Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It Would Just Replicate the Violence

Here's a follow-up to our previous post; this story is from the Seacoast online and is headlined "Renny Cushing speaks out against Addison death sentence":

Renny Cushing has been in the news a lot lately but not for his role as one of Hampton's five state representatives.

Cushing, whose father was murdered, has been speaking out against the recent death-penalty verdict handed down to Michael Addison, who was convicted last week of fatally shooting a Manchester police officer two years ago.

The death sentence is the first since 1959 in New Hampshire and the last person actually executed was a man in 1939.

"I just think New Hampshire has been able to live without the death penalty for over 50 years and it can continue to do so," Cushing said. "Most of the world has recognized the death penalty is a human rights violation and I just can't see New Hampshire emulating China."

Cushing is the founder of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights, which represents victims across the country who oppose capital punishment.

Cushing said he understands the emotional case for the death penalty. His father was shotgunned to death in the doorway of his Hampton home in 1988 by a neighbor who also was a town police officer. But rather than fight for capital punishment, Cushing stresses the need for mercy.

"Killing the man who killed my father wasn't going to do anything for me or my family," Cushing said. "It would just replicate the type of violence that brought pain to us to begin with."

Cushing hopes the Legislature will once again try to repeal the death penalty law.

In 2000, the Legislature passed a repeal bill, but then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen vetoed it. The House failed to override the veto by 34 votes.

Lawmakers rejected repeal attempts in 2001, 2006 and last year.

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