Bill Details - HB732 (2019)

HB 732-FN - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2019 SESSION

19-0342

04/03

 

HOUSE BILL 732-FN

 

AN ACT relative to over-sentencing and racial profiling.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Abramson, Rock. 20

 

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Prohibits a law enforcement agency from engaging in racial profiling.

 

II.  Requires the commissioner of the department of corrections to collect data on racial and ethnic disparity in criminal sentencing and submit an annual report with recommendations for minimizing or eliminating such disparity from the criminal justice system.

 

III.  Authorizes the sentencing court to reduce the sentence of a defendant whose sentence was disproportionate because of racial or ethnic bias.

 

IV.  Requires the commissioner of the department of education to submit a report on racial disparity or segregation in the public schools.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19-0342

04/03

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT relative to over-sentencing and racial profiling.

 

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

 

1  Statement of Intent.  The general court finds the racial profiling and oversentencing by race, especially of men and women of African, Latino, or American Indian decent, is a nationwide problem.  The general court therefore intends to prevent issue of racial profiling in New Hampshire, and to ensure that inmates who may have been given longer sentences in part due to their actual or perceived race have their sentences reduced to the state average for the same crime and circumstances.

2  New Chapter; Racial Profiling.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 106-L the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 106-M

RACIAL PROFILING

106-M:1  Definition.  For the purposes of this chapter, “racial profiling” means the practice of a law enforcement agent or agency relying, to any degree, on actual or perceived race, ethnicity, or national origin, in selecting which individual to subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory activities or in deciding upon the scope and substance of law enforcement activity following the initial investigatory procedure, except when there is trustworthy information, relevant to the locality and timeframe, that links a person with a particular characteristic described in this section to an identified criminal incident or scheme.

106-M:2  Prohibited Acts.

I.  No state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency or officer, or other state agency with the authority to make arrests, shall engage in racial profiling.  The detention of an individual based on any noncriminal factor or combination of noncriminal factors is inconsistent with this policy.

II.  The actual or perceived race, ethnicity, or national origin of an individual shall not be the sole factor in determining the existence of probable cause to place in custody or arrest an individual or in constituting a reasonable and articulable suspicion that an offense has been or is being committed so as to justify the detention of an individual or the investigatory stop of a motor vehicle.

106-M:3  Attorney General Review.  The attorney general shall, within available resources, review the prevalence and disposition of traffic stops and complaints reported pursuant to this section.  Not later than July 1, 2021, and annually thereafter, the office shall report the results of any such review, including any recommendations, to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the governor, and the state library.

3  New Subdivision; Racial Disparity in Sentencing.  Amend RSA 651 by inserting after section 70 the following new subdivision:

Racial Disparity in Sentencing

651:71  Prohibition on Racial Disparity in Sentencing.  

I.  Sentences imposed shall be proportional to the nature of the crime committed.  Neither the defendant's actual nor perceived race, ethnicity, or national origin shall be a factor considered in determining a sentence in a criminal case.  

II.  The commissioner of the department of corrections shall collect data on the race, ethnicity, or national origin of defendants sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year or more who are currently incarcerated and shall produce an annual report beginning November 1, 2019 which shall be submitted to the attorney general and the supreme court.  The report shall:

(a)  Develop and recommend policies for reducing the number of nonwhite persons comprising the pretrial and sentenced population of correctional facilities and reducing the number of nonwhite persons who are victimized by crime.

(b)  Examine the impact of statutory provisions and current administrative policies on racial and ethnic disparity in the criminal justice system and recommend legislation to reduce such disparity.

(c)  Research and gather relevant statistical data and other information concerning the impact of disparate treatment of nonwhite persons in the criminal justice system.

(d)  Develop and recommend a training program for personnel in state agencies involved in the criminal justice system concerning the impact of disparate treatment of nonwhite persons.

(e)  Research and examine the issue of the use of guidelines by courts when sentencing criminal defendants and recommend whether the general court should create a sentencing guidelines commission to establish sentencing guidelines for state courts.

