HB351 (2017) Detail

Making a person who knowingly causes the death of a child guilty of capital murder.


HB 351-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2017 SESSION

17-0154

04/03

 

HOUSE BILL 351-FN

 

AN ACT making a person who knowingly causes the death of a child guilty of capital murder.

 

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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ANALYSIS

 

This bill amends the capital murder statute to include knowingly causing the death of a person who is less than 18 years of age.

 

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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

17-0154

04/03

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT making a person who knowingly causes the death of a child guilty of capital murder.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Capital Murder.  Amend RSA 630:1, I(f)-(g) to read as follows:

(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

2  New Subparagraph; Capital Murder; Death of a Person Less Than 18 Years of Age.  Amend RSA 630:1, I by inserting after subparagraph (g) the following new subparagraph:

(h)  Another who is less than 18 years of age.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2018.

 

LBAO

17-0154

1/4/17

 

HB 351-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT making a person who knowingly causes the death of a child guilty of capital murder.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [ X ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

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

$35,832

$35,832

FY 2016 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$573

$573

NH Association of Counties

 

 

County Prosecution Costs

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$85 to $110

$85 to $110

 

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, New Hampshire Association of Counties, and the Departments of Corrections and Justice

 

Links

HB351 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 7, 2017 House Hearing
Feb. 22, 2017 House Exec Session
March 8, 2017 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB351 Revision: 742 Date: Jan. 30, 2017, 9:58 a.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 5, 2017 Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 3 P. 9
Feb. 7, 2017 Public Hearing: 02/07/2017 02:00 PM LOB 204
Feb. 22, 2017 Executive Session: 02/22/2017 10:30 AM LOB 204
March 8, 2017 Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/08/2017 (Vote 17-3; RC)
March 8, 2017 Inexpedient to Legislate: MA DV 305-46 03/08/2017 HJ 9 P. 67