Governor Sununu: Sign repeal. End the death penalty in New Hampshire!

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A bill to end the death penalty has passed both Republican-controlled chambers in the New Hampshire legislature with broad support. But Governor Chris Sununu has threatened a veto.

New Hampshire is the only state in New England that still has the death penalty, and the state has not executed anyone since 1939 — really New Hampshire has all but abolished the death penalty in practice. Furthermore, there is only one person on death row. Clearly the death penalty is not needed to prevent crime here.

This bill replaces capital punishment with life in prison without parole and was cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 13 senators, including 5 Republicans with a Republican prime sponsor. When the bill was first introduced, Gov. Sununu vowed to veto on the grounds of his support for law enforcement and murder victim family members but he has refused to meet with law enforcement or murder victim family members who support ending the death penalty.

John Breckenridge, a Manchester police officer who watched his partner, Michael Briggs, die from a bullet fired by Michael Addison, the only inmate on New Hampshire’s death row, spoke against the death penalty four years ago when the New Hampshire House voted to abolish capital punishment. “As a Catholic, I could not justify the very pre-meditated act of executing someone who – for all the evil of his crime and all the permanent hurt he caused others – still lives . . . in the possibility of spiritual redemption.”

Governor Sununu should sign SB593, or allow it to become law without his signature. No matter where you live, please sign this petition asking Governor Sununu to end the death penalty in New Hampshire.

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