Freecast S03E06: Cake Wars!

TomThe Freecast

This week we discuss checkpoints (again!), eminent domain, ranked-choice elections, Exeter Police charge a man for criticizing the police chief, cake wars, and in the history segment, NH Death Penalty.



  • Freecoast Liberty Outreach Meetup
    • Dover – 1st Thursday 6/7
    • Exeter – 2nd Thursday 6/14
  • Freecoast Festival (
    • Sept 7th through the 9th in Portsmouth, NH
    • Tickets on sale now!
    • Large Dash Prize
  • Porcfest


Special Segment – Autocrat of the Week

  • Lincoln Soldati
  • Bill Shupe Exeter police chief


NH History

  • History of the Death Penalty in NH

    Famous capital cases

    Ruth Blay, executed in 1768, was the last woman executed in New Hampshire.  She was accused of allegedly killing her stillborn child – a crime that she was exonerated of shortly after her execution.  A play was made about her death and a popular song recognizing her innocence was sung locally in the Portsmouth area for many years.  

    Thomas Powers was executed in 1796 for rape.  He was the only African American man ever executed in New Hampshire and the only person ever executed in NH for a crime other than murder.

    Past milestones in abolition/reinstatement

    New Hampshire has executed 26 people in its history.  The last execution was in 1939.

    Howard Long was put to death in July of 1939.  The rope used to hang him is still retained on display in the Belknap County Sheriff’s office.

    A bill to abolish the death penalty was passed by the House and Senate in 2000.  The bills were vetoed by Governor Jeanne Shaheen.

    In 2004, as part of a national campaign to end the death penalty for juvenile offenders, a bill banning the execution of those convicted of killing while under the age of 18 passed the House and Senate.  It was vetoed by Governor Craig Benson. The next year the same bill was reintroduced and passed again. It was signed by Governor John Lynch.

    In 2009, an abolition bill passed the House and was then amended in the Senate to create a study commission on the death penalty. Governor Lynch signed that bill and the commission met for a year and issued a report in December 2010.

    In April 2018, the House and Senate again voted to abolish the death penalty. Governor Chris Sununu has said he will veto the bill.
  • New Hampshire “firsts”

    For many years, New Hampshire had the most restrictive death penalty in the country.  It applied only in cases of homicide or treason.

    In 1834, New Hampshire’s Governor Badger was one of the nation’s first to call for abolition of the death penalty as part of the gallows movement.
  • Other interesting facts

    New Hampshire still retains a narrow death penalty statute, which only applies in six specific circumstances.

    • 630:1 Capital Murder. –
         I. A person is guilty of capital murder if he knowingly causes the death of:
            (a) A law enforcement officer or a judicial officer acting in the line of duty or when the death is caused as a consequence of or in retaliation for such person’s actions in the line of duty;
            (b) Another before, after, while engaged in the commission of, or while attempting to commit kidnapping as that offense is defined in RSA 633:1;
            (c) Another by criminally soliciting a person to cause said death or after having been criminally solicited by another for his personal pecuniary gain;
            (d) Another after being sentenced to life imprisonment without parole pursuant to RSA 630:1-a, III;
            (e) Another before, after, while engaged in the commission of, or while attempting to commit aggravated felonious sexual assault as defined in RSA 632-A:2;
            (f) Another before, after, while engaged in the commission of, or while attempting to commit an offense punishable under RSA 318-B:26, I(a) or (b); or
            (g) Another, who is licensed or privileged to be within an occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied section thereof, before, after, or while in the commission of, or while attempting to commit, burglary as defined in RSA 635:1
  • New Hampshire does not currently have a death chamber. In 2010, the Department of Corrections estimated that building an execution chamber would cost about $1.7 million, but the legislature has not authorized funds to build it.



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