Today New Hampshire set itself on the course to become the seventh state to do away with the death penalty in seven years when the House of Representatives voted 225-104 in favor of House Bill 1170. “The vote today in New Hampshire shows just how far we have come nationally in our thinking about the death penalty,” stated Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
“It is significant that the bill’s chief sponsor, Representative Renny Cushing, is leading the effort. Rep. Cushing, himself a survivor of homicide, has dedicated his life’s work inside and outside of the legislature to building a criminal justice system that is both responsive to the needs of victims and holds people appropriately accountable for the harm that they cause,” said Rust-Tierney. The broad-based, diverse, bi-partisan grassroots coalition base of support for this measure is more evidence of how far the question of ending capital punishment has come.
This is the third time the New Hampshire legislature has voted to end capital punishment in the past 13 years. A repeal measure passed in both chambers in 2000 and again in 2009 in the House.
“We are optimistic that the 3rd time will be the charm in New Hampshire. They have the right ingredients: a thorough and in depth look at the issue over a number of years; strong, principled leadership within the legislature and a broad base of support among the citizens,” Rust-Tierney ended.
The national momentum continues to point in the direction away from the death penalty. Public opinion polling indicates that over 90 million Americans believe the death penalty is wrong.
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is the nation's oldest organization dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty. We are comprised of an extensive network representing more than 100 state and national affiliate organizations and thousands of advocates and volunteers. Our members include families of murder victims, people across the political and religious spectrum, past and present law enforcement officials and prominent civil and racial justice organizations working to end the death penalty forever.
In January 2014, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty launched the 90 Million Strong Campaign to partner with and mobilize a growing number of national organizations and individuals who believe that it is time for the death penalty to end.