Fresh from signing official candidacy papers for New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, Gov. Rick Perry waded through a couple dozen anti-death penalty activists on his way to a reception across the street from the New Hampshire State House.
The Texas governor declined an invitation to speak with the group.
The NH Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty holds a vigil on the fourth Friday of every month. In that sense, the Coalition’s presence was a coincidence. But the group has recently started a project to raise concerns about the death penalty with presidential candidates, many of whom spend a considerable amount of time in the state.
According to Barbara Keshen, the Coalition’s chairperson, states spend ten times more on homicide cases in which execution is possible than they do if life imprisonment is the most severe punishment. That’s why it’s so hypocritical for candidates such as Perry, who claim they believe in fiscal responsibility and limited government, to be such avid death penalty supporters.
Anti-death penalty vigilers shared the sidewalk with others focused on saving Social Security. Both groups chatted with reporters, from as far away as Switzerland, who were covering the event.