NH citizens do not believe NH’s death penalty is cruel and unusual – 524 citizens, 1102 responses

Oct 04, 2015

Last month, the public defender for NH’s only death row inmate filed an appeal that claims lethal injection is “cruel and unusual,” which prompted the Live Free or Die Alliance (LFDA) to gauge Facebook members’ opinions, posing the question, “Given the challenges of lethal injection in the U.S. today, do you think NH's death penalty is cruel and unusual?” 

A total of 88% of respondents answered directly or with a concurrence. Out of these responses, a 92% majority said NH’s death penalty is not cruel and unusual policy with 8% in dissent. Of the remaining respondents, 12% opted to discuss the subject in broader terms while less than 1% commented on unrelated issues. In sum, 524 citizens participated in the discussion with a total of 1102 responses. 

For those of the majority opinion, many noted the penalty fits the crime. One gentleman rhetorically stated, “Did the [people] have any human feelings when they committed their crime against the victim?” Others argued that lethal injection is far more humane than hanging and other forms of lethal punishments. Some commented that the use of the death penalty would serve as a strong deterrent for future crimes. “The whole death penalty is under used,” remarked one woman. “If those who did said crimes were actually put to death, then maybe others would think twice before doing said crimes.”

Many of those who felt NH’s death penalty is cruel and unusual, however, said other alternatives must be explored. “We really need to get past vengeance and retribution as a deterrent in our evolution as a society,” noted one gentleman. Some suggested life imprisonment as an alternative, while some expressed concern as to whether someone’s guilt can ever be known with complete certainty. “Unless you can say with 1,000% certainty that every single person put to death was truly guilty, you shouldn't support it,” added one woman. 

For respondents who did not provide a direct “yes” or “no” to the question, some debated which methods would be more human to carry out the death penalty. Other respondents, however, claimed the debate is more academic than anything else, as one gentleman added, “New Hampshire has executed 24 people in nearly 300 years and no one at all since 1939. Surely, even opponents of the death penalty can see that New Hampshire has exercised restraint and prudential judgement in applying it.”

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Do you think NH's death penalty is cruel and unusual? Leave a comment and have your say. 

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