Eyewitness Identification Reform
In 2015, the New Hampshire Office of the Attorney General issued a robust model policy for conducting scientifically sound eyewitness identification protocol. The policy was the result of close collaboration between the AG's office and the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police who consulted both the Innocence Project as well as national law enforcement leaders while crafting the policy.
In 2018, the state legislature passed a statute requiring state, county, and local law enforcement agencies conducting eyewitness identification procedures to adopt written policies that conform to the standards and procedures established by the Attorney General’s model policy. Effective: 2019.
Recording of Interrogations
In 2002, the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that an electronically recorded final statement offered into evidence by the State is admissible only if the entire post-Miranda interrogation session was recorded.
Post Conviction DNA Testing
Any person who is incarcerated, on probation or parole, or whose liberty is otherwise restrained as a result of a conviction or adjudication as a delinquent may petition the superior court in the county of their conviction for post-conviction DNA testing of any biological material any time after the conviction. In 2021, the law was amended to make a number of changes. Those amendments: expanded the category of eligible petitioners to include those who are not in custody, lowered the threshold to obtain testing, removed specific barriers to testing, accounted for improvements in DNA testing technology that may impact the results, required consent before consuming an entire sample for testing, and provided appointment of legal counsel for petitioners sooner in the process. Effective: 2004; Amended most recently: 2021.
State statute requires the automatic preservation of biological evidence in relation to a criminal or delinquency investigation or prosecution for 5 years from date of conviction or adjudication, or as long as a person connected with that case or investigation remains in custody, whichever is longer. Effective: 2004.
New Hampshire's statute meets the best practices standards outlined by the NIST Technical Working Group on Biological Evidence Preservation.
Any person found innocent by the Board of Claims may receive up to $20,000 for the entirety of his wrongful incarceration. Effective: 1977; Amended most recