New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a bill Thursday that would have abolished the state’s death penalty, saying that the state has an obligation to support law enforcement and deliver justice for victims. The state has only one inmate on death row, a man who killed a police officer in 2006.
After declining considerably in recent years, support for the death penalty in the US increased this year, fueled by an uptick in political independents backing the practice, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
Dimitrios Pagourtzis was charged as an adult, but he can’t be sentenced to death because of a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In Texas, he can’t be sentenced to life without parole as the result of a 2013 law that banned the practice for minors.
Juan Castillo, 37, was put to death Wednesday evening for the 2003 robbery and murder of Tommy Garcia Jr. in San Antonio. The execution had been postponed three times since last May. It was the 11th execution in the U.S. this year.
In an election-year move, Gov. Bruce Rauner says capital punishment for mass killers and people who kill police officers is “very good policy.” The proposal faces long odds in the Democrat-controlled legislature.
Robert McCoy of Louisiana did not get the “assistance of counsel” guaranteed by the Constitution when his own lawyer told a jury that he shot his estranged
wife’s mother, stepfather, and son to death. The high court divided 6-3, with Justice Samuel Alito arguing that McCoy’s lawyer didn’t admit that he was legally guilty.