New Hampshire Senate overrides veto to abolish death penalty
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 5/30/19, 12:39 pm
The New Hampshire state Senate Thursday abolished the death penalty in the state, overriding the governor’s veto in a 16-8 vote, exactly the two-thirds needed. The 400-member state House of Representatives last week had just enough votes to override Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto.
New Hampshire’s death penalty only applied in cases of killing an on-duty law enforcement officer or a judge, murder for hire, murder during a rape, certain drug offenses, or home invasion and murder by someone serving a life sentence without parole. The state has not executed anyone in 80 years and only has one inmate on death row. The repeal does not apply retroactively to Michael Addison, who was sentenced to death for killing a police officer, though some argue his sentence will be transitioned to life in prison.
Twelve Democrats and four Republicans in the Senate voted to end capital punishment, while six Republicans and two Democrats voted to maintain it. Thirty states allow the death penalty, but governors in four of the states have issued moratoriums on the practice. Twenty states have abolished or overturned capital punishment.
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