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Capital crimes: Keeping the death penalty in NH

April 23. 2018 7:32PM

Michael Addison did not want to go to jail.

In October 2006, the violent career criminal robbed a customer at a Manchester restaurant at knifepoint and Hudson convenience store at gunpoint.

Several days later, Manchester police officers confronted Addison and an accomplice in a dark alley. When Officer Michael Briggs told Addison to stop, Addison shot Briggs and fled.

For this brutal crime, Addison was convicted of capital murder, and is the sole prisoner on New Hampshire’s death row.

On Thursday, the New Hampshire House is scheduled to take up Senate Bill 593, which would repeal the death penalty. Should the Legislature pass the bill and overcome a promised veto from Gov. Chris Sununu, killers like Addison would no longer face the ultimate penalty for murdering a police officer.

Career criminals would have little incentive to surrender. Killing a police officer might carry no harsher penalty than the crimes that put the police on their trail.

Repealing the death penalty might also give Addison a reprieve. No state that has repealed its death penalty has ever executed a prisoner placed on death row before that repeal.

Murdering a police officer is a crime not just against a person, but against our civil order. We urge the House to maintain New Hampshire’s capital murder statute.

Courts Crime State Government Editorial

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