Senate Republicans Pass Bill in Committee to Roll Back Bail Reform Progress

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller

Phone: (603) 271-3207

Email: marina.altschiller@leg.state.nh.us

CONCORD – Yesterday, in a 3-2 party line vote, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted Ought to Pass as amended on SB 92, which, among other things, creates the assumption that individuals accused of certain crimes are automatically a danger to the public, and undoes extensive bipartisan work done on bail reform in New Hampshire.


After the vote, Senate Judiciary member Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) issued the following statement:


“While perhaps well-intentioned, this bill is one-sided, and will undo years of bipartisan work and agreements. The Senate has worked extensively over the last several years to reform our bail system here in New Hampshire, including forming a bail commission to examine these very issues. Unfortunately, this bill as passed is in no way reflective of the work that came from that bipartisan commission, which sought input from all stakeholders, including the public. Passage of this bill will result in people being detained pretrial, while they are presumed innocent, without any consideration for the unique circumstances of their case. Pretrial detention risks people losing their jobs, their housing, and even losing custody of their kids. They also face the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Even 24 hours of detention can be life-altering for some defendants. Now is the time to advance our work on criminal justice reform to ensure we are creating a safer, more just community for all. Sadly, this bill undoes so much meaningful work done by so many, from all across the political spectrum, and is moving us further away from our goals for the criminal justice system.”


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