It’s not a matter of whether or not the death penalty will be repealed in New Hampshire; it’s a matter of when. Over 90 million Americans believe the death penalty is wrong, and the national momentum away from the death penalty is undeniable.
Today the New Hampshire Senate voted 12-12 on HB 1170, a bill to abolish capital punishment in the state. Last month the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the bill, and Governor Hassan has expressed her support for repeal.
HB 1170 has been buoyed by a broad coalition of religious leaders, current and former law enforcement officers, people on all ends of the political spectrum, murder victim family members and community leaders. Chief among these champions is the bill’s sponsor, Representative Renny Cushing.
“If I were to say, after my father was murdered, that I support the death penalty now, that would only give more power to the murderer. Not only would my father have been taken from me, but so too would my values…I think it is the same for all of us as a society,” says Rep. Cushing.
Rep. Cushing founded Murder Victims’ Family Members for Human Rights in 2004, and has been a pioneer in bridging the victims’ rights and anti-death penalty movements, ensuring that all victims are treated with dignity and respect regardless of their views on capital punishment. “If we let those who kill turn us into killers and evoke violence and evil from us, we are much the worse for it.”
We are so proud of the work of our state affiliate, the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and their work to lift the voices of the citizens of New Hampshire in this important debate. We pledge our support to the policy makers and citizens of New Hampshire who are working tirelessly to give New Hampshire the criminal justice system it deserves: one that no longer risks executing the innocent or executing people unfairly.
Are you one of the 90 million people who oppose the death penalty? Tell us why at ncadp.tumblr.com.