Statement on the Repeal of the Death Penalty

CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE—The New Hampshire Council of Churches celebrates the good news of the repeal of the state’s death penalty statute. Today the state Senate voted 16-8 to overturn the Governor’s veto of the repeal bill (HB455), making New Hampshire the twenty-first state to repeal the death penalty.

“Today’s repeal of the death penalty is a celebration of faithfulness,” said Rev. Jason Wells, the Council’s Executive Director, “We celebrate the legislators who stayed faithful to their convictions in today’s vote. We celebrate the clergy and laity of our local churches who shared their faith in God as a reason to oppose the death penalty. We celebrate the individuals, legislators, churches and denominations who, in spite of many defeats over the years, remained faithful to see this life-affirming day finally arrive.”

All of our member denominations are unanimous in their opposition to the death penalty. They each cite the sacredness of human life, created in God’s image, and God’s power to redeem any and all people as Biblical reasons abolish the death penalty.

During this year’s campaign, the NH Council of Churches organized a “Death Penalty Repeal Sunday” on February 24, asking congregations to preach about their denominations’ teachings on the death penalty. The Council also organized clergy to testify on those teachings at public legislative hearings and invited people to participate in prayer vigils before each vote was taken.

For more information about the New Hampshire Council of Churches, contact Rev. Jason Wells at (603) 219-0889 or

Specific statements from member denominations and other faith-based resources on repeal are at