New Hampshire Repeals the Death Penalty. It's Not Good Enough.

Concord, NH New Hampshire State House

Yesterday, New Hampshire voted to abolish the death penalty.

I have... thoughts about that.

I'm generally a liberal. In almost every way that a person can be leftist, I am that.

But I support the death penalty.

Well, to clarify, I support capital punishment. I don't support any of the systemic issues that have lead to fatal errors in convictions that caused wrongful deaths along the Green Mile. No person could possibly support that. Our entire criminal justice system needs overhaul and it isn't going to start from the very end of the line.

Bypassing all of the necessary steps required to reform our police culture and criminal justice system - police corruption, antiquated pseudoscience like lie detectors, systemic racism - and skipping straight to abolishing the last ditch possible punishment for the worst crimes one human being can commit against another is the only time I'm going to use the phrase virtue signalling unironically.

There is a place in debate for the death penalty, but not until we reform all the things that LEAD to wrongful convictions. Skipping right to it is like trying to put out a house fire by splashing a bottle of water against the back door.

It does NOTHING to address the core systemic issues that make it an untenable capital solution.

Also, there are justifiable cases for capital punishment (like, entire shelves of true crimes books, full of real life monsters who really lived and really did absolutely unconscionable things, enough to fill SEVERAL shelves in fact) and no one is ever EVER going to convince me that people like John Wayne Gacy, Albert Fish, Richard Ramirez and HH Holmes weren't punished fairly in accordance to their crimes (all of those people they murdered/ate/tortured; in Fish's case, they were small children. He tortured them, mutilated, sexually abused them, ate them, and wrote detailed letters to their families describing what had done and what they tasted like).

I guess if NH has made the decision to abolish capital punishment that's superficially good, except when you consider how New Hampshire also chafes and pontificates over the prospect of meaningful police reform. Because of that, it just can't ring anything but hollow to me; it's a solution that does NOTHING but placate and divert attention from the problems in our legal and penal systems which created the problem to begin with.

Death penalty repeal bill passes NH House with veto-proof majority

The New Hampshire House voted Thursday to repeal the state's death penalty law with a margin that could survive a veto from the governor.

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