Senate Bill 92, relative to increasing the penalty for criminal mischief, the release of a defendant pending trial, and requiring law enforcement candidate background checks, would flip due process on its head and roll back the progress made by the legislature in recent years.
• Our legal system is based upon the notion of “innocent until proven guilty”, SB 92 disregards this fundamental legal framework by ignoring defendants’ rights to due process.
• Language in SB 92 is confusing and conflicting which would result in more backlog for our already strained judicial system.
• SB 92 puts constitutional rights at risk by broadly declaring those defendants accused of a crime and in procession of a firearm to be guilty of a gun crime. New Hampshire law protects the right to bear arms and just because someone is carrying a firearm does not mean it was used in the act of committing a crime.
• This legislation puts the burden of proof on the defendant and not the state in proving why the accused should be held pre-trial. The state should have to prove why a defendant should be held, not the other way around.
• Presumption of innocence is violated throughout this bill. Broadly declaring that a defendant “shall” be held takes away judicial discretion in assessing the individual case. This treats all accused as equal threats to communities and takes a top down approach when a more targeted response would be appropriate.
Please sign this letter to State Representatives and ask them to OPPOSE the Ought to Pass recommendation on Senate Bill 92!