News Release

NACDL Applauds Abolition of the Death Penalty in New Hampshire

Washington, DC (May 30, 2019) – This morning, the New Hampshire legislature overrode Governor Sununu’s veto of its legislation repealing the death penalty, making New Hampshire the last state in New England, and the 21st state in the nation, to abolish or overturn the death penalty. Earlier this session, the New Hampshire House and Senate had both passed legislation to repeal the death penalty by veto-proof majorities. Gov. Sununu proceeded to veto the legislation anyway. Today, that veto was overridden.

“NACDL applauds the bipartisan courage and leadership of the New Hampshire legislature in ridding that state of the scourge of the death penalty,” said National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) President Drew Findling. “As we have said before, time and again, the death penalty, as much of America’s criminal justice system, has been demonstrated to be racist, discriminatory, ineffective, expensive, and a stain on this nation. The death penalty is absolutely terrible criminal justice policy, and provably so. And it is just plain wrong, as recognized by the basic human rights standards of the vast majority of nations around the world.”

New Hampshire's repeal is the latest in a growing nationwide trend toward abolition. It follows separate action in California, where Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order placing a moratorium on the death penalty. With today’s action in New Hampshire, 21 states and the District of Columbia have repealed or overturned the death penalty. And according to Amnesty International, 142 countries around the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Currently, one individual sits on death row in New Hampshire, Michael Addison. Today’s repeal does not apply retroactively to Mr. Addison’s case.

NACDL is an affiliate of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. And NACDL’s long-standing position calling for a moratorium on and abolition of the death penalty in the U.S. is recited in this board resolution.

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Ivan Dominguez, NACDL Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications, (202) 465-7662 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.