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Death penalty foes gather to alter attitudes
Lawmakers, religious leaders, law enforcement and judicial officials, and families of murder victims made their case Thursday to abolish the death penalty in an event to begin a campaign to abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire.
“This is a remarkable effort that cuts across the classic political divide,” said Cushing at a press conference attended by well over 50 people, “to make sure New Hampshire lives without capital punishment.”
The 2000 Legislature approved abolishing the death penalty, but former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen vetoed it. In 2010, the House approved abolishing capital punishment but the Senate killed the bill before former Gov. John Lynch could veto it.
But speakers at the press conference said the death penalty is not a deterrent to murder or other violen crimes.
“Our criminal justice system is a good system, but it is not perfect,” said retired Marlborough Police Chief Raymond Dodge. “It is a system designed and administered by imperfect human beings. Mistakes are inevitable.”
“The death penalty neither deters others, nor brings the perpetrator to understanding, but instead, in the worst of ironies, publicly validates the very act of taking a human life,” Libasci said. “The death penalty does not help the criminal to understand the magnitude of what he or she has done; it reinforces instead, the terrifying notion that there is ultimately, no sacrilege in the taking of human life.”
“Why don’t you go to your constituents and tell them you want to spend $1 million to $2 million dollars a year on a program that the only ones getting anything out of it are lawyers,” Murphy said. “What do you think their reaction would be?”
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