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Letter: Not wishing death on grandfather’s killer


Thursday, May 17, 2018

I am writing to urge Gov. Chris Sununu to sign Senate Bill 593 and to abolish the death penalty in New Hampshire. I am a lawyer, and I have personally represented people accused of murder. That said, I do not write as a lawyer; I write as a loving grandson whose grandfather was murdered.

My grandparents lived in Florida in the winter and in Keene during the summer so they could be close to my brother and me. We spent lots of time with them during long summer days while our parents were working.

My grandfather’s birthday was in the summer, and it was on the day after my own birthday. This meant that we always got to have a shared birthday party. I loved it because relatives would come from all over to celebrate with us.

One year I had to write an essay in school about a hero of mine. I chose my grandfather. I loved and respected him.

When I was in college my grandfather was murdered. I can still remember getting the call and having my father tell me news that I could not believe was true. I felt a loss that is hard to describe.

I have never wished death on my grandfather’s killer. It would not help me in any way. It would not diminish the loss of my hero. In fact, killing someone in my grandfather’s name would only serve to tarnish it.

Gov. Sununu, please have the courage to do what is right.

JONATHAN COHEN

Contoocook