The Coalition is moving full steam ahead on repeal efforts. Here are the key dates to mark on your calendar:
- Tuesday February 19, 9 AM: Vigil in front of State House before hearing
- Tuesday February 19, 10 AM: Criminal Justice Hearing in Rep’s Hall at the State House, featuring Sr. Helen Prejean and death row exonerees Kirk Bloodsworth and Ray Krone
- Wednesday February 20, 10 AM: House Criminal Justice Committee Executive Session on HB 455, LOB 204
With the recent electoral changes, we are anticipating a strong likelihood of success in repealing the death penalty in New Hampshire this coming year.
The magic number for us is 283. We need 267 votes in the House we need to achieve a veto-proof majority, and add 16 for a supermajority in the Senate. Our early assessment is that we can get repeal done in 2019.
As optimistic as our outlook is right now, we will only succeed by running a strong campaign once again. We need to educate the nearly 150 new House Reps, many if not most of whom may not be fully informed on the capital punishment system in NH. We also need to work energetically with past supporters to strengthen their resolve against an anticipated full-court press by Gov. Sununu. And we need to continue to educate our fellow citizens so their duly elected representatives receive the message loud and clear that New Hampshire can live without the death penalty.
Here are some ways you can help:
1. Come to Concord on February 19
We are planning to give everyone who’d like to testify an opportunity to do so. Please prepare a one-minute testimony and help us fill Representatives Hall and demonstrate overwhelming support for abolishing the death penalty! Please come at 9AM for the vigil (& bring a sign) in front of the State House, and then into Rep’s Hall for the 10AM Hearing (no signs allowed – we can store signs at AFSC offices at 4 Park St). Don’t forget to sign in with your position on the bill, and indicate your intention to testify (or not). (You can signal your intention to attend this event on Facebook here.)
2. Write to newspapers
Now is the time to let your fellow New Hampshire citizens know where you stand on the death penalty, and why. A steady drumbeat of voices is more effective in the long run than a smattering of letters only around the time of voting in the legislature. Feel free to use our form on this page. Consider writing multiple letters (each uniquely penned) to various state newspapers.
3. Write to your legislators
Writing to your Reps right lets them know that their constituency values this issue, and it will help to educate them, especially the large group of new Reps in the House. You can use our online tool here, or if you want to write a letter or postcard, you can find your legislators addresses on the NH General Court Website: House Members | Senate Members.
4. Hold a House Party!
Feeling bullish on repeal and want to do something special about it to help us get over the finish line? Why then, you might consider holding a house party! This can be something as simple as inviting your friends and neighbors to a showing of our law enforcement documentary (only 25 minutes long) followed by a discussion. If you’d like our help in organizing it and/or would like to have someone from the Coalition attend to answer questions, feel free to contact us. This is a great way to educate folks on the death penalty. We’ve already heard that the documentary has helped open a lot of eyes to the intricacies and shortcomings of the death penalty system.
In addition to the information on our Issues page, here are some additional downloadable fact sheets that can help to guide your messaging:
- Basic Death Penalty Fact Sheet
- Death Row Exonerations
- John Grisham on Wrongful Convictions
- Challenging NH Exceptionalism
- Parable article on John Breckinridge
- Washington State Supreme Court Death Penalty Repeal Decision
- Direct link to short documentary video, NH Law Enforcement Veterans Confront the Death Penalty
- Video of author Jodi Picoult and death row exoneree Sabrina Butler speaking in Hanover at our campaign launch event in January (Jodi’s clip starts at 9:44. Sabrina’s starts at 30:00).