Why Does New Hampshire Have the Death Penalty?

A jury in New Hampshire has just sentenced a white millionaire businessman named John Brooks to life without parole for the capital murder of Jack Reid in 2005. This was New Hampshire’s first death penalty trial in 49 years; New Hampshire has no one on death row and has not carried out an execution since 1939, and the refusal of this jury to vote for a sentence of death begs the question:  why does New Hampshire have the death penalty?

A second death penalty trial is also underway in New Hampshire, where African American Michael Addison is charged with killing Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.  If Addison is convicted, it will be interesting to see what the jury will decide … a failure to vote for death would add to the argument that the death penalty in New Hampshire has little point, while a vote for death might raise eyebrows, given that today a white millionaire was spared execution.

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8 thoughts on “Why Does New Hampshire Have the Death Penalty?

  1. Yes, this will be very interesting to see. Hopefully these cases will help them see the light!

  2. Yes, this will be very interesting to see. Hopefully these cases will help them see the light!

  3. A murder for hire case and a case about a cop who was killed in the line of duty are not comparable to each other, regardless of the race of anyone involved. The option of the death penalty for cop killers in NH is placed there so that the people who willingly put their lives on the line for us have an extra layer of protection. It has nothing to do with race. Addison is guilty as sin and has shown no remorse for his actions. I have every confidence that the jury will make an unprejudiced decion, and that does not mean sparing him because he is black.

  4. A murder for hire case and a case about a cop who was killed in the line of duty are not comparable to each other, regardless of the race of anyone involved. The option of the death penalty for cop killers in NH is placed there so that the people who willingly put their lives on the line for us have an extra layer of protection. It has nothing to do with race. Addison is guilty as sin and has shown no remorse for his actions. I have every confidence that the jury will make an unprejudiced decion, and that does not mean sparing him because he is black.

  5. NH law allows the death penalty for murdering a police officer, murder for hire and murder in the course of a kidnapping. While I feel the killing of Officer Briggs is a terrible offense, I do not think it, or any crime is worthy of the death penalty. Police officers have knowingly put themselves in dangerous situations. While their murders are reprehensible, I believe they are no more "worthy" of greater punishment than someone who kills a child or a family.

    As a society we need to recognize that the death penalty is unevenly used, unevenly meted out and unevenly given. In one state a person could kill 6 people and get life in prison, 1 mile away, across state lines, he could get life in prison. In NH where John Brooks had the resources to get himself excellent counsel he got life, Addison was poor and black and got death. Justice evenly applied? I don't think so. How many people on death row in this country were poor and used inexperienced counsel? Had Addison's lawyer defended many capital punishment cases before? I don't think you will see many people of means on death row in this country. While it may not be racism, it is certainly prejudicial.

  6. NH law allows the death penalty for murdering a police officer, murder for hire and murder in the course of a kidnapping. While I feel the killing of Officer Briggs is a terrible offense, I do not think it, or any crime is worthy of the death penalty. Police officers have knowingly put themselves in dangerous situations. While their murders are reprehensible, I believe they are no more “worthy” of greater punishment than someone who kills a child or a family.

    As a society we need to recognize that the death penalty is unevenly used, unevenly meted out and unevenly given. In one state a person could kill 6 people and get life in prison, 1 mile away, across state lines, he could get life in prison. In NH where John Brooks had the resources to get himself excellent counsel he got life, Addison was poor and black and got death. Justice evenly applied? I don’t think so. How many people on death row in this country were poor and used inexperienced counsel? Had Addison’s lawyer defended many capital punishment cases before? I don’t think you will see many people of means on death row in this country. While it may not be racism, it is certainly prejudicial.

  7. A murderer should die (black, white and polka dotted) . Not for the sake of punishment or revenge but because it is justice and taxpayers should not have to pay to feed him.

  8. A murderer should die (black, white and polka dotted) . Not for the sake of punishment or revenge but because it is justice and taxpayers should not have to pay to feed him.