May 2-6: Vigil of Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty

May 2-6, 2019, 7am-9am
Behind the State House, 107 N. Main Street, Concord, NH

UPDATE, FRIDAY, MAY 3: Governor Chris Sununu this morning vetoed HB455, the bill to repeal the death penalty. We will cease our daily prayer vigils upon this news. The NH Council of Churches thanks the Senator and Representatives who supported repeal in this session. We further look forward to cooperating as the veto override vote approaches later his month.


The Death Penalty repeal bill (HB455) has landed on Governor Sununu’s desk for his signature or his veto. You can read Senate President Donna Soucy’s press release on the bill here.

The NH Council of Churches is planning a daily candlelight vigil 7am to 9am at the State House, beginning when the repeal bill lands on Governor Sununu’s desk. The vigil will end when the Governor either signs the bill, vetoes the bill or allows it to become law without his action (five days excluding Sundays will elapse).

The vigil demonstrates our hope that New Hampshire will abolish the death penalty in 2019. We will keep the candle burning as long as our hope remains that Governor Sununu will either sign the bill or allow it to become law. The vigil will be held by the back door of the State House (North State Street, Park Street side) where the governor enters and exits at his parking space.

Even if he does veto the bill the vigil will express support for those legislators who voted for abolition and will vote on a measure to override the veto. It also will express the determination of our movement to abolish the death penalty, and will help us build toward our own future activities.

We do not need a permit to be on the city sidewalks, provided that we do not block anyone’s ability to use the sidewalk. We do not have permission to be on the walkway and steps form the city sidewalk to the State House. Please do not stand in this area.

Other Guidelines

Please hold a sign with a respectful message. We will have signs available for your use. If the signs wear out, more are at the AFSC office.

The State House and Legislative Office Building are open, 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and have bathrooms.

If you are asked questions by reporters, feel free to express your own views about the death penalty. Please keep in mind the purpose of the vigil, which is based on hope that death penalty supporters can change their minds.

Emergency number: Rev. Jason Wells, (603) 361-7151 (cell phone)