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NH Senate panel endorses death penalty repeal measure - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

NH Senate panel endorses death penalty repeal measure

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By LYNNE TUOHY
Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee is recommending passage of a bill to repeal the state's death penalty.

The 3-2 vote Thursday sets the stage of a potentially historic vote by the Senate to repeal the state's centuries-old death penalty.

The committee voted 2-2 Tuesday with one member absent. The tie vote would have sent a message to the Senate that it ought to be killed.

The committee reconsidered the issue Thursday, in deference to Democrat Donna Soucy of Manchester, who missed Tuesday's meeting due to a family medical issue.

The state is the closest to repealing the death penalty that it's been since 2000, when both houses of the Legislature approved a proposal, but then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen vetoed it.

The Senate is due to vote on repeal April 17.

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