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New Hampshire Becomes the 21st State to Abolish Capital Punishment

The Granite State makes a huge step towards criminal justice reform.

New Hampshire became the 21st state in the country to officially abolish the death penalty or capital punishment on Wednesday, May 30 after the Democratic majority legislature in Concord overrides Republican Governor Chris Sununu’s veto. 18 years ago in 2000, the state legislature approved to repeal the practice, but former Democratic Governor Jeanne Shaheen, now a U.S. Senator up for reelection in 2020, vetoed it with no legislative override at that time.

New Hampshire now joins 20 other states that have abolished the death penalty through either state legislative or state judicial action. These states include all of the New England states, Illinois, New York, Alaska, the District of Columbia, and Hawaii. States where the governors have placed a moratorium either permanently or temporarily include California, Colorado, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. 29 states nationwide, the United States federal government and the U.S. Armed forces still use the death penalty.

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