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The Big W: Bail and annulment reform in New Hampshire.
What it is: This week, Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bipartisan criminal justice bill that reforms the state’s bail system. The new law requires judges to take into account an individual’s income and ability to pay when setting bail for low-level offenses. It also enables citizens who are found innocent to petition to have their arrest expunged from their records.
Why it’s important: This bail reform will protect people accused of a crime from losing their jobs, cars or homes because they were unable to afford bail. Sending people to jail should be based on criminality, not income. And allowing arrests to be expunged protects the rights of the accused.
The grassroots impact: Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire and our activists were vocal in our support of bail reform and worked closely with the legislature to ensure this bill made it to the governor’s desk.
Prosperity produced: This reform ensures everyone is treated fairly under the law. Low-income defendants trapped in jail because they are unable to post bail are more likely to plead guilty and more likely to receive harsher sentences. The reform will also reduce the number of people in jail, saving taxpayers money.