For Immediate Release
May 30, 2019

For More Information
Katlyn Toelle
(202) 541-5290

Catholics Praise New Hampshire Death Penalty Repeal

Today New Hampshire becomes the 21st state to abolish capital punishment after the state legislature voted 16-8 to override a veto by Governor Chris Sununu on death penalty repeal bill HB 455. With the inclusion of the four states currently under governor-imposed execution bans, a total of 25 states in the union have distanced themselves in some formal capacity from the practice of capital punishment.

“Today’s repeal is a major step toward building a culture that unconditionally protects the dignity of life, and is yet more evidence that the death penalty is falling out of favor with the American public,” said Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, Executive Director of Catholic Mobilizing Network (CMN). CMN is the national Catholic organization working to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice.

Less than a year ago, the Catechism of the Catholic Church was revised to further clarify the Church’s stance on the death penalty, declaring it “inadmissible” in all cases. Since then, three states — New Hampshire, California, and Washington — have further removed themselves from the practice.

In New Hampshire, Catholics played key roles to advance HB 455. Most Rev. Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, submitted written testimony in support of the bill, where he labeled capital punishment “a faulty response” to crime and urged legislators to “repeal the death penalty and devote more resources to providing services to [families of murder victims] so we may offer a true path of support and healing.”

“Along with death penalty abolition comes the opportunity to create more restorative responses to incidents of harm,” said Vaillancourt Murphy. “Today we especially hold in prayer all murder victims and their family members, and ask for their continued healing.”


CMN is a national organization that mobilizes Catholics and all people of goodwill to value life over death, to end the death penalty, to transform the U.S. criminal justice system from punitive to restorative, and to build capacity in U.S. society to engage in restorative practices.

CMN works in close collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and lives the Spirit of Unity of its sponsor, the Congregation of St. Joseph.