Today the NH House became the first legislative body in the country pass a crime victims equality act to prohibit discrimination against family members of murder victims who oppose the death penalty. By a 213-114 margin HB 370, “An act relative to the treatment of victims of crime”, was passed by a 213-114 margin. That bill, based upon model legislation recommended in the Dignity Denied Report, amends New Hampshire’s Crime Victims Bill of Rights by adding this new right to crime victims:
“The right to all federal and state constitutional rights guaranteed to all victims of crime on an equal basis, and notwithstanding the provisions of any laws on capital punishment, the right not to be discriminated against or have their rights as a victim denied, diminished, expanded, or enhanced on the basis of the victim’s support for, opposition to, or neutrality on the death penalty.”
The bill is a tribute to Lorilei Guilliry, Gus and Audrey Lamm, Rusty Yates, Felicia Floyd and Chris Kellet, SuZann Bozler, Ron Carlson, Johnny Carter, Jeannette Popp and others who were denied rights they were entitled to as crime victims because of their opposition to the death penalty.
Rep. Robert “Renny” Cushing
NH House of Representatives