Death Penalty Advocate Says Current Law Should Be Abolished

New Hampshire state representative Phil Greazzo, who has proposed a broad expansion of the death penalty, will also offer an alternative bill to abolish the death penalty entirely because it is so unfair.  Rep. Greazzo, a Republican, previously introduced legislation to expand the state's death penalty to include any intentional murder, maintaining the law should protect all people equally.  But he said he would rather have lawmakers do away with the punishment altogether than maintain the status quo.  The current law restricts the death penalty to certain murders, such as killing a law enforcement officer.  Greazzo pointed out the inconsistencies of the current statute saying, “If I hire someone to commit a murder for me, that would bring the death penalty.  If I did it myself, there's no death penalty. So the law is a little bit askew in fairness.”  In proposing both the expansion and repeal bills, Greazzo intended for lawmakers to consider a full range of possibilities for improving the current law.  He said, “Why not just have the argument once?  It's sort of a waste of time to have the conversation for years.”

(K. Langley, "Lawmaker zeroes in on death penalty," Concord Monitor, January 2, 2012).  See Arbitrariness, Recent Legislative Activity, and New Voices on the death penalty.  New Hampshire has not carried out an execution since 1939.  There is one person currently on death row.