Letter: Death penalty should be abolished

Published: 5/13/2019 9:57:17 PM
Death penalty should be abolished

To the editor:

For the second time in two years, Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed a bill to repeal the death penalty in New Hampshire. On May 23, the N.H. House will vote to override the governor’s veto. I will vote in favor of the override.

Capital punishment is outlawed in all other New England states and is very narrowly authorized for the crime of capital murder in New Hampshire. No one has been executed in this state since 1939 and there remains only one person on death row, convicted of the murder of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs in 2008.

There is no death chamber in New Hampshire. The Department of Corrections estimated in 2010 it would cost close to $2 million to build one and the legislature has refused to authorize funds on multiple occasions.

Three decades of FBI homicide data show that the death penalty has no measurable impact on public safety. States with the death penalty tend to have higher murder rates than states without. In fact, seven of the eight safest states for police officers either never had a death penalty at any time during the past 30 years, or recently abolished it.

In February, the N.H. House of Representatives held a public hearing where law enforcement officials, family members of homicide victims, and others testified in overwhelming support for the bill to overturn New Hampshire’s capital punishment law. I also received dozens of letters, emails, and phone calls from voters asking that I support the effort to repeal. In March, the House voted 279-88 in favor of abolishing the death penalty.

It is for these reasons that I will vote to override Gov. Sununu’s veto and abolish New Hampshire’s death penalty.

Jim Bosman


(Jim Bosman is a N.H. State Representative for Hillsborough District 38)



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