2014 House Criminal Justice Proceedings

Jan 16 Repeal Activists Holding Signs in front of LOB, Concord

The House Criminal Justice Committee held a hearing on January 16 and voted to recommend HB 1170 — the death penalty repeal bill — ought to pass by a margin of 14 to 3 on February 11 in executive session. Below are video, audiophotos, and news items from these proceedings.

Videos from the proceedings

Click to open video gallery

Audio from the proceedings

Click here to listen to the recording of the death penalty show on NHPR’s The Exchange from Thursday, January 23.

Photos from the January 16 Hearing

News Items about January 16 and February 11

House committee backs death penalty repeal by large margin: Concord Monitor, February 11, 2014

The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee endorsed a bill to repeal the death penalty in a 14-3 vote yesterday, with a handful of members who have previously opposed repeal changing their minds.

Among them was Majority Leader Steve Shurtleff, a Penacook Democrat and retired U.S. marshal, who served on a death penalty study commission created in 2009 and said he cast the deciding vote then against repeal.


House committee votes to repeal the death penalty: Union Leader, February 11. 2014

CONCORD – Repealing the death penalty in New Hampshire took another step forward today when the House Criminal Justice and Public Works Committee voted 14-3 to pass House Bill 1170.

The vote to approve the repeal is the first for the committee, which has never backed doing away with the death penalty before.


N.H. Debates Death Penalty Repeal Bill: Valley News, January 17, 2014

Religious leaders, police officers, attorneys and family members of homicide victims urged lawmakers yesterday to repeal New Hampshire’s death penalty law.

Dozens of speakers at a three-hour House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee hearing yesterday voiced support for a bill that would repeal the state’s death penalty law. They cited moral and religious beliefs and concerns about cost, fairness and the danger of executing an innocent individual.

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Death penalty repeal backers far outnumber foes at House panel hearing
Jan 16, 2014
By John DiStaso, Senior Political Reporter, Manchester Union Leader

CONCORD — Knowing a death penalty repeal finally has a reasonable chance of becoming New Hampshire law this year, backers on Thursday jammed a public hearing, trying to spark momentum for the bill’s first hurdle — passage by the House of Representatives.

Two former attorneys general, several clergy members, including the Bishop Peter Libasci of the Diocese of Manchester, a handful of law enforcement officers and about a dozen lawmakers testified that the death penalty is inhumane, not a deterrent to murder, is too expensive for taxpayers and may even be at odds with the state constitution.


Two Former N.H. AGs Back Death Penalty Repeal: NH Public Radio, January 16, 2014

Former Attorney Generals Phil McLaughlin and Greg Smith both told the House Criminal Justice Committee they’d prosecuted dozens of murders in their careers, and had they’ve come to believe the death penalty is wrong.

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NH death penalty opponents push repeal effort: Boston.com, January 16, 2014

At a Thursday hearing on ramped up efforts to abolish capital punishment, family and friends of murder victims fell down on opposite sides of a New Hampshire bill to repeal the death penalty.

The Legislature voted to repeal capital punishment in 2000, but then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen vetoed the bill.

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