Two years ago on May 30, New Hampshire became the 21st state in the nation to abolish the death penalty (overriding Governor Sununu’s second veto attempt). The passage of the bill ended 22 years of efforts by the N.H. House and aligned New Hampshire, at last, with all the other New England states.

Shortly after the election of 2017, House Democrats filed yet another bill to repeal the death penalty. Dale Pregent (our former mayor, recently deceased) had a long-standing dedication to the repeal and was on the board of the N.H. Coalition for the Defeat of the Death Penalty. Dale then took it upon himself to rent space in the Keene Public Library to gather people of like mind to work to repeal the death penalty. We met for several months. At these meetings, folks were able to learn what could be done to help win passage of the bill. We connected with other people in New Hampshire working on the same issue. From then on, folks from Keene were present at demonstrations at the State House on every occasion during which the bill was discussed, either in the House or the Senate. Many of us testified before these bodies.

I am deeply appreciative, as are many others, of Dale’s initiative to bring people together. We were able to focus our individual indignation, to act with others to repeal the death penalty.