New Hampshire state Rep. Renny Cushing opposed the death penalty before his father was murdered more than 30 years ago. He opposed it still in 2011, when his brother-in-law was shot and killed in Tennessee.
And in early March, he took to the House floor to encourage his colleagues to support his bill to abolish capital punishment in his home state — the bipartisan fruit of about six years of work in the Legislature, the Democratic lawmaker told NBC News and one that comes 21 years since he sponsored his first piece of legislation aimed at repeal.
Repeal efforts such as Cushing’s are gathering steam in state legislatures across the country, mostly in places where the death penalty has been seldom issued in recent years, Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said, as lawmakers in both parties increasingly embrace change.
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