It is to the significant credit of the prosecutors in the capital murder case against Michael Addison that their arguments withstood numerous strong arguments from defense attorneys before the New Hampshire Supreme Court. It is to the significant credit of the lower court judge that the process was deemed fair.
But it is to the extreme detriment of New Hampshire as a whole that Addison is now one step closer to death. This week’s ruling should strengthen the resolve of those working to overturn the state’s death penalty statute, to keep New Hampshire government from ever again playing executioner in our name.
The Monitor also publishes an OpEd, "Violence in any form is never the answer," by Rev. Jonathan Hopkins. He's president of the New Hampshire Council of Churches.
On Nov. 24, Christ the King Sunday, there will be a preach-in supported by Bishop Peter Anthony Libasci of the Roman Catholic diocese, Episcopal Bishop Rob Hirschfeld, Bishop James Hazelwood (my bishop) of the New England Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Rev. Gary Schulte, conference ministry of the United Church of Christ.
On that day we will talk about the spiritual issues involved when addressing the death penalty – how the use of retaliatory violence only continues the cycle. The need for redemption, forgiveness, healing, compassion and reconciliation are all spiritual truths that should help us to come to conclusions about the death penalty. In 2014 we have a chance in New Hampshire to be the 19th state to abolish the death penalty. We have a chance to do away with an expensive, noneffective, nonspiritual way of fighting crime. We have a chance to send a real message that violence in any form is never the answer to the problems we face.
Foster's Daily Democrat publishes the editorial, "A weak case to end death penalty."
The decision last week by the N.H. Supreme Court to uphold the conviction of Michael Addison raises serious doubts about the efficacy of an effort being mounted in the Legislature to repeal the state’s death penalty.
In 2008 Addison was convicted of killing Manchester police officer Michael Briggs in 2006.
On Wednesday, the court unanimously turned back all 22 challenges raised by Addison’s defense team. Meanwhile, it is expected the next session of the Legislature will consider a bill to revoke the death penalty.
"Ruling on death row convict not the last word," is Lynne Tuohy's AP report, also via the Concord Monitor.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court’s ruling this week that upheld the conviction and sentence of the state’s only death row convict is far from the last word.
The court will next review the fairness of Michael Addison’s death sentence by comparing it with cases in other states where jurors had to reach life-or-death verdicts on convicted cop killers.
Defense attorney David Rothstein said Friday he doesn’t anticipate arguments to happen before 2015, and Senior Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said there is still much more work to do before the appeal wraps up.
Earlier coverage from New Hampshire begins at the link.