Church hails vote to ban capital punishment

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, of the Catholic Mobilising Network, said the decision was more evidence that the death penalty was falling out of favour in the US (CNS/Mark R Cristino, EPA)

New Hampshire has abolished the death penalty, after lawmakers garnered enough votes to override a veto from the State Governor. It is the 21st US state to ban capital punishment. Source: NCR Online.

Bishop Peter Libasci thanked lawmakers shortly after the vote in a statement issued on the New Hampshire diocese of Manchester’s website.

“As good citizens, we must not look upon this vote as a victory, for that would dishonour the grief of those whose lives have been tragically altered by the crimes committed against their loved ones and society in general,” Bishop Libasci said.

“Instead, we need to stand together as a citizenry and live by what we said when we spoke of human dignity, incarceration that rehabilitates, especially in cases of life without possibility of parole.

“Being part of a society that is committed to dealing with the ills that lead to the decomposition of personhood and the evil crime of murder is the work of a noble people who uphold the sacredness of human life.”

Though the New Hampshire Legislature had passed the bill repealing capital punishment in mid-April, Governor Chris Sununu in early May vetoed the bill, but legislators in the state garnered enough votes to override the veto.

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of Catholic Mobilising Network, a Washington-based organisation that works to end the use of the death penalty, welcomed the news.

“Today’s repeal is a major step toward building a culture that unconditionally protects the dignity of life and is yet more evidence that the death penalty is falling out of favour with the American public,” she said.

“Along with death penalty abolition comes the opportunity to create more restorative responses to incidents of harm,” she said in a statement following the announcement of the repeal yesterday. “Today, we especially hold in prayer all murder victims and their family members and ask for their continued healing.”


New Hampshire Catholic officials laud state’s death penalty ban (NCR Online)


New Hampshire abolishes death penalty after state senate overrides governor (The Guardian)

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