(f) Examine the implementation of policies and procedures that are consistent with policies of the American Bar Association intended to ensure that death penalty cases are administered fairly and impartially in accordance with due process, to minimize the risk that innocent persons may be executed and to eliminate discrimination in capital sentencing on the basis of the race of either the victim or the defendant.

(g)  Annually prepare and distribute a comprehensive plan to reduce racial and ethnic disparity in the criminal justice system without affecting public safety.

(h)  Develop and recommend policies and interventions to reduce the number of nonwhite persons in the juvenile justice system.

III.  If the supreme court or department of corrections finds that racial or ethnic disparity in the sentencing of defendants of any race exists, it shall notify the attorney general and sentencing court of the name of any defendant who may be eligible for a proportionate reduction in sentence.  Either the department of corrections or the sentencing court shall order a proportionate reduction in the defendant's sentence and shall notify the defendant, defense counsel, the state's attorney, and the commissioner of the department of corrections of the defendant's revised sentence.

IV.  In this section, "nonwhite person" means persons of African, Latino, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Arab, Alaska native, or Asian descent.

4  Department of Education; Report on Racial Segregation or Disparity in the Public Schools.  The commissioner of the department of education shall study whether or not there exists effective racial segregation or disparity in opportunity by race or ethnicity in the public schools or universities of this state and shall submit a report to the governor and general court no later than November 1, 2020 including findings and recommendations for legislation or other corrective action.

5  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBAO

19-0342

Revised 2/4/19

 

HB 732-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to over-sentencing and racial profiling.

 

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

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Potential Increase of $545,000

Potential Increase of $521,000

Potential Increase of $506,000

Potential  Increase of $531,000

Funding Source:

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Judicial Branch was orginally contacted on January 5, 2019 and again with followup on January 15, 2019 for a fiscal note worksheet, which they have not provided as of February 4, 2019.

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill prohibits a law enforcement agency from engaging in racial profiling, requires the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections to collect data on racial and ethnic disparity in criminal sentencing and submit an annual report with recommendations, authorizes the sentencing court to reduce the sentence of a defendant whose sentence was disproportionate because of racial or ethnic bias, and requires the Commissioner of Education to submit a report on racial disparity or segregation in public schools.  

 

The Department of Corrections states the requirements to collect data on racial and ethnic disparity in criminal sentencing and to produce an annual report with recommendations for minimizing or eliminating disparities would require them to add additional staff.  The Department assumes an Administrator and four Business Systems Analyst positions would be needed at a cost of $465,000 in FY 2020, $481,000 in FY 2021, $506,000 in FY 2022, and $531,000 in FY 2023.

 

The Department of Justice states the bill would require the Department to review the prevalence and disposition of traffic stops and complaints reported.  A report would be required by July 1, 2001 and annually thereafter.  The report would include results of the Department's review and any recommendations.  The Department assumes it can perform the required tasks related to this bill within its existing budget.

 

The Department of Education assumes the requirement to study and prepare a report by November 11, 2020, along with recommendations for legislation or other corrective action, would require additional funds so the Department could contract with an outside entity.  Given the Department's ongoing work and in order to  complete the task with fidelity, the Department assumes the cost of the contract would be approximately $120,000.  Since the required work would span two fiscal years the Department assumes $80,000 would be expended in FY 2020 and $40,000 would be expended in FY 2021.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch and Departments of Justice, Education, and Corrections

 

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and referred to Criminal Justice and Public Safety HJ 3 P. 28
Feb. 6, 2019 Public Hearing: 02/06/2019 10:00 am LOB 204
Feb. 7, 2019 ==RECESSED== Executive Session: 02/07/2019 10:00 am LOB 204
Feb. 13, 2019 ==CANCELLED== Subcommittee Work Session: 02/13/2019 11:00 am LOB 204
Feb. 27, 2019 Committee Report: Without Recommendation for 02/27/2019 (Vote ; RC) HC 13 P. 17
Committee Report: Without Recommendation (Vote ; RC)
Feb. 27, 2019 Lay on Table (Rep. Rodd): MA VV 02/27/2019

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 6, 2019 House Hearing
Feb. 7, 2019 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
Feb. 27, 2019 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB732 Revision: 5068 Date: Feb. 4, 2019, 3:04 p.m.