CONCORD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — New Hampshire is the latest state to repeal its death penalty, as the state Senate had enough votes to override Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto.
The repeal takes effect immediately.
The 16-8 vote Thursday was the necessary two-thirds majority to override. The House narrowly voted last week to override Sununu’s veto.
“The death penalty has been an issue every New Hampshire legislator has grappled with over many years. It has been my privilege to speak with my constituents and fellow lawmakers about this important issue and it was a privilege today to join my colleagues in voting to repeal capital punishment in the Granite State,” said Senate President Donna Soucy (D-Manchester) in a statement. “I commend the advocates who have worked tirelessly on this issue and extend my gratitude to Representative Renny Cushing for his decades of work on this issue in honor of his father and his brother-in-law.”
New Hampshire’s death penalty applied in only seven scenarios. The state hasn’t executed anyone since 1939, and there is only one inmate on death row. The repeal law does not apply retroactively to Michael Addison, who killed Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs in 2006, but capital punishment supporters argued that courts might interpret it differently.
Sununu vetoed the bill last month at a community center named in honor of Briggs.
“I have consistently stood with law enforcement, families of crime victims, and advocates for justice in opposing a repeal of the death penalty because it is the right thing to do,” Sununu said in a statement. “I am incredibly disappointed that the Senate chose to override my veto.”
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)