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NHCLU on the New Hampshire Supreme Court Decision in the Michael Addison Case
CONCORD – Today the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld the capital murder conviction of Michael Addison, but concluded that his death sentence needed further review to determine whether it was excessive or disproportionate to the penalties imposed in similar cases.
Below is a statement from Devon Chaffee, Executive Director, of the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union:
“Today’s decision is only the beginning.  Years of litigation likely lie ahead before Michael Addison’s case is resolved.  The State has already spent millions of dollars pursing the death penalty in this case, though the defendant was willing to plead guilty for a prison sentence of life without parole.  The ultimate cost of the case is still unknown, and the NHCLU will monitor future proceedings addressing whether Mr. Addison’s death sentence is arbitrary relative to penalties imposed by juries in similar cases.
The death penalty is not a deterrent, is imposed in a discriminatory, arbitrary and irrational manner, and remains capable of convicting innocent people.  That is why a bi-partisan group of legislators has filed a bill to repeal the death penalty in New Hampshire in 2014.  The NHCLU joins other groups and individuals throughout the state in urging our legislators to support death penalty repeal.”
In 2009, the NHCLU filed an amicus brief in the Addison case on the proportionality issue that can be accessed here.