Attorneys for New Hampshire’s only death row inmate said Wednesday it will be months before they file a petition arguing he is being unlawfully imprisoned.
Michael Addison was sentenced to death for the 2006 killing of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs. While Addison has exhausted his direct appeals to the state Supreme Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court in January declined to review a petition to review his case, his defense attorneys plan to file a state habeas corpus petition later this year.
During a brief hearing Wednesday, attorney Michael Wiseman said he’ll file at least a partial petition by January. While there is no deadline for the state petition, Jan. 11, 2017, is the deadline to file a habeas corpus petition in federal court, so filing something at the state level before then would stop the clock and allow for a federal petition later if the state petition fails.
Wiseman recently was chosen by the New Hampshire Judicial Council to represent Addison. A former chief of the Capital Habeas Corpus Unit for the federal defender office in Pennsylvania, he has more than two decades of experience in representing post-conviction capital defendants.
Addison’s previous attorneys argued that the trial judge violated his rights by not allowing jurors to hear evidence that he was remorseful and concerned about Briggs after he was taken into custody. They also challenged the judge’s conduct in letting jurors hear about privileges a convict sentenced to life in prison without parole might get behind bars, including television and work opportunities.
Briggs was 15 minutes from the end of his shift when he and his partner confronted Addison in a dark alley on Oct. 16, 2006. Jurors found that Addison shot Briggs in the head at close range to avoid arrest for a string of violent crimes, including several armed robberies and a drive-by shooting.
Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Peter Fauver scheduled a hearing for late September to get an update from Addison’s attorneys.