NH Council of Churches - Death Penalty Alert: DATE CHANGE & NEW Expansion Bill Hearing Set

Please note that the hearing on HB-147, the so-called "Kimberly Cates" bill in last week's alert, has been changed.

 The NEW date:


Public Hearing HB 147

Tuesday, February 1

10:00 AM

Representatives Hall in the Statehouse.

(House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee)



But just as critical is HB 162, which will also be heard Feb. 1, starting at 1 pm, Representatives Hall.


Background: HB 162 is even more expansive than the "Kimberly Cates" bill. HB 162 bill would make it a capital offense to "purposely" kill another. Under present law, purposely killing another is First Degree Murder, punishable by life without parole. On average, New Hampshire experiences about 25 homicides a year, half of which are charged as First Degree Murder. This bill has the potential to open the flood gates on capital murder prosecutions.


Please plan to attend these hearings and sign the sheet in opposition to these terrible bills.

If you can't make it to the Statehouse Feb. 1, please make it a point before the hearing to review the membership of the House Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee and contact members who represent you.


See below for more actions you can take on these bills and resources for further reflection, study and information.


Thanks to our friends at the NH Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty for this important information. For more info, see www.nodeathpenaltynh.org


Ways to take action:


 Attend the hearing

  • If you would like to speak, fill out a pink card and give to the committee chair or secretary and be prepared to wait to be called. If you submit written testimony, submit copies for all 21 committee members.
  • You may simply sign in on the bill without testifying. There is a sign-in sheet  in the hearing room, asking if you support or oppose the bill. Make sure you sign that you are opposed to it. Your signature matters.

Can't attend the hearing?

  • Contact the members of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee before the hearing next Tuesday. Of particular priority are those who represent you. Find contacts here.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper
  • Gov. Lynch was recently interviewed on WMUR, saying he would like to hear from NH residents on the death penalty. Contact the governor to support abolition and oppose expansion efforts, 271-2121 or via webform.


More resources on the Death Penalty:

From the NH Council of Churches Joint Statement Opposing the Death Penalty


Scripture cautions us: "Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all" (Romans 12:17).  From this Christian perspective we are led to conclude that the death penalty does not provide justice.  Instead, the death penalty perpetuates inhumane retribution, fosters feelings of revenge, and exacerbates a cycle of violence upon the perpetuators and victims without regard for that which is noble.  These responses dehumanize society and blind us to God's image in all; perpetrators and victims, rich and poor, young and old, Christian and non-Christian, no matter what color their skin may be.  The use of capital punishment does not restore a broken society; it perpetuates the violence and injustice instead of condemning such intolerable acts.