By Tim Balk
New Hampshire kicked its death penalty to the curb Thursday as legislators voted to override the veto of Chris Sununu, the state's Republican governor.
The state hasn't carried out an execution in eight decades, but the repeal bill carries symbolic weight for activists.
And though the legislation does not apply retroactively, some believe it could play a role in how the state's Supreme Court handles the case of Michael Addison, New Hampshire's one death-row inmate, who is waiting on the outcome of federal appeals after his conviction for the murder of a police officer in 2006, according to the Concord Monitor.
New Hampshire's state Senate voted 16-8, the minimum majority needed, to override Sununu's veto and become the 21st state to abolish capital punishment.
"The death penalty has been an issue every New Hampshire legislator has grappled with over many years," said state Senate President Donna Soucy, a Democrat, in a statement. "It was a privilege today to join my colleagues in voting to repeal capital punishment in the Granite State."
Proponents of the repeal bill said it will save the state money, and the text of the bill pointed to the fact that the state has spent $2.5 million on prosecuting the Addison case, according to NPR.
Sununu vetoed the bill May 3.
He said in tweet that he has "consistently stood with law enforcement, families of crime victims, and advocates for justice in opposing a repeal of the death penalty because it is the right thing to do. I am incredibly disappointed that the Senate chose to override my veto."
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