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Editorial: Repeal of death penalty is inevitable

The death penalty is often called a complex issue, but it’s not. It’s an emotional issue, and once again it is up to the state’s lawmakers to penetrate that emotion in search of real justice.

Today, the proposed repeal of the death penalty returns to the Senate, where its fate appears to be a foregone conclusion. New Hampshire, the fiercely independent state that it is, is not ready to join the rest of New England in abolishing capital punishment. But New Hampshire will end the death penalty, and it won’t be long now. History shows us that enlightenment is a kinetic force. Sometimes it doesn’t move fast enough, but still it moves.

What state senators must decide today, then, is which side of history they prefer: the forgotten pages of resistance to inevitable change or the celebrated chapters of social evolution.

That’s not to disparage senators who believe with all their heart that some criminals deserve to die for their crimes. Such minds can rarely be changed during the course of debate; a shift, if it is to occur, must happen during moments of deep reflection or as the result of new experiences that alter perspective.

To support the death penalty merely out of political cowardice is something altogether different. When fear that a future political opponent could paint you soft on crime results in the abandonment of principle, when pressure from the party or one of its leaders penetrates conscience, it is affirmation of the thoughtful constituent’s gravest concerns. Because, more than anything, voters deserve intelligent representatives who do what they believe is right and can articulate the decision-making process in such a way that contributes to the continuation of debate. In New Hampshire and the rest of America, that has always been the driving force of social progress.

And at the cusp of progress, this is where the debate now stands: Killing criminals is a base instinct masquerading as legitimized murder. It’s not justice, it’s revenge.

Supporters of the death penalty will often cite heinous crimes and ask, “How can you defend this monster’s right to live?” But to oppose the death penalty isn’t a refutation of the severity of the crime. It represents an understanding of the limitations of the American political and judicial systems, and of the individuals who collect evidence and prosecute crimes. It as an acknowledgement that there is no such thing as a jury of one’s peers, especially when opposition to the death penalty will get you dismissed from the jury in a capital murder case.

And to defend a practice that risks the life of even one innocent man is unconscionable.

The repeal of the death penalty is about arithmetically reducing suffering in the world, not merely the suffering of the criminal but of a nation that has seen too much of death at the hands of another. To argue that killing a killer eases suffering paints a very dark picture of human nature.

Legacy Comments24

And let us not forget how many on death row have been found innocent of the crime they were convicted of?

And let us not forget how many people that truly deserve to die for their terrible crimes are still free. Go OJ

-The point is not who gets the death penalty, it is who is even considered for it. There are hundreds if not thousands of murders committed in the US why are not all murderers sentenced to death. Because white defendants have better lawyers and are given plea bargains. I heard a man recently on a talk show discussing the death penalty saying his son who is white robbed a pizza delivery guy with a gun and got 10 years. Two days later a black guy also robbed a pizza guy, same circumstances, no priors and he got twenty years. The father realized the luck his son had in being white. Murder is murder, but black murder seems to be worse.

Epping Prom Cancelled because two idiots got caught at the Prom at 7pm with alcohol.. All the kids at the Prom were sent home. So they all paid, and the principal stated that kids who break the rules need to know how it affects the other students. So these two idiots ruined Prom night for all the others who actually followed the rules. The whole class should not be held accountable. They did nothing wrong. This is how our schools think now. Everybody gets a trophy of course, and the other side of that coin is this. Everybody gets punished for the few that break the rules. Here comes that word again, "Unbelievable"!

Not sure what this has to do with the death penalty, but I do know that bottles are passed around at proms and God forbid some of these students got killed in an accident the school would be to blame.

I could not post under the Prom Article. Site would not allow posts. Kid drink all the time at friends homes, in their cars and many places. We all tried it as teens. The point is that those that follow the rules should not be punished for 2 that do not. it is their Prom and it has been ruined. Not Fair in my book.

The ones to blame are the two who broke the rules not the school.. I am sure there was plenty of forewarning. Someone wrote on these pages earlier praising the students at the private Christian school for their politeness and yet when a public school tries to enforce discipline and rules adults object. and yet wonder why public schools cant be more like private schools.

So the death penalty is also connected to racism. Sure it is Bruce. NOT. I read an article the other day that stated that minorities are being abused because they breath more bad air than whites. Climate Change is also racist evidently. Has anybody noticed that we all seem to be using the word "unbelievable" on a daily basis when we read what is going on? Most of us cannot fathom the lack of common sense exposed by Progressives. How come there is not a pill for lack of common sense? Seems we need a drug for that desperately.

Laugher of the week from Rabbit: "...the death penalty is... connected to racism...NOT."

