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News Release

For Immediate Release
April 30, 2018

Contact:
Governor Sununu Press Office
(603) 271-2121
Sununu.Press@nh.gov

New Hampshire Updates Guidance Concerning the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule (EES)

Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, New Hampshire Police Association President Patrick Cheetham, and Steve Arnold from the New England Police Benevolent Association announced an update to the Department of Justice's guidance concerning the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule (EES), commonly referred to as 'Laurie List.'

Governor Chris Sununu said of today's announcement:

"The new guidance being issued today represents a major step in restoring full due process for our men and women in law enforcement. Our men and women in law enforcement put their lives on the line every day. They protect each of us. They protect our families. And they protect our most basic rights.

"It is time that we do our part in protecting theirs. In these challenging times, with our State in the midst of an opioid crisis, we must give law enforcement every tool possible to aid in their efforts. And more importantly, we must ensure that law enforcement know that they have our support. That is what today is all about. Everyone agrees that bad cops should be taken off the street. But our men and women in law enforcement deserve the benefit of the doubt, and they deserve the same robust due process protections as any criminal defendant would have in court. Today's new guidance from the Attorney General will ensure that each and every officer has clear due process rights that they can rely on."

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said today:

"Today, my office is issuing additional guidance to all law enforcement agencies and county attorneys concerning the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule, or EES. On March 21, 2017, Attorney General Foster issued a memorandum establishing the EES and setting forth certain protocols. The EES flows from the fundamental principle undergirding the criminal justice system that a prosecutor must inform a criminal defendant of any exculpatory or impeachment evidence that is favorable to the accused. Due process requires scrupulous adherence to this principle.

"The New Hampshire Supreme Court has also made clear in two cases that law enforcement officers are entitled to due process as to both placement on and removal from the EES. In an opinion authored by now Chief Justice Lynn, the Court observed that because "inclusion on the 'Laurie List' carries a stigma, police officers have a weighty countervailing interest in ensuring that their names are not placed on the list when there are no proper grounds for doing so."

"The guidance we are issuing today is intended to make clear that, consistent with the Supreme Court's directive, a basic process must be followed with regard to allegations of misconduct against an officer. Only allegations of misconduct which are sustained after an investigation and which constitute EES conduct will result in an officer's name being placed on the EES. An allegation which is not sustained or has been deemed unfounded will not cause an officer's name to be placed on the list."

"The New Hampshire Supreme Court has also stated that once an officer is placed on the list, "the interest of individual officers in this reputations and careers is such that there must be some post-placement mechanism available to an officer seeking removal…if the grounds are thereafter found to be lacking in substance." The guidance we are issuing today specifies the protocol for removal of an officer's name from the EES if there has been a determination overturning the original finding."

"Today's guidance both follows the law and responds to concerns raised by the law enforcement community. I appreciate the input of the law enforcement leaders and the chiefs who are here today as well as the many rank-and-file officers and troopers I have heard from on these issues. I also appreciate the skilled assistance of SAAG Wolford in preparing this guidance."

New England Police Benevolent Association New Hampshire State Director Stephen J. Arnold, Sr. said of the announcement:

"I am proud to stand with my fellow Law Enforcement Officers, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald and Governor Chris Sununu to announce the long overdue correction to the controversial and sometimes harmful New Hampshire 'Laurie list.'"

"During the Governor's campaign, I specifically addressed the Laurie concerns and asked that if he got elected that he make it a priority to fix this problem. Governor Sununu came through with his promise to us. He and his staff worked tirelessly over the course of the last year to address this problem through a partnership and consensus between NH Government and NH Law Enforcement."

"During the Governor's campaign, I specifically addressed the Laurie concerns and asked that if he got elected that he make it a priority to fix this problem. Governor Sununu came through with his promise to us. He and his staff worked tirelessly over the course of the last year to address this problem through a partnership and consensus between NH Government and NH Law Enforcement."

New Hampshire Police Association President Patrick Cheetham said of the announcement:

"The New Hampshire Police Association in coordination with Governor Sununu's Office and the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General are both pleased and proud to announce the release of additional guidelines concerning the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule. The collaborative and cooperative efforts between our three organizations along with the New England Police Benevolent Association and the NH Chiefs of Police Association has led to appropriate due process rights being established for New Hampshire's police officers."

"We specifically would like to thank Governor Sununu, Attorney General MacDonald and their offices for their continued support over the past year and their steadfast, open-door policy to our thoughts and input."

Guidance Concerning the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule from Attorney General Gordon MacDonald  pdf file

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Office of Governor Christopher Sununu
State House  |  107 North Main Street  |  Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2121  |  fax: (603) 271-7680