On October 6, the New Hampshire Supreme Court decided one of several cases arising out of the murder of a police officer in Manchester. Defendant, Michael Addison, who has been sentenced to death for that murder was hoping to attack the New Hampshire death penalty because of the fact that we have only had one death penalty verdict for shooting a police officer, and therefore, no way to compare whether or not it was fair and proportional under state law.
The New Hampshire Associations of Chiefs of Police, the New Hampshire Sheriff’s Association, the New Hampshire Police Association and the New Hampshire Troopers Association hired Chuck Douglas to file a brief favoring a restrictive review of the death penalty statutes rather than a broad construction. In their opinion, the Supreme Court rejected an attempt by the defendant to have a Special Master appointed to compare the evidence in the Addison case with all other murder cases in the United States as well as to compare all cases where the death penalty could have been imposed. Our firm was pleased to have helped out the New Hampshire law enforcement community in advocating for an opinion that was not the broad review as the death penalty opponents would like.