents of the death penalty, it was a long time coming.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

New Hampshire has abolished capital punishment.

The state Senate voted Thursday morning to override Gov. Chris Sununu's veto of the bill to repeal the death penalty. The vote follows the New Hampshire House's vote last week to overturn the veto.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 24, 2019

May 23, 2019

With more states passing restrictive abortion laws, we look at local reaction and examine where New Hampshire stands on this issue. Also, the New Hampshire votes to override Gov. Chris Sununu's veto of a death penalty repeal, while the Senate signs off on a series of gun control measures. Also this week, Gov. Sununu signed a bipartisan mental health bill into law. 

 

GUESTS:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House took a major step toward repealing the state's death penalty Thursday morning.

 

On a 247-123 vote, the House cleared the two-thirds majority necessary to override Gov. Chris Sununu's veto of a death penalty repeal bill.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

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.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: May 3, 2019

May 2, 2019

New Hampshire lawmakers consider three gun control bills which may have traction in a democratically-controlled legislature. Fingerprint recognition and DNA kits are becoming common;  should we be concerned about how our "biometric" information is being used? Senator Shaheen reintroduces a bill in Congress on PFAS health effects. And we get a personal look at how working at Pease can affect your health. 


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Supporters of a bill to repeal the death penalty are starting daily candlelight vigils outside of the New Hampshire Statehouse to express their hope that Gov. Chris Sununu will sign it, or allow it to become law.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 12, 2019

Apr 12, 2019

The Democratic-led House passes its version of the state spending plan, with funding for the secure psychiatric unit restored.  A bill to repeal the death penalty in the state clears NH Senate with a veto-proof margin. N.H.'s 400 state legislators get paid $100 a year; we examine the conflicts of interest they sometimes encounter in this small state. And another Democrat jumps into the 2020 primary race.

GUESTS:

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate has voted 17 to 6 to pass a bill to repeal the death penalty.

The vote Thursday follows the House voting 279 to 88 -- also reaching a veto-proof majority -- in support of abolishing capital murder.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 29, 2019

Mar 28, 2019

The battle to abolish the death penalty advances to the state senate. Governor Sununu sends stronger signal that he may run for the Senate next year, boosted by polls suggesting he may have a chance at defeating Senator Shaheen. And we look how several national issues may affect the state, including a federal court ruling on Medicaid work requirements, and a multi-million dollar settlement against Purdue Pharma, maker of Oxycontin.  Dean Spiliotes is guest host.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The fight to abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire reached the state Senate Tuesday morning after clearing the House earlier this month.

The measure would change the penalty for capital murder to life imprisonment. Richard Van Wickler, Superintendent of the Cheshire County jail says he's in support of the bill, as an official who's worked with the incarcerated for 26 years.

Annie Ropeik/NHPR

  Today the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 279 to 88 in favor of repealing the state’s death penalty. Lawmakers have voted on this issue many times in the past few years. It’s been vetoed by governors before, and it’s expected that Governor Sununu will veto it again this year.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire is again debating whether to repeal its death penalty. Dozens of people spoke in favor of the change at a lengthy legislative hearing Tuesday.

The Granite State’s is the only death penalty left in New England.

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.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Thursday is veto day at the State House. Lawmakers will vote whether to override several controversial vetoes Gov. Chris Sununu handed down this year.

Sununu vetoed six of the bills legislators passed in their 2018 session. Two, dealing with energy, have been especially high-profile.

The vetoed bills would subsidize biomass power, and expand towns' and businesses' ability to sell renewable energy back to the grid.

The timber industry has led the charge to overturn those vetoes, though it's not clear yet if they have the votes to do it.

josh rogers / nhpr

Governor Chris Sununu signaled he'd veto the death penalty repeal long before lawmakers sent one to his desk. So, at the event his press team billed as an announcement on the repeal bill, the only real suspense was over how many police officers Sununu could squeeze into his office to witness his veto.

NHPR File Photo

 

Organizers of an anti-death penalty coalition say they have delivered over 56,000 petition signatures to New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, urging him to sign a bill to repeal the state's capital punishment law.

