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Jan 15, 2015 7:17 AM

NH Supreme Court to hear death penalty appeal for man who killed police officer

From staff and wire reports

CONCORD - The New Hampshire Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments about the fairness of a death sentence for a man who killed a police officer in 2006.

The arguments are scheduled to start Thursday at 9:30 a.m. It will be the first time the court will review whether the death sentence is fair compared to similar cases nationwide.

This marks the last phase of Michael Addison's direct appeal of his death sentence for the killing of Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.

Outside the court the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty plans to hold vigils. They will take place before and after the arguments are heard.

"NH can be proud that it has not put one of its own citizens to death for over 75 years and still we are the safest state in the country," said Barbara Keshen, a former homicide prosecutor and public defender who now serves as NHCADP's Board President. "We are dangerously close to shattering this legacy of restraint. We do not need to kill Michael Addison to honor the memory of Officer Briggs or keep our police safe."

Addison is the only person on death row in New Hampshire. The last execution in New Hampshire happened in 1939. The state also has no death penalty chamber.

The high court unanimously upheld Addison's convictions and death sentence in November 2013. That was the first time a death sentence had made it to the court in more than half a century.


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