New Hampshire

General Information

Death Penalty: Yes
Date of Reinstatement (following Furman v. Georgia): January 1, 1991
Location of Death Row/Executions: New Hampshire's one death row inmate is housed at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord. New Hampshire does not have a death chamber.

Capital: Concord
Population: 1,316,470
Governor: Chris Sununu
Legislative Information: Senate
House of Representatives

LATEST NEWS AND DEVELOPMENTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
CURRENT YEAR
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011

Death Sentences 1977-2015

DPIC's State Database for information on executions, death row population and other statistics in New Hampshire
History of the Death Penalty
Resources

Old Man of the Mountain


History of the Death Penalty

Famous capital cases

Ruth Blay, executed in 1768, was the last woman executed in New Hampshire.  She was accused of allegedly killing her stillborn child - a crime that she was exonerated of shortly after her execution.  A play was made about her death and a popular song recognizing her innocence was sung locally in the Portsmouth area for many years.  
 
Thomas Powers was executed in 1796 for rape.  He was the only African American man ever executed in New Hampshire and the only person ever executed in NH for a crime other than murder.
 
Past milestones in abolition/reinstatement
 
New Hampshire has executed 26 people in its history.  The last execution was in 1939.
 
Howard Long was put to death in July of 1939.  The rope used to hang him is still retained on display in the Belknap County Sheriff's office.
 
A bill to abolish the death penalty was passed by the House and Senate in 2000.  The bills were vetoed by Governor Jeanne Shaheen. 

In 2004, as part of a national campaign to end the death penalty for juvenile offenders, a bill banning the execution of those convicted of killing while under the age of 18 passed the House and Senate.  It was vetoed by Governor Craig Benson.  The next year the same bill was reintroduced and passed again.  It was signed by Governor John Lynch. 

In 2009, an abolition bill passed the House and was then amended in the Senate to create a study commission on the death penalty. Governor Lynch signed that bill and the commission met for a year and issued a report in December 2010.
 
New Hampshire "firsts"
 
For many years, New Hampshire had the most restrictive death penalty in the country.  It applied only in cases of homicide or treason. 

In 1834, New Hampshire's Governor Badger was one of the nation's first to call for abolition of the death penalty as part of the gallows movement.
 
Other interesting facts
 
New Hampshire still retains a narrow death penalty statute, which only applies in six specific circumstances. 

New Hampshire does not currently have a death chamber. There are tentative plans underway to build a death chamber at an estimated cost of $1.7 million.


Resources

New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Department of Corrections

Public Defender's office

Victims' services






 


 More State Pages | DPIC's State Database | Suggest Information for this State Page

Many thanks to the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty for their contributions to this page.