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Top NH Court Upholds Death Penalty For Cop Killer

By Michael Rosenfield, WBZ-TV
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CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) — The Supreme Court of New Hampshire upheld the conviction of Michael Addison in a high-profile case that dates back seven years.

Addison was accused of killing Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs in 2006 and was sentenced to death in 2008 after his conviction.

Last year the court heard the appeal.

In their opinion today, the justices said quote “…we have independently reviewed the record and we determine that the death sentence in this case was not imposed under the influence of passion, prejudice or any other arbitrary factor…We affirm the defendant’s capital murder conviction.”

While the conviction has been upheld, the Supreme Court say there still needs to be more argument on the punishment and whether the death penalty itself is excessive in this case.

No date has been set.

“This has been a long, difficult journey for Michael Briggs’ family,” said Manchester Police Chief David Mara. “His family has no closure and never will.”

Michael Addison’s attorneys, said in a statement today, “We disagree with the Court’s decision to affirm Michael Addison’s capital murder conviction and with its conclusion that there was no reversible sentencing phase error.

We look forward to the opportunity to address the proportionality of the death sentence, and we will work as diligently on Mr. Addison’s behalf in the future as we have over the last several years.”

Addison is the only person on New Hampshire’s death row.

Jeff Strelzin, Senior Assistant Attorney General in New Hampshire, wrote today:

“It has been more than seven years since Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs was killed in the line of duty. We recognize that his family, friends, and co-workers continue to suffer from his loss, and they still feel the pain of his absence as a husband, father, son, brother, and dedicated Manchester Police Officer. We must also be sensitive to the fact that our office is currently involved in litigation in other related cases and with other issues involving this defendant. Therefore, our comments about the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s decision today must be limited. That decision is lengthy and complicated, which is appropriate given the magnitude of the loss the Briggs family has suffered and the penalty allowed by the law. We will be reviewing the decision in the coming weeks to determine its full ramifications and to consider the next appropriate steps in seeking justice in this case.”

The Briggs family declined to comment when reached by phone.

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