Sununu has vowed to veto the bill, saying he stands with crime victims and members of the law enforcement community.

Before presenting the signatures, the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty held a news conference Thursday where family members of murder victims spoke in favor of repealing the death penalty.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

A bill that would abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire has cleared both the House and Senate, but Governor Chris Sununu has promised to veto the measure. Sununu says he's standing with law enforcement in his promise to veto.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Former members of New Hampshire law enforcement are going to be talking about their opposition to the death penalty, following support in the Legislature to abolish capital punishment in the state.

A bill passed by both the House and Senate would change the penalty for capital murder to life in prison without parole.

The bill now heads to Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's desk, who has vowed to veto it. A two-thirds majority in both chambers is needed to override vetoes.

Will N.H. Repeal the Death Penalty?

May 8, 2018
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, via Wikimedia Commons

For the first time since 2000, state lawmakers are sending a bill repealing the death penalty to the governor's desk, despite his vow to veto it.  We examine the arguments on both sides, recap the history of the death penalty in N.H., and look at how a repeal might affect the state's sole inmate on death row, Michael Addison.  

GUESTS:

NHPR Staff

Governor Chris Sununu has promised to veto a bill that would abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire. But some of his fellow Republicans say ending capital punishment makes fiscal sense.

They're hoping that argument could, in part, help sway enough votes to overturn a veto.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House voted 223-116 Thursday to pass a bill to abolish the death penalty in the state.

New Hampshire's last execution took place in 1939 and the state currently has one person on death row.

Rep. Jeanine Notter, R-Merrimack, spoke in favor of maintaining capital punishment.

"That doesn't mean that I think that every murderer should get the death penalty, only the worst of the worst," Notter said.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: April 27, 2018

Apr 27, 2018

The New Hampshire legislature approves a bill to repeal the state’s death penalty, sending the measure to the governor despite his vow to veto it.  A bill re-defining “domicile” for voting purposes is headed for an up or down vote in the Senate.  Debates on Family Medical Leave and school choice may be over...for now.  And four state employees unions may finally have a contract. 

All these stories and more on the Weekly NH News Roundup.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The state Senate has voted to repeal New Hampshire's death penalty – though Gov. Chris Sununu says he'll veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

The 14 to 10 vote Thursday comes after the Senate rejected repealing the death penalty twice in recent years, even as the House supported it. 

Now, the House will take up this latest proposal to change the state's highest punishment – for capital murder – to life in prison.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu says he will veto a death penalty repeal bill if it reaches his desk.

The Republican released a statement on Wednesday saying that a top priority for his administration has been strengthening laws for crime victims and their families, and that “the most heinous crimes warrant the death penalty.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are backing a measure, SB 593, which would do away with capital punishment in New Hampshire. The bill has 13 co-sponsors in the Senate, enough votes to pass the chamber where similar bills have stalled in recent years.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

  State lawmakers will consider a bill this year that would make anyone convicted of killing a minor eligible for the death penalty.

New Hampshire is the only state in New England with capital punishment still on the books, though the state hasn’t put anyone to death since 1939.

New Hampshire Senate
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The 12-12 vote means New Hampshire is likely to remain the only state in New England  where the death penalty is still on the books.

After the vote, backers of repeal say this year’s effort, which was spearheaded by Republicans, show the issue is a bipartisan one. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's state Senate is slated to vote on suspending the use of the death penalty. According to the bill's lead sponsor, Republican Kevin Avard, suspending the death penalty is good sense.

Avard once supported capital punishment, but says there are too many examples of the people improperly ending up on death row to remain confident the punishment is worth the risk.

“You know we are all capable of fallibility, and if you have 156 people who have been exonerated, we should take a real sober look at this.”

SCOTUS Will Not Weigh In On N.H. Death Row Case

Jan 19, 2016
POOL

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to reconsider the case of New Hampshire’s only person on death row, Michael Addison.

In October, Addison’s attorney David Rothstein filed a petition with the nation’s Supreme Court arguing that in allowing and refusing certain pieces of evidence during trial, the New Hampshire Supreme Court violated the eighth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects citizens from cruel and unusual punishment.

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