[JURIST] The New Hampshire House of Representatives [official website] voted 193-174 Wednesday to pass a bill [text] repealing the death penalty [JURIST news archive]. The proposed legislation would amend New Hampshire's criminal code by extending the definition of first-degree murder to encompass capital murder. The bill would take effect January 1, 2010, but Governor John Lynch (D) [official website] has said that he intends to veto the legislation [news release]. The bill will now come before the New Hampshire Senate [official website], where it is less likely to pass [Concord Monitor report], as it has no Senate co-sponsors.
Last week, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D) [official website] signed [JURIST report] a bill [text, PDF; HB 285 materials] repealing the death penalty, making New Mexico the second state to abolish the death penalty since the US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] reinstated it nationally in 1976. New Jersey was the first state to pass [JURIST report] such a law in 2007. Earlier this week, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported [text, PDF; JURIST report] that global executions rose in 2008. Last year, the US performed the smallest number of executions since 1995 with one state, Texas, accounting for half of those executions.