CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Thursday on whether the state’s death penalty should be repealed.
The House voted 2-1 to pass the bill after rejecting an amendment that would have spared the life of the state’s only convict on death row.
Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan has said she supports repeal as long as it is does not affect the death sentence of Michael Addison, who was convicted of killing Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs in 2006. The bill applies to future cases and would not, if signed into law, affect Addison’s death sentence.
The Legislature voted to repeal capital punishment in 2000, but then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen vetoed the bill.
Bill sponsor and Hampton Rep. Renny Cushing said his opposition to the death penalty was not changed by the murder in separate incidents of his father and brother-in-law. Cushing argues killing the murderer gives more power to the killer by turning society into killers.
Cushing has been lobbying to repeal the death penalty for 16 years. Opponents argue some killers don’t deserve to live. They point to serial killers and the 2009 Mont Vernon home invasion in which a mother was hacked to death with a machete and her young daughter was maimed.
The death penalty did not apply in the Mont Vernon case, but the Legislature has since added burglary during a home invasion to the list of crimes to the capital punishment statute.
The state’s last execution was in 1939.
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