Friday, November 7, 2008

No Death Sentence in NH

From yesterday's AP story:

Man spared in 1st NH death penalty case in 49 yrs

A millionnaire businessman has been spared the death penalty in what would have been New Hampshire's first execution since 1939.
The decision by a jury in Brentwood means an automatic sentence of life without parole for John Brooks. He was convicted of hiring three men to kidnap and kill a man he believed had stolen from him. Jack Reid was beaten to death with a sledgehammer in 2005.
Brooks — who is 56 — lives in Las Vegas.
New Hampshire last sentenced someone to die in 1959; its last execution was in 1939.

More coverage is in the Union Leader and The Boston Herald.

MVFHR Executive Director Renny Cushing comments on the decision:

"This decision is significant in many respects. Parts of this case were argued before the jury by New Hampshire's Attorney General, Kelly Ayotte, which in itself is unprecedented in recent memory -- to have the state's highest law enforcement arguing at a trial level. Then, this is the first time in 49 years that a New Hampshire jury has convicted someone charged with capital murder, and it's a great relief that the jury then refused to send that person to death row. It's further proof that our death penalty is not something New Hampshire wants or needs, and that the money spent on this prosecution would have been better spent meeting needs of victims of crime."

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