In a ceremony in his capitol office, Gov. Sununu today stamped a veto on SB 593, a bill to repeal the death penalty. The governor was flanked by over a dozen police officers as well as murder victim family members, including Laura Briggs, the wife of slain Manchester officer Michael Briggs.
These are groups which Sununu had, since the introduction of the bill earlier this year, claimed he was supporting by his promise to oppose its passage. However, numerous death penalty repeal advocates — representing NH law enforcement and corrections veterans as well as murder victim family members — were refused personal meetings with Sununu despite ongoing requests over the past several months.
Members of the Coalition were actively barred entry from the ceremony. Two of our advocates, Rep. Richard O’Leary, former Deputy Chief with Manchester Police Department, and Laura Bonk, with our murder victim family member community, were present today. Both of these individuals spoke at our press conferences last month (see earlier posts).
The NH Press who were on hand at the ceremony today took note of our exclusion. WMUR and the Nashua Telegraph in particular took the time to speak with us.
Gov. Sununu’s statement that accompanied the veto this morning can be found here: Sununu SB593 Veto Statement.
- WMUR’s coverage can be seen here. (Video only here.)
- The Union Leader’s coverage is here.
- The Nashua Telegraph’s coverage is here.
- AP’s coverage is here.
We will need two more votes in the NH Senate, and also 2/3 of the House (of those present and voting) in order to override the governor’s veto. The legislature is expected to be called back into session to weigh in on gubernatorial vetoes sometime after the state primaries in September.
We will be holding some public events later this summer and early fall in anticipation of the override vote.
More details coming soon!