SB 593-FN - FINAL VERSION
SENATE BILL 593-FN
AN ACT relative to the penalty for capital murder.
SPONSORS: Sen. Avard, Dist 12; Sen. Daniels, Dist 11; Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2; Sen. French, Dist 7; Sen. Woodburn, Dist 1; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5; Sen. Kahn, Dist 10; Sen. Lasky, Dist 13; Rep. McGuire, Merr. 29; Rep. O'Leary, Hills. 13; Rep. Cushing, Rock. 21; Rep. Kotowski, Merr. 24; Rep. Souza, Hills. 43
This bill changes the penalty for capital murder to life imprisonment without the possibility for parole.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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 Eighteen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
III. A person convicted of a capital murder [may be punished by death] shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life without the possibility for parole.
VETOED June 21, 2018
SB 593-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
This bill would change the death penalty for capital murder from the death penalty to a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The Judicial Branch states this bill could reduce expenditures for the Branch because there would be no penalty phase trial which is required in a death penalty case and because life in prison cases are less hard-fought, usually resulting in shorter trials than in cases in which the death penalty is a possible outcome. The Branch indicates there have been only two death penalty cases prosecuted to conclusion in the past decade and, over the years, New Hampshire has seen so few capital murder indictments that potential savings would be unquantifiable and sporadic. Currently, no capital murder cases are pending trial.
The Judicial Council indicates there have been two capital cases handled by the indigent defense delivery system in the last 20 years. One case was handled by the Public Defender without the need for an additional appropriation because the defended pleaded guilty early in the case in order to avoid the death penalty. The second case has lasted nine years and the State has spent over $2.8 million in defense costs to date. The Council indicates if the death penalty is repealed, it would not face the extraordinary expenditures necessary to provide representation to an indigent defendant in a capital case.
The Department of Justice states, as a general matter, capital murder cases in which the death
penalty is sought are more expensive to investigate and prosecute than non-death penalty cases. The Department has prosecuted two death penalty cases; Stat e of N.H. vs Brooks and State of
N.H. vs Addison. The cost of the Brooks case was $1.3 million and, to date, the cost to prosecute the Addison case has been $2.5 million. The Addison case will continue for several more years resulting in additional costs. The Department indicates the cost to prosecute a first or second degree murder, which would be the equivalent of a non-death penalty capital murder case, is wide ranging. In the past three years, three homicide cases have gone through the trial and appellate process. The cost of those cases ranged from $403,333 to $549,995. In the same period 13 homicide cases have been resolved by plea agreement. The costs for those cases ranged from $16,350 to $174,298. The Department states State expenditures would decrease as a result the bill, but it is not possible to estimate the amount.
The Department of Corrections is not able to determine the fiscal impact of the bill because it has no information that could be used to predict the number of individuals that would be subject to this legislation. The average annual cost of incarcerating an individual in the general population was $36,960 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017 and the annual marginal cost of an additional prisoner in the general population is $4,555. The average cost to supervise an individual by the Department's Division of Field Services for the year ending June 30, 2017 was
The New Hampshire Association of Counties states this bill would have no fiscal impact on county revenues or expenditures.
Departments of Justice and Corrections, Judicial Branch, Judicial Council and New Hampshire Association of Counties
|March 12, 2018||Senate||Hearing|
|March 15, 2018||Senate||Floor Vote|
|April 4, 2018||House||Hearing|
|April 17, 2018||House||Exec Session|
|April 26, 2018||House||Floor Vote|
|Feb. 15, 2018||Introduced 02/15/2018 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 5|
|March 12, 2018||Hearing: 03/12/2018, Room 100, SH, 01:00 PM; SC 10A|
|March 15, 2018||Committee Report: Ought to Pass, 03/15/2018; SC 12A|
|March 15, 2018||Ought to Pass: RC 14Y-10N, MA; OT3rdg; 03/15/2018; SJ 8|
|March 15, 2018||Introduced 03/15/2018 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 8 P. 71|
|April 4, 2018||==ROOM CHANGE== Public Hearing: 04/04/2018 10:00 AM LOB 210-211|
|April 17, 2018||Executive Session: 04/17/2018 LOB 204|
|Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass (Vote 12-6; RC)|
|April 26, 2018||Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass for 04/26/2018 (Vote 12-6; RC) HC 16 P. 10|
|Minority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate|
|April 26, 2018||Ought to Pass: MA RC 223-116 04/26/2018|
|May 3, 2018||Enrolled 05/03/2018|
|May 3, 2018||Enrolled (In recess 05/03/2018); SJ 17|
|June 21, 2018||Vetoed by Governor 06/21/2018 SC 27|