Governor Chris Sununu Signs SB 556 Into Law
Concord, NH – Today, Governor Chris Sununu issued the following Statement after signing SB556, relative to changes in bail procedures and procedures for annulment of a criminal record, into law.
"Equal protection under the law mandates that similarly situated criminal defendants be treated equally, regardless of financial means. In a system where 'innocent until proven guilty' is the ultimate maxim, a person who is charged but not yet convicted of a minor crime should not be sent to prison merely because he or she lacks the financial ability to post bail. Pretrial detentions of any length can have devastating consequences for a defendant and their families, and therefore should be imposed with great care. Senate Bill 556 represents the culmination of a bipartisan effort to address these issues and reform our bail system by ensuring economic fairness, protecting the rights of defendants, and enhancing public safety. I am proud today to sign Senate Bill 556 into law."
"Careful implementation will be key in ensuring the success of this effort. We have listened to the concerns of the state's county attorneys, and I have confidence that our courts will be able to apply Senate Bill 556 in a manner that achieves the bill's objectives and protects public safety. It is critical that all parties involved be prepared to evaluate the implementation of these changes and to make necessary adjustments if and when the need arises."