CHAPTER 284

HB 520 – FINAL VERSION

24Mar2009… 0771h

06/03/09 1985s

2009 SESSION

09-0007

04/01

HOUSE BILL 520

AN ACT establishing a commission to study the death penalty in New Hampshire.

SPONSORS: Rep. Splaine, Rock 16; Rep. R. Read, Rock 16; Rep. Movsesian, Hills 22; Rep. Welch, Rock 8; Rep. Pantelakos, Rock 16

COMMITTEE: Criminal Justice and Public Safety

ANALYSIS

This bill establishes a commission to study the death penalty in New Hampshire.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

24Mar2009… 0771h

06/03/09 1985s

09-0007

04/01

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nine

AN ACT establishing a commission to study the death penalty in New Hampshire.

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

284:1 Commission Established. There is established a commission to study the death penalty in New Hampshire.

284:2 Membership and Compensation. The members of the commission shall be as follows:

I. Three members appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, representing families of murder victims and associations or organizations with concerns and goals related to the death penalty.

II. Three members appointed by the president of the senate, representing families of murder victims and associations or organizations with concerns and goals related to the death penalty.

III. A member of the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office, appointed by that organization.

IV. A representative of the New Hampshire Bar Association, appointed by that association.

V. One representative of the county attorneys affiliate of the New Hampshire Association of Counties, appointed by the president of the affiliate.

VI. One representative of the New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, appointed by that association.

VII. One representative of the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, appointed by that association.

VIII. Seven members appointed by the governor, representing families of murder victims and associations or organizations with concerns and goals related to the death penalty.

IX. The attorney general, or designee.

X. A representative of the New Hampshire Mental Health Council, appointed by the council.

XI. A representative of the New Hampshire Police Association, appointed by the association.

XII. A representative of the New Hampshire Troopers Association, appointed by that association.

284:3 Duties. The commission shall study:

I. Whether the death penalty in New Hampshire rationally serves a legitimate public interest such as general deterrence, specific deterrence, punishment, or instilling confidence in the criminal justice system.

II. Whether the death penalty in New Hampshire is consistent with evolving societal standards of decency.

III. Whether the decision to seek the death penalty through the penalty phase of trial for defendants who are eligible to receive the death penalty in New Hampshire is arbitrary, unfair, or discriminatory.

IV. Whether the current capital murder statute in New Hampshire properly encompasses the types of murder which should be eligible for the death penalty or whether the scope of the current capital murder statute should be expanded, narrowed, or otherwise altered, including an analysis of the types of murder covered by the current capital murder statute and any aggravating and mitigating circumstances listed in the statute.

V. Whether alternatives to the death penalty exist that would sufficiently ensure public safety and address other legitimate social and penal interests, and the interests of families of victims of crime.

VI. Whether, in New Hampshire, there is a significant difference in the cost of prosecution and incarceration of a first degree murder case where the penalty is life without parole as compared with the cost of a death penalty case from prosecution to execution.

VII. Any other issues relevant to the death penalty in New Hampshire.

284:4 Chairperson. The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named member appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives. The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.

284:5 Report. The commission shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before December 1, 2010.

284:6 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.

Approved: July 29, 2009

Effective Date: July 29, 2009