Opinion divided on death penalty in cases with victims under age 18 — 288 participants

Feb 09, 2017

The New Hampshire House is currently considering a bill, HB 351, that would allow the death penalty in murder cases involving a victim under age 18. Read more about this issue here. On February 9, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH authorize the death penalty for any murder case with a victim under age eighteen?”

“Should NH authorize the death penalty for any murder case with a victim under age eighteen?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Death Penalty for Victims Under 18 New Hampshire Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 288 participants gave 530 responses

A total of 91% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 9% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 288 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 530 responses or reactions to this question. Click here for details on our methodology.

[Note: Citizens Count NH also received additional comments from 45 individuals from outside New Hampshire.]

What Participants Said:

Yes: 50% of ‘yes or no’ respondents were in favor of authorizing the death penalty for murder cases involving victims under age 18.  

  • “Yes. You take a life, you pay with your life.”
  • “Children are innocent, and those vicious enough to kill them don’t deserve to live.”
  • “Should be death penalty for all victims, all ages. Why discriminate?”

No: 50% of ‘yes or no’ respondents were opposed to authorizing the death penalty for murder cases involving victims under age 18. 

  • “No. It is not alright for the government, or anyone acting on behalf of the government, to murder anyone under any circumstances.”
  • “There are far too many falsely accused and convicted people, so the death penalty risks murdering an innocent person.”
  • “Why would we want endless lawsuits keeping an inmate on death row? Life in prison and be done with it.”

Other: As noted above, 9% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:  

  • Indecision: “I struggle with the death penalty but sometimes when you hear what people do to kids, I wonder.”
  • Clarifying the impact: “What happens if abortion is actually outlawed? Would those who still got one be put to death?”
  • Relevance: “When was the last time a death sentence was carried out?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

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Related Bill

HB 351 (2017)
Bill Status: Killed in the House
Hearing date: Feb 07, 2017

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