I know that in your world, everyone on the other side is saying to themselves that they hate people of different skin colors. But justice is blind. There are exponentially more African Americans in the prison system than other races. Ask yourself why that happens. Are they all innocent? Could it be cultural and things like killing each other over sneakers? What about progressives telling them that they are "owed" things? Or perhaps rap music and the violence that it embraces? 90% of the mothers being single parents or the 'gansta' mentality? Courts find you guilty and you serve time.......period. Not about race.

for a real laugh...look up how many no whites have been put to death in NH

Two points: First—given that it can’t be undone, does the death penalty violate a fundamental tenet underlying our judicial system--that it's better to let ten guilty men go free than to punish one innocent man? Second: the historical evidence is clear that in this country the death penalty has been used as an instrument of terror and subjugation of African-Americans from very early on, as this article from Slate explains: “There’s no separating capital punishment from its role, in part, as a tool of racial control. As Stuart Banner explores in his book 'The Death Penalty: An American History', one of the earliest American-made capital statutes—as opposed to ones borrowed from England—was passed in New York in the aftermath of a 1712 slave revolt. Likewise, in Southern colonies like Virginia and South Carolina (where enslaved blacks were close to half the population), legislatures imposed the death penalty for a long list of offenses. For blacks to do anything to interfere with their enslavement was to court death. ‘In 1740,’ writes Banner, ‘South Carolina imposed the death penalty on slaves and free blacks for burning or destroying any grain, commodities, or manufactured goods; on slaves for enticing other slaves to run away; and on slaves maiming or bruising whites.’ Wide use of the death penalty against blacks would continue through the 19th century and into the 20th, pushed by Southern whites who saw capital punishment as necessary to restrain a dangerous black population. ‘If the death penalty were to be removed from our statute-books,’ explained former Arkansas governor George Hays in 1927, ‘the tendency to commit deeds of violence would be heightened owing to this negro problem.’ "

Who cares if the person is purple? If a person kills my spouse, rapes and kills me and is found guilty..I want that jury to have the option of putting such a person to death. I dont care about the cost . I dont care about 100 years ago, I dont care about the guy whose veins blew up while being executed. There are some people in this world that life in prison is just too good. Thank you senate for voting this down

I dunno, GWTW. I hear you loud & clear, believe me I do. Yet I have a problem with a society who preaches, "thou shalt not kill", and then kills in the name of justice. If there were something more tortuous than life in prison, but still shy of death; a 'tweener', if you will, I'd be all for it. Don't laugh, that could be worked out. I also know if the victim were any of my loved ones, I'd want the perpetrator dead in a NY minute. But such an emotional response wouldn't make me right. It's a tough one.

I believe we preach "thou shall not murder"...think about that. If, as in the case in Mount Vernon, I came home to find my spouse and child being hacked to death with a machete and I shot them I guilty of murder? There is a difference.

The simple fact is a sociopath who has killed others that is legally executed cannot kill more victims and create more tragedy in the lives of the law-abiding. If they are alive and imprisoned there is always a chance they will be released on some technicality or liberal agenda like the administration just did with illegals. Society protecting itself with legal execution of criminals has become unbelievably long and expensive process. However, that is only because you have allowed the lawyers to hijack the system. You have allowed the lawyers to require endless appeals on the flimsiest of reasons. If your society is less safe it is because you the voters have not demanded your legislators make this a rational process. Next time you hear of a criminal who has created multiple victims keep that in mind and say to yourself could I have played a role in prevention by demanding our legislators do their job?

NH is run by women. Women who mostly happen to be liberal. If the death penalty is not revoked, it will never be used. There are no strong soles to carry it out, even in the name of a slain police officer...have no fear the era of soft leadership is here in NH. Governor Chucky doll, doesn't have the stones to pull the switch.

"strong soles"...thanks for the reminder, Laurie. I've got to get over to United Shoe Repair and pick up my order!

Not sure what planet you are from but last time I checked NH is being run by our duly elected officials. Give me traditional Yankee values any day over Free Stater vultures. Your kind should feel fortunate that ignorance is not a punishable offense.

We kill killers all the time...most without a trial. Ask Bin Laden. And you might be ignoring the fact that many voters vote for a person based on their cap punishment stance.

It should make us proud to "kill killers". It makes us killers too.

Clayton dead. No one is losing a bit of sleep over it. Not even you.

Pride has nothing to do with it. Society can not exist without laws and rules, in my opinion once you kill you forfeit every right you ever had or wished to have. It is nothing to take lightly but it is an option. I am as liberal as the next but I draw the line at murder especially murder of law enforcement and above all else children. With the later it is all but guaranteed that that murderer will come to an early and much deserved reward. I was trying to find a story on a man that killed a 4 month old boy and injured it's mother with a medieval battle axe. Google returned 6 stories - man kills baby with vodka, man kills baby over video game, man kills baby for not eating, man kills baby in microwave, man kills baby for crying and the man kills baby in stroller that I was looking for. Here are 6 animals that need to be put down for the betterment of society. Liberal yes - bleeding heart not.

If you are as liberal as the next but draw the line at murder especially murder of law enforcement and above all else children....suggest you pay close attention to how you vote.

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