The New Hampshire Commission to Study the Death Penalty continues to hold public hearings around the state. Last night's was at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, and today's Foster's Daily Democrat has this story:
There was one common theme at Thursday's public hearing of the state Commission to Study the Death Penalty on the University of New Hampshire campus.
That theme was overwhelming support to abolish the death penalty.
Among the people who spoke against the death penalty were a murder victim's father and a former Florida Supreme Court Justice who oversaw numerous death penalty cases.
Robert Curley's son Jeffrey was killed in 1997 by two pedophiles that had targeted him. His son's body was found in South Berwick, Maine.
"Up until that time I never really gave the death penalty that much thought one way or the other," Curley told the 12-member panel at Thursday's hearing at Murkland Hall.
But his son's death enraged him and forced him to take a hard look at the death penalty, he said
"I really didn't know how I could feel any other way but to be in favor of the death penalty," he said.
However, as time passed Curley said he continued to take a close look at the death penalty and began to see flaws in the legal system that made the death penalty seem unfair.
The example he gave was the case of Manny Babbitt, a U.S. Marine Veteran of the Vietnam War who was convicted of the murder of a 78-year-old woman during a burglary in Sacramento, California. Babbitt suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and the murder wasn't premeditated.
Curley said he was surprised that someone like Babbitt could be executed, while Unabomber Ted Kaczynski could serve life in prison.
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