Testimony opposing New Hampshire House Bill - HB 1318

This bill changes the circumstances and criteria under which certain sex offenders may petition to have their name removed from the sex offender registry public list. The Committee should find HB 1318 inexpedient to legislate. The proposed law imposes an impossible standard upon those Tier II registered citizens who, after 15 years may petition for removal from the Registry of Criminal Offenders. Simply put, there is no person in the State of New Hampshire of whom a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist would unequivocally say he or she poses NO RISK of offending sexually or of causing public harm.  The Legislature might as well strike the possibility of ever petitioning for removal from the registry from the law. It appears it is the intent of the bill’s sponsors to make removal of Tier II offenders from the registry a practical impossibility.

Second, the provision that victim impact statements are to be considered by the court when deciding whether to exempt a registered citizen from lifetime registration, only serves to prove that the purpose of the registry is unconstitutionally punitive when applied to those convicted prior to the enactment of the law. What possible bearing can the recounting of decades-old offenses have on a judge's decision whether or not a registrant is rehabilitated? Insertion of such emotional testimony into what should be a dispassionate, evidence-driven process, can only be seen as inviting judges to consider whether the offender has been punished enough for his past acts.

Finally, placing the burden of proof, by clear and convincing evidence (an almost impossible standard), on the offender is further proof that the real intent of this bill’s sponsors to forever remove the possibility of anyone ever getting off the registry

This hearing is scheduled for

For additional information: Chris Dornin, co-founder, CCJR, 228-9610, cldornin@aol.com

Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform, Legislative Committee meeting, Tuesday, January 19, 2015, Friendly’s Restaurant, Concord, NH

The meeting was called to order by Chris Dornin, Chair at 4:15 PM. In attendance were, Chris Dornin, Philip Horner, Tom Adams, Patricia Wallace, Wanda Dureya and two guests.

Phil suggested an agenda for the meeting of examining each of the bills we have previously voted to support or oppose and assigning to each a level of CCJR involvement. 1 = post our position on the CCJR website, 2 = circulate a position statement to members and legislators, 3 = full involvement, testify, get out the membership.

The following bills were rated (list does not include bills which have already had hearings):

HB 1690 – support 3 - extending the NH health protection program

HB 1552 – oppose 1 - extending death penalty for terrorism

HB 1629 – oppose 2 – disqualifying certain individuals from public assistance

HB 1535 – support 1 - makes employer pay for criminal background checks

HB 1235 – oppose 1 - removes “legitimate purpose” as protected activity as excuse for accused stalking

HB 1604 – oppose 1 - unreasonably expands definition of public indecency

HB 1542- oppose 1 - requires drug test for public assistance

HB 1562 – support 2 - establishes heroin treatment programs

HB 1597 – support 1 - requires preservation of biological evidence

HB 1261 – support 2 - limits indictments to one per criminal act

HB 1543 – support 1 - allows prosecution of prosecutors who knowingly bring false charges

HB 1318 – oppose 3 - relative to SO registration

HB 1451 – support 1 - exempting simple assault from extended terms of imprisonment

HB 1529 – oppose 1 - updating voter rolls to report felony convictions

CACR 21 – oppose 2 - election of AG

HB 1577 – support 3 - alternatives to incarceration

HB 1506 – support 3 - committee to study solitary confinement

HB 1614 – support 2 - repeal criminal penalties for prostitution

HB 1507 – support 3 - limiting solitary confinement

SB 464 – support 3 – establishing drug courts

SB 460 – support 2 – authorizing board of education to adopt rules relative to child sexual abuse

SB 465 – oppose 2 – dissemination of sexually explicit images

SB 338 – oppose 3 – right of crime victims to make private statements to parole board

SB 340 – support 3 – sentencing violations of probation

CACR 26 – oppose 3 – relative to appointment of AG

SB 468 – oppose 3 – changes in SO registry

SB 498 – support 1 – penalties for possession

SB 390 – support 1 – annulment of misdemeanor drug possession