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Death penalty repeal heads to Gov. Sununu

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For the first time since 2000, the New Hampshire House and Senate both passed a bill to repeal the death penalty.  Crimes currently eligible for the death penalty would instead be eligible for life sentences without parole.

The bill now heads to Gov. Chris Sununu, who said he will veto the bill.

The Legislature could try to override that veto, which requires a two-thirds majority of the House and Senate.  The bill passed with a little under two-thirds in support.  

New Hampshire last executed someone in 1939.  Right now there is one inmate on death row, for the murder of police officer Michael Briggs.  This repeal bill is written to leave that death sentence intact.

Click here to learn more about the debate over the death penalty in New Hampshire.

Arguments for, against the death penalty

Supporters of the death penalty argue that it is an important deterrent and provides justice to victims' families.

"I stand with crime victims, members of the law enforcement community, and advocates for justice in opposing a repeal of the death penalty."

- Gov. Chris Sununu

Opponents of the death penalty argue that taking someone's life is never justice and the risk of executing an innocent person is too high.

"The death penalty does not protect public safety, it does not shield our police officers, it does not meet the needs of many families of murder victims, it is not consistent with the values we hear from our religious leaders."

- Rep. Renny Cushing

Do you think New Hampshire should repeal the death penalty?  Share your opinion in the comments below.


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This legislation is long overdue and the governor should sign it into law. Human life is sacred. Period. Our desire as a society to avenge wrongful deaths doesn't change that fundamental principle.

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