CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

April 10, 2014

It’s Time to Repeal the Death Penalty

It’s Time to Repeal the Death Penalty

New Hampshire is very close to repealing the death penalty. Think this is just a local issue? If we do repeal, Rome will light up the Coliseum in celebration. To make this possible, we need our state senators to vote for House Bill 1170.

We’ve been on this journey for a long time. In 2000, the House and Senate passed a bill repealing the death penalty, but Gov. Shaheen vetoed it. Since that time, we’ve witnessed six states in the past six years repeal the death penalty. We’ve also sentenced a man to death for murdering Manchester police officer Michael Briggs.

I used to favor capital punishment for the most heinous crimes. Over time, I came to believe that our outrage and desire for revenge often cloud our view toward justice. I know we can keep society safe by locking up the most dangerous criminals. I also know that keeping someone in prison for life costs a lot less than carrying out an execution. Yes, this seems counter intuitive. But we’ve spent $5 million dollars so far on the case of Officer Briggs’ murder. It costs $35,000 per year to keep a prisoner incarcerated in New Hampshire.

Officer Briggs’ partner, Michael Breckenridge, who was involved in the fatal gunfight, has changed his mind about the death penalty. He initially wanted the killer to be killed. Last month, Mr. Breckenridge spoken in favor of House Bill 1170.

Many of us have changed our positions on the death penalty and now believe that we ought to eliminate it. I’ve learned a lot from my father, and he’s gone from supporting the death penalty to opposing it. The house has passed the repeal bill, and Gov. Hassan has said she’ll sign it. I urge you to contact Sen. Prescott at 271-2111 or represcott@represcott.com and inform him that you know that New Hampshire can live without the death penalty.

Stephen Kaneb

South Hampton

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Obituaries
  • Alan J. Walker, 68

    Kingston, N.H. — Mr. Alan James Walker, 68, passed away peacefully at his home on July 8, 2014, after a long, brave battle with cancer.

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  • James Reese

    Raymond, NH — James Edwin Reese, 74, passed away on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, surrounded by his family and friends at his home in Raymond, N.H. He was the son of John and Ruth Reese, born on Oct. 29, 1939 in Edensburg, Pa. James graduated from Central Cambria High School in Pennsylvania before proudly serving in the U.S. Army as a food inspector. His military service was followed by 31 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a meat inspector. Mr. Reese was an avid outdoorsman and spent much of his time fishing, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. He became involved in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed passing on his vast knowledge of the wilderness to others. Throughout his retirement years he enjoyed woodworking, raising rabbits and working in his garden.

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  • Velma J. Reid

    South Hampton, NH — Velma J. Reid, 80, died peacefully on July 17, 2014 at Exeter Hospital, surrounded by family. She was born in Haverhill, Mass. on June 8, 1934, the daughter of the late George C.W. and Alta I. (Kimball) Haynes. A graduate of Haverhill High School, Velma worked at Western Electric until she had children. For years, she was a devoted “stay-at-home” mom who raised her three children in a loving, nurturing environment. She later worked various manufacturing jobs until her retirement. After retiring, she volunteered her time at various organizations and was very involved at the East Kingston Community United Methodist Church as a member of the women’s guild, assisting with the holiday fair, and helping out wherever she could. She had a passion for animals, and would donate money, food, and blankets to the NH SPCA. She loved to sew and made a personalized quilt for every member of her family. She was also a member of the “Ugly Quilts” group, which made blankets and sleeping bags for the homeless using recycled fabric. She is survived by her husband, Clyde Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; daughter, Pam Eaton of Danville, N.H.; son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Kim Reid of Raymond, N.H.; daughter, Shirley Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; two sisters, Gwen Stuart of Haverhill, and Norma Taplin of Dracut; four grandchildren, Cheryl and Marc Welch, and Kristen and Joshua Reid, and several nieces and nephews.

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  • Carleen A. Knowlton, 80

    Danville, NH — Carleen A. (Rhoadhouse) Knowlton, 80, of Danville and formerly of Hampstead, died on July 7, 2014, at her home.

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  • Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84

    Kingston, NH — Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84, a resident of Kingston since 2001, and former longtime resident of Grafton, Mass., died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on July 11, 2014, following a long illness.

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