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Keep the death penalty: Sununu's veto should be upheld

June 22. 2018 12:47AM

We are pleased that Gov. Chris Sununu followed through on his commitment to veto Senate Bill 593, a bill that would repeal the death penalty in the Granite State.

New Hampshire’s capital murder statute reserves the death penalty for a limited set of brutal crimes, such as murder that occurs during a kidnapping or home invasion, murder of a police or judicial officer, and murder for hire.

These crimes are not only against the victim, but against society as a whole. The death penalty is not revenge. It is not quite justice, since the victim can not be brought back, but it is close as we can get in this life.

Michael Addison is the only prisoner placed on New Hampshire’s death row since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. He is there because when Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs attempted to arrest Addison for a string of violent robberies. Addison fatally shot Briggs, and ran.

Passage of SB 593 would likely mean Addison would never receive the death sentence he earned. No state that has repealed the death penalty has ever executed a prisoner already on death row.

We urge the Legislature to uphold Sununu’s veto and maintain the ultimate sanction for the most vicious crimes.

Crime, law and justice Public Safety Social issues State Government Editorial

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