Regardless of all of our public activity and events, in the end repealing the death penalty in New Hampshire will come down to whether enough elected officials support it. The best way to ensure they do is to make a one-to-one connection as a constituent, and to let them know how important this issue is to you. Please take the time to call, write, and email your elected officials to ask them to vote in favor of suspension or repeal.
SB 463-FN, “suspending the death penalty in New Hampshire,” is currently under consideration in the Senate, and its prime sponsors are Republican Senators Kevin Avard and Gary Daniels, and Democrat Senators Bette Laskey and Molly Kelley. House Reps also sponsoring include: Rep. Cushing, Rep Seidel, and Rep Ferreira.
Please keep your message short when you write or call. Ask your Senator or Rep if they are aware of the bill, tell them briefly why you support it, and ask them to consider supporting it. Finish by thanking them for their consideration. Avoid being gruff or argumentative.
Report back to us!
It helps our grassroots efforts immensely if we know when constituents reach out to their legislators — and, importantly, how those legislators respond. Please visit tinyurl.com/NH-Repeal-Legislator-Contacts to let us know who you wrote to and when, and what was said to you by your representative or senator.
How to Find Your Elected Officials
REPRESENTATIVES: Click here to find out who your state Representative is and their how to contact him or her.
SENATORS: Click here to find out who your state Senator is and how to contact him or her.
Download a tip sheet for writing your legislator (content ideas also good for writing Letters to the Editor.)
SAMPLE TALKING POINTS on SB 463:
The bill suspends death penalty until it can be ensured that it is not being imposed on innocent people. Over 150 people in the US have been released from death row because they were innocent. As long as the death penalty is an option, there is a real and unacceptable risk of executing an innocent person. The government should not be in the position of executing its citizens
12 states have executions on hold or moratoriums on the death penalty. Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma have temporarily halted executions. Arkansas, California, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana and North Carolina have a de facto moratorium on executions. Colorado, Oregon and Washington have formal moratoriums on executions. 36 states in total have either abolished the death penalty, have executions on hold or have not carried out an execution in at least 5 years.
- The Fiscal Note states this bill will decrease state expenditures. The Judicial Branch, Judicial Council and Department of Justice all state that death penalty cases are more expensive to prosecute. The legal costs for death penalty cases is 3 to 5 times more than the cost of incarceration for life. NH has spent over $5 million on the Addison case alone. Our tax money could be better spent on victim services and cold cases.
The death penalty causes more harm. Guards, doctors, nurses and and prison wardens who are forced to execute prisoners often suffer PTSD for years. Some even commit suicide.
The death penalty is unfair. All over the US, statistics show that if you are poor and from a minority community, you are much more likely to receive the death sentence for the same crime than if you are white and wealthy.
There is no conclusive proof that the death penalty deters violent crime or makes our communities safer. Life in prison without parole is adequate punishment for murderers and it preserves public safety.
The drawn-out court cases and appeals elevates the story of the killer for years, sometimes decades, while it denies the real victims the healing and closure they need.
- Killing another person for any reason is immoral. Why do we kill those who kill to show that killing is wrong?
For more in-depth treatment of the issues, visit our Issues page.