Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Criminal Justice Omnibus Bill, Advances Efforts to Increase Police Accountability and Improve Bail Reform

June 12, 2020

Contact Name: Sara Persechino 

Phone: (603) 271-3479         

Email: Sara.Persechino@leg.state.nh.us 

 

CONCORD - Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed Amendment #1380s to HB 1645, a bipartisan omnibus criminal justice bill, co-sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chair Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover), Senator Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline), and Senator Harold French (R-Franklin).  

 

After the committee vote, Senate Judiciary Chair Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover) and Senator Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline)  issued the following statements:  

 

“Some of the Legislature’s most important work this session were criminal justice reforms, including improvements to our bail reform statute, increasing the safety of New Hampshire’s minors, and strengthening accountability for perpetrators of domestic violence,” said Senate Judiciary Chair Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover). “We have seen the need to make significant changes to our law enforcement training and force policy. I am grateful for the bipartisan work of my Judiciary Committee colleagues for working together to advance these important measures in these difficult times.”  

 

Senator Melanie Levesque (D-Brookline) added, “The nation’s eyes are on the criminal justice system right now, and the New Hampshire Legislature is working to take thoughtful, concrete steps to break down systemic racism.  These changes, like today’s committee amendment to prohibit the use of chokeholds, are steps we can take together in the best interest of New Hampshire. This bill makes important strides toward that goal by mandating that police report misconduct by fellow police officers -- something doctors and lawyers already do within their professions -- and increasing access to psychological screening before officers assume duties. This is just the beginning of a critical conversation and reform efforts; I am proud to work with my Senate colleagues to take these first steps and look forward to continuing this work in the next biennium.”  

 

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