It has repeatedly been shown that the death penalty does not deter crime in our communities, and it does not deter crime inside our prisons. Yet, New Hampshire remains the only state in New England where the death penalty is legal. 

Across the country, over 165 people have been wrongly convicted and exonerated from death row because of racial bias, prosecutorial misconduct, faulty evidence, unreliable eyewitness testimony, or poor legal defense. New Hampshire is not immune to any of these — and we are naive if we believe our criminal justice system is infallible. The only way to ensure that we never execute an innocent person is to repeal the death penalty.

Join us in ending this ineffective, discriminatory, costly, and archaic practice in our state. Call your State Senator and urge them to vote to override Governor Sununu's veto of SB 593 - to repeal the New Hampshire death penalty. 

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MESSAGING

  • Over 165 people have been exonerated from death row across the country. Our criminal justice system is not infallible. The only way to guarantee that we do not sentence to death and execute an innocent person is to repeal the death penalty.
  • The death penalty does not act as a deterrent. At its core, murder is a crime of passion. One does not consider the consequence of the death penalty while in the midst of a violent crime. Most murders also  occur under the influence of drugs or alcohol, further underscoring that the death penalty can have no deterrent effect.
  • The National Research Council reviewed more than three decades of research and found no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime. In fact, states without the death penalty actually have lower murder rates than those with the death penalty. The murder rate in states with the death penalty is 4.7, while the murder rate drops to 3.1 in states without it.
  • The death penalty is exorbitantly expensive, but more pressing is the human toll it takes on those charged with securing death row and carrying out executions. Many of those involved in executions have reported suffering PTSD-like symptoms, such as flashbacks, nightmares, and other forms of distress.
  • The death penalty is too often not based on the crime committed, but on the quality of defense, geography, and on the race of the defendant and victim. The death penalty is applied inconsistently and in a discriminatory manner. Justice applied unjustly is injustice.  
  • The national trend is in support of death penalty repeal. New Hampshire is the only remaining state in New England that has not repealed this discriminatory and archaic practice.
  • New Hampshire has not executed someone since 1939. It is time to say in law what our state has made clear in practice.
  • This bill would only apply to individuals convicted after January 2019.

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