HB 351-FN - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 351-FN
SPONSORS: Rep. Horn, Merr. 2; Rep. Spillane, Rock. 2; Rep. Notter, Hills. 21; Rep. Gauthier, Sull. 3; Rep. R. Smith, Merr. 3
COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
(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[.]; or
(h) Another who is less than 18 years of age.
HB 351-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ X ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
This bill establishes a person who knowingly causes the death of a child guilty of capital murder which may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems. There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.
The Judicial Branch notes capital murder cases include more hearings, the addition of a penalty phase added to the trial, the need for additional security at trial, and the prospect of multiple appeals. Since the proposed bill could result in multiple capital murder cases annually, the fiscal impact to the judicial branch would be significant yet indeterminable.
The Judicial Council states RSA 604-A:2,I permits the court to provide two lawyers to represent an indigent defendant facing a capital prosecution and it is common for the courts to do so. Neither the current contract with the Public Defender or the Judicial Council’s operating budget include funds for criminal defense for future capital prosecution. The Council would request additional funds from the Fiscal Committee and the Governor and Executive Council under RSA 604-A:1-b for any additional capital murder cases. In addition, there would be significant ancillary costs for expert analysis and consultation necessary for the defense. These costs are not predictable and can run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Council’s experience in paying for death penalty representation is limited to two cases in the past twenty years. The case of the State v. Gordon Perry ended fairly early in the proceedings with the defendant pleading guilty and receiving a life without parole sentence. No additional funds were requested by the Judicial Council. The case of the State v. Michael Addison has been ongoing since 2006 and to date the state has expended approximately $3 million for representation and non-counsel services. Lastly, the Council would be responsible for paying costs related to post-trial litigation.
The Department of Justice states in each of the years 2015 and 2016 there were two homicides of children under the age of 18, which under this bill, could have been prosecuted as capital murder. The Department of Justice is not able to project how many additional capital murder cases the state would prosecute or what the cost may be, but states a capital murder case in which the prosecution has opted to request the death penalty is far more expensive to prosecute than a non-death penalty case. The Department has recently prosecuted two capital murder cases: one that resulted in a non-death penalty sentence at a cost of $1.3 million; and one which is ongoing and for which the State has spent $2.6 million.
The Department of Corrections and NH Association of Counties have provided the following potential fiscal impacts:
Department of Corrections
FY 2016 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual
FY 2016 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation
NH Association of Counties
County Prosecution Costs
Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual
$85 to $110
$85 to $110
Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, New Hampshire Association of Counties, and the Departments of Corrections and Justice
|Feb. 7, 2017||House||Hearing|
|Feb. 22, 2017||House||Exec Session|
|March 8, 2017||House||Floor Vote|
March 8, 2017: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA DV 305-46 03/08/2017 HJ 9 P. 67
March 8, 2017: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/08/2017 (Vote 17-3; RC)
Feb. 22, 2017: Executive Session: 02/22/2017 10:30 AM LOB 204
Feb. 7, 2017: Public Hearing: 02/07/2017 02:00 PM LOB 204
Jan. 5, 2017: Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 3 P. 9