And NH Puts the Death Penalty on Death Row

This coincidence is from today’s news. It seems New Hampshire is of the same mind as New Mexico. I hope the measure passes.

“Three months after a man was sentenced to die for killing a police officer, New Hampshire’s first death sentence in 50 years, the House voted to repeal capital punishment. The chamber voted 193 to 174 to send the bill to the Senate. Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, said he would veto the bill if it reached his desk. The inmate, Michael Addison … was sentenced to death for killing a Manchester officer in 2006. Death penalty opponents questioned the fairness of capital punishment, especially after a millionaire, John Brooks, received a life sentence in November for hiring others to kill a repairman. Mr. Addison could not afford private counsel.”

The truly remarkable part of this story is that the proposed law was presumed to be DOA until one of the reps stood up and told the story of his father, who was gunned down in his own home for no apparent reason. The rep went on to say that despite this he would not support the death penalty for his father’s killer, because if he did so he would not only have lost his father but his principles.

Chances of this passing the state senate are slim, nevertheless it is a step in the right direction.

And remember what the bishops stated in 2005:

"In the week before Easter, as Christians reflect on the execution of Jesus, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is launching a campaign to end the use of the death penalty in the United States. Although the campaign reflects the consistent teaching of Pope John Paul II, it marks something of a shift in priorities for the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops, who last issued a major statement against capital punishment 25 years ago.

During the 2004 presidential race, the bishops spoke forcefully against same-sex marriage and abortion, warning in a declaration on “Catholics in Political Life” that politicians who support abortion rights are “cooperating in evil.” They gave far less prominence to the church’s position that the death penalty is rarely, if ever, justified in modern societies.

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington, who played a leading role in developing the new campaign, said the bishops sense that public opinion is shifting against capital punishment, partly because genetic testing has proved that scores of death-row inmates were wrongfully convicted. “I think the DNA evidence has really shaken up people,” McCarrick said. “I think this is a moment, a very special moment, where we can talk about this and people are ready to listen.”

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