Status: SENATE: INEXPEDIENT TO LEGISLATE (Details)
Length: 186 words.
Revisions of this bill in our system:
|Public hearing:||(unscheduled)||2005-04-12 00:00:00|
|Floor vote:||2005-03-30 00:00:00||2006-01-18 00:00:00|
HB 533-FN – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 533-FN
This bill requires the imposition of a sentence of life imprisonment without parole for any defendant who is convicted of 3 aggravated felonious sexual assault offenses against 3 separate victims, regardless of the timing of the convictions. In all other cases where a defendant has 3 aggravated felonious sexual assault convictions resulting from separate criminal incidents, the bill requires the court to impose a minimum sentence of 25 years.
This bill was requested by the department of justice.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five
AN ACT relative to penalties for aggravated felonious sexual assault.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault; Penalties. Amend RSA 632-A:10-a, III to read as follows:
III.(a) If the court finds that a defendant has been previously convicted of 2 or more offenses under RSA 632-A:2 or any other statute prohibiting the same conduct in another state, territory or possession of the United States, and at least 2 offenses of which were committed against different victims, neither of whom was the victim of the offense for which the defendant is being sentenced, the defendant shall be sentenced to life imprisonment and shall not be eligible for parole at any time.
(b) If the court finds that a defendant has been previously convicted of 2 or more offenses under RSA 632-A:2 or any other statute prohibiting the same conduct in another state, territory, or possession of the United States, and the prior convictions do not satisfy the requirements of this paragraph, the court may impose a sentence of up to life without parole, but shall impose a minimum sentence of not less than 25 years.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2006.
HB 533-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to penalties for aggravated felonious sexual assault.
The Judicial Branch indicates state expenditures may decrease by an indeterminable amount in FY 2006 and each year thereafter. The Judicial Council and Department of Corrections stated this bill may increase state expenditures by indeterminable amount in FY 2006 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on state, county, and local revenue or county and local expenditures.
The Judicial Branch states that the fiscal impact of this legislation to the Branch is not likely to be great since there have not been many third time aggravated sexual assault offenders. The potential impact could be on the positive side because the change could result in fewer life without parole mandatory cases. Presumably a mandatory life without parole case would be tried more aggressively, and often longer, than a case with a determinate sentence. This impact is difficult to quantify. The variables that will affect any potential savings include how many fewer mandatory life without parole aggravated sexual assault cases the judicial branch will have, and how complex each case is. In sum, the Branch does not anticipate a large fiscal impact from this legislation, but any impact that does occur may be on the positive side.
The Judicial Council states that this bill, a request of the Department of Justice, is probably being submitted in response to the decision in State v. Melvin 150, N.H. 135 in which the court addressed the issues of how the trial court read the construction of RSA 632-A:10-a, III. This bill attempts to clarify the ambiguous language of RSA 632-A:10-a, III. As this bill merely attempts to clarify the language so that it is clear under what circumstances the previously established enhanced penalty provisions apply, there is no clear new fiscal impact associated with the enactment of this legislation. The clear legislative intent behind RSA 632-A:10-a, III is to address the serial rapist and the repeat offender with penalties designed to keep these individuals incarcerated for life or very lengthy periods of time. These penalties make these cases highly contested and usually involve significant costs for DNA testing, experts and consulting. They are among the most highly litigated, as the stakes for both the defendant and society as a whole are very significant. Currently aggravated felonious sexual assault is one of the three most costly felony representations provided in the indigent defense system. The costs associated with these cases are directly related to the potential severity of the penalties available and the impact each individual conviction may have on subsequent convictions where the enhancement provisions of this legislation would apply. Since it is not possible to predict the number of cases which may result from the enactment of this legislation, it is likewise not possible to place an exact dollar figure on the potential cost associated with the enactment of this legislation. It is assumed that the individual so charged has been found to be eligible for representation as an indigent defendant. For the purposes of this fiscal note, the assumption made is that representation of the individual so charged is an adult, although a juvenile may also me charged with this offense, but different rates of compensation and total costs to the system will differ if the case is processed through the juvenile court. The court will appoint in the first instance either a public defender or a contract attorney either of whom will be paid at the fixed contract rate of $2,075 per aggravated felonious sexual assault charged. If an assigned counsel attorney, the third tier in the scheme of statutory appointment of counsel must be used either due to conflict of interest or for reasons of caseload limitations, the $60 per hour rate will apply to the case with a fee cap of $3,000. This fee cap will most likely be exceeded upon motion filed in advance with the court. If any motions for “services other than counsel” are approved (and it is these kinds of cases that they will be) as a necessary part of the defense of a case, the fee for such services would also be payable from indigent defense funds.
The Department of Corrections states the level of fiscal impact cannot be determined. The cost of incarcerating an aging inmate population is significantly greater than the average cost of incarcerating an individual in the general prison population. Currently, the average cost of incarcerating an individual in the general prison population for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004 was $27,533.
The Department of Justice states this legislation should have no fiscal impact on their department. The Criminal Bureau tries, at most, one sexual assault case per year, and only when the county that should handle the prosecution has a conflict. The legislation, which deals with the possible sentences for a third conviction should not increase the cost of prosecution to any significant degree.