Court to hear appeal in NH capital murder case
CONCORD, N.H.—Lawyers for a New Hampshire man sentenced to death for killing a police officer will have a day in November before the state Supreme Court to argue that his sentence and conviction should be overturned.
The attorneys for Michael Addison have raised 22 issues with everything from the constitutionality of New Hampshire's death penalty statute to the political ambitions of former attorney general and now-Sen. Kelly Ayotte in their appeal.
Addison was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2006 murder of Manchester police Officer Michael Briggs. The lawyers will argue their case on Nov. 14. Addison is the only death-row inmate in New Hampshire.
The court is allowing 3 1/2 hours for oral arguments and has structured them. Lawyers in the first hour will be able to address issue about the death penalty and New Hampshire's death sentence statute, including whether both violate the state Constitution and whether the trial judge made incorrect decisions in allowing certain factors to be weighed in considering the death sentence.
The second hour will allow procedural issues, such as the decision to try the case in Manchester, jury selection and the admission of Addison's criminal past.
The third hour will be devoted to sentencing arguments, including whether the trial judge erred in barring statements from the defense; allowing the state to admit evidence of general prison conditions; and allowing the state to call 18 witnesses to testify about Addison's prior convictions.
A final half-hour will allow arguments related to the influence of passion, prejudice or other factors.