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New Hampshire lawmakers abolish the death penalty, failing the governor's veto



New Hampshire became the 21st state to abolish the death penalty Thursday after the state senate voted to override Republican government Chris Sununus veto on the abolition of the death penalty.

State Representative House voted 247-123 last week to override Sununu's veto, just as it required two-thirds threshold. On Thursday, 12 Democrats and four Republicans supported the death penalty, while six Republicans and two Democrats voted to keep it again and reached two-thirds mark with the smallest possible margin.

"It is up to us to stop this practice It is archaic, expensive, discriminatory and final," said the democratic state since Sen. Melanie Levesque.

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  Spectators see the debate on lifting the death penalty on state capital in Concord, NH (AP Photo / Charles Krupa)

Spectators see the debate on the lifting of death penalty on the state Capitol in Concord, NH (AP Photo / Charles Krupa)

New Hampshire has not executed anyone since 1939, and the state's death penalty has only been applied to seven scenarios: Killed by a law enforcement officer or judge, murder for hire, murder during rape, certain drug abuses or home invasion and murder of a person who already serve a life permit without parole.

There is currently a prisoner of death in New Hampshire: Michael Addison, pending execution for the 2006 killing of Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs. Thursday's vote does not apply retroactively, but supporters of the death force claimed that courts would interpret the case differently.

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"If you think you are passing this today, and Mr. Addison still has to stay on the death row, you're confused," Republican said. state Sen. Sharon Carson. "Mr. Addison's sentence will be converted to life in prison."

  Secretary of State Lou D & # 39; Allesandro, D-Manchester / Goffstown, addresses the Senate during debate on the abolition of the death penalty. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa)

Secretary of State Lou D & # 39; Allesandro, D-Manchester / Goffstown, addresses the Senate during debate on the abolition of the death penalty. (AP Photo / Charles Krupa)

Democratic State Sen. Lou D & # 39; Allesandro, representing the district where Briggs was killed, voted to hold the death penalty and invoke the dangers faced by law enforcement authorities every day.

"I can't leave these people," he said. "These people are there for us. They are there for us and I strongly believe that we should support them."

Kelly Ayotte, a former US senator and New Hampshire attorney general who prosecuted Addison for Briggs's murder, said she was disappointed with state lawmakers.

"Very disappointed and angry that the NH Senate [sic] could not maintain the governor's veto on the death penalty," she wrote on Twitter. "Politician Assassin Michael Addison is the happiest of their polls today."

Sununu, who vetoed the cancellation bill surrounded by officers at a community center named after Briggs, said on Thursday that he was incredibly disappointed in the vote.

"I have consistently dealt with law enforcement authorities, families of crime victims and justice lawyers as opposed to the abolition of the death penalty because it is the right thing to do," he said in a statement.

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But the Republican State Sen. Bob Giuda, a former FBI agent, said that while he greatly respects law enforcement, the death penalty is contrary to his anti-abortion principles. He called the performance a "horrible" process and urged his colleagues to "move our civilization" past it.

"I think we are better than that," he said. "I choose to move our state forward to remove the death penalty."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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