The New Hampshire House Wednesday afternoon moved a bill to expand the death penalty and another on pension reform on to the Governor. It also insisted on amending REGGI repeal provisions to a Senate shoreline protection.
All three votes were primarily along party lines. However, no less than 61 Republicans joined 92 Republicans in voting not to concur with the Senate amendment to the death penalty expansion (House Bill 220).
The final vote was 211-153, and Governor John Lynch, one of the few pro death Democrats you’ll find (Jeanne Shaheen was another), has indicated he will sign the bill.
Republicans were 203-61 (not your usual suspects) for the bill while Democrats were 8-92 against it. When the bill passed the House earlier, it went by in a flash, but death penalty opponents (including me) made a concerted effort to stop it this time around. Hanover Democrat David Pierce and Derry Republican Patricia Dowling joined me in speaking against the bill sponsored by Speaker William O’Brien in response to the grizzly Mt. Vernon murders two years ago.
I’m against the death penalty, period. I revealed a long kept secret, that when I was a mere child my father was murdered and, like Renny Cushing, that hasn’t brought me into the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” mentality. Society cannot send a message that killing is wrong by killing people in a premeditated and conspiratorial fashion (that’s what the death penalty is). No civilized nation in the world still uses it; innocent men have been put to death and will continue to be with this expansion; all indications are that blacks are much more likely to be put to death (especially if the victims are white).
Rep. Pierce noted that the bill lacks clarity since it fails to define what an enclosed structure is.
Shawn Jasper made an especially silly argument that while other states have fried (my word, not his) innocent men, New Hampshire has not. Of course, we haven’t—yet—Shawn—for one simple reason. Our death penalty law is so narrowly drawn that it’s seldom sought, but I did manage to work in the argument that of the two police officers recently slain, the black assailant was given the death penalty while the white assailant (Perry killing Officer Charron) was not.
I rest my case.
Jasper also used the Biblical “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” admonition but of course he neglected to mention that the death penalty was assessed in Biblical times for such frivolous things as eating the wrong type of food.
Poor, poor, pitiful Shawn. Next thing you know, he’ll accuse me of drinking during the lunch hour (I do NOT drink—remember that’s the tactic Jasper used last week when he helped oust one of the Quandts from a leadership position. If silliness were a motivating….whoops….I better stop there).
The pension reform compromise, attached to Senate Bill 3, was approved 250-112. Only two Democrats (John Gimas of Manchester and former Republican Sandy Keans from Rochester) voted for it. 13 Republicans, indeed mostly the usual suspects who are chummy with Big Labor, voted against it.
The 13 included both Quandts, both Perkins, Remick, Shackett, Buxton, Brownrigg, Gandia, McCarthy, former Manchester firefighter Proulx, Copeland and John Sytek, husband of former Republican Speaker Donna Sytek.
In pushing for the bill, some Republicans noted it does not go far enough but was the most the House could get from the Senate. Unlike with the right to work bill, the House is expected to have the votes to override any Lynch veto.
The REGGI-Shoreline Protection bill most likely was along party lines, but individual names were not recorded.