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Bail ensures people receive equal protection of the law regardless of monetary circumstances grassroots group says
CONCORD, N.H. – Following passage of Senate Bill 556, a landmark criminal justice reform bill, Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire (AFP-NH), a leading advocate for criminal justice reform, on Wednesday urged Governor Sununu to sign the bi-partisan bill into law. The group also commended lawmakers for their work in getting the bill passed with strong majorities in both bodies.
The bill would protect the rights of the accused, who pose no threat to public safety or deemed not a flight risk, and require judges to consider an individual’s income and ability to pay into consideration when setting bail for low-level offenses. Additionally, the bill simplifies the process to petition to have their arrest records expunged from the records of those who have completed their sentences and gone a period without offenses.
“We are near the finish line of reforming our criminal justice system in a way that protects public safety and is fairer and more just for all Granite Staters. This bill is proof that groups from every background can come together to make a real difference in ensuring people do not sit in jail just because they don’t have enough money, while potentially losing their job, their home and their car – turning their lives upside down” said Greg Moore, AFP-NH State Director. “Our state has a tremendous opportunity before us to become a national leader in implementing smart-on-crime and soft-on-taxpayer reforms. We thank the legislature for their work in passing this common-sense legislation and urge Governor Sununu to sign this bill and ensure everyone receives equal treatment under the law.”
Americans for Prosperity believes that sending an individual to jail should be a function of their criminality, not their income level.
Nine out of ten defendants who remain in jail before trial are there because they haven’t posted a bond. Low-income individuals may struggle to come up with even the small amount needed for bail.
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