NH Senate Passes Repeal 14-10!

Today, the NH Senate Passed Death Penalty Repeal by a Vote of 14-10

The NH Senate today deliberated nearly one hour before passing Senate Bill 593 with a bipartisan vote of 14-10. Watch the full debate and vote on YouTube here.

Those voting in favor were: Sen. Avard, Dist 12; Sen. Daniels, Dist 11; Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2; Sen. French, Dist 7; Sen. Woodburn, Dist 1; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5; Sen. Kahn, Dist 10; Sen. Lasky, Dist 13; and Sen. Reagan, Dist 17.

Strong and often emotional arguments were heard on both sides. Repeal proponents centered on the argument that the rest of New England and the civilized Western world has abolished this practice, which does not in the end do the one thing victims most want: to have their loved ones back. The debate underscored the many legal, moral, and economic reasons for repealing the death penalty.

Senator Lou D’Allesandro, speaking in opposition to the bill, asked members of the Senate to remember the suffering family of slain Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs.

Senator Ruth Ward, speaking for the bill, shared her story of losing her father when she was a child, and told how her mother promoted an attitude of forgiveness, leaving the ultimate fate of the perpetrator “in God’s hands.”

The last time the NH Senate passed a death penalty repeal bill was in 2000, which was later passed by the Republican-controlled House, only to fall to then-Governor Shaheen’s veto.

Thanks to everyone who wrote their Senators in recently days. We encourage you now go ahead and write another note of thanks for their courageous vote today.

The bill will move to the NH House for initial consideration by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee later this month or early next, before coming before the full House for a vote, most likely sometime in April or early May.

Stay tuned.

Other news coverage:

Here is the coverage from the Union Leader and the Concord Monitor.

Here is an op-ed by Margaret Hawthorn.

Here is WMUR’s coverage (video and article).

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