CONCORD, N.H. – Today, it became official: New Hampshire is a state without the death penalty. This morning’s 16-8 vote by the N.H. Senate overrode Gov. Sununu’s veto and repealed capital punishment in the Granite State. Now, New England has become the first full U.S. region to abolish capital punishment.
Devon Chaffee, executive director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, said, “The death penalty is not right, it is not fair, it is not a deterrent, and now, it is not an option going forward in New Hampshire. Today is a tremendous victory for all who have worked for decades to repeal the death penalty. For years, the ACLU of New Hampshire has been involved in the effort to abolish capital punishment, and so we recognize this transformative day as one built on years of advocacy and grassroots mobilization. We celebrate with those who returned to the state house year after year to reach this day.”
Jeanne Hruska, political director at the ACLU of New Hampshire, said, “Today, state lawmakers made it clear: New Hampshire can live without the death penalty. Throughout this legislative session, an overwhelming majority of legislators put party and politics aside and voted their conscience, not once—but twice, to abolish the death penalty. We are thankful to each and every Senator and Representative who withstood immense political pressure and came together for this historic success.”
Cassandra Stubbs, director of the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, said, “Today’s victory is a tremendous milestone for the national movement to end the death penalty in this country. This is the first time in the modern death penalty era in which an entire region of the country has rejected this racially biased, unfairly applied, error-prone punishment. New Hampshire’s vote reflects what we’re seeing around the country — bi-partisan legislators, and a wide range of organizations and individuals are coming together to repeal the death penalty, acknowledging that it has no place in modern democracy.”