Sununu vetoes HB 455


Despite veto-proof majorities supporting death penalty repeal in the NH House and Senate, and despite a chorus of voices from the NH criminal justice and murder victim family member communities (see and the growing pro-repeal movement from conservatives around the country (see, for example,, Governor Sununu today vetoed HB 455 in a ceremony in Manchester.

NHCADP’s Barbara Keshen had this to say about today’s veto:

“This year, the New Hampshire Legislature has voted with strong bipartisan support to repeal the death sentence for capital murder and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. Maintaining the death penalty in our state, even if infrequently used, makes us complicit in the bias and corruption of the death penalty system nationwide, where one out of every 10 of those put on death row are later exonerated. 95% of the nearly 130 witnesses testifying before House and Senate committees this year spoke in favor of repealing the death penalty. The Legislature clearly heard this call, responding with overwhelming majorities to end this costly, inhumane, error-prone, and ultimately unnecessary punishment. We call on our elected representatives to once again stand on their principles and uphold the will of the Legislature and the people of New Hampshire, and to join the rest of the New England states and all other developed Western nations, in abolishing the death penalty in New Hampshire.”

The NH House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill on Thursday May 23rd, which will require a 2/3 majority of those present and voting in order to override the veto. If the override is successful in the House, the bill will move over to the Senate for a vote the same day.

Stay tuned for more details coming soon.

Tom and Bev Westheimer vigiling outside the State House today (photo by Arnie Alpert)



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