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Mar 2, 2016 5:03 PM

Landrigan: NH House panel recommends to kill bill to expand death penalty to terrorists


CONCORD - Imposing a state death penalty for terrorists? Sounds like a political slam dunk in an election year that was proposed before a key House committee today.

"And our way of life is under attack," said State Rep. and vice chairman of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, David Welch. "If those attacks occur within the state I think we should have a way to deal with it."

Potential Republican congressional candidate, Jack Flanagan proposed the change, but Republican members of a key House panel are divided.

"I’m torn whether to vote for the death penalty or against the death penalty," admits Republican Rep. Dick Marston. "I am that construed and that constrained."

Opponents say that it would cost $20 million and take 25 years to implement, while it’s $30,000 a year to imprison terrorists.

"Do the math," Democratic Rep., Len DiSesa warned. "So from a financial standpoint it seems misguided to spend that kind of money."

Supporters say that misses the point.

"We should be looking at what is right, what is appropriate, not 'are we going to save a couple hundred thousand dollars here or there,'" Republican Rep., John Tholl said.

The last execution happened back in 1939, while Manchester cop killer Michael Addison is currently on death row.

Four years ago, lawmakers voted to add home invasion murderers to the list.

One state legislator whose dad was shot to death believes a state-run execution glorifies the doer and ignores the victim.

"What happens with the death penalty and one of the reasons I don’t like the death penalty in general is it makes rock stars out of killers and it elevates them to this you know kind of cult status," Republican Rep. Renny Cushing said.

House Speaker Shawn Jasper’s leadership team met privately with GOP members of the committee trying to persuade them.

But, too many of them broke ranks and an amended form of the bill failed with a 9-6 vote. The committee then voted, 11-4, to recommend the bill be killed.

The House will consider this recommendation later on this month.

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