We join the people of New Hampshire in mourning the loss of Renny Cushing, a longtime state representative and friend who devoted his life to advancing civil liberties, reforming our criminal justice system, and ending the death penalty in New Hampshire.
His lifetime of dedication and unrelenting will to make the lives of Granite Staters better started in his youth: in 1968, when he was just a junior in high school, his school alleged that his side burns violated the dress code and demanded he shave them. What ensued was a free speech court case challenging the school’s dress code, where he was represented by an ACLU of New Hampshire lawyer. He has been a stalwart civil liberties leader ever since.
He was involved in the movement to lower the voting age to 18 in New Hampshire, and eight years after the dress code lawsuit, in his twenties, Renny undertook another high-profile campaign as an activist with the Clamshell Alliance. He would later sit on the ACLU of New Hampshire’s Board of Directors for some time.
After becoming a state representative, he championed numerous bills aimed at reforming the criminal justice system, protecting civil rights, and most recently, the successful campaign to repeal the death penalty. The death penalty would likely have never been repealed without Renny’s shared life experience, highly regarded work in the State House, and decades-long work leading the repeal effort.
Renny, since his formative years in high school through today, never stopped fighting for the people of New Hampshire. We are forever grateful for his decades of work, which have had—and will continue to have—an immeasurable impact on the civil rights and liberties of Granite Staters. He will be greatly, greatly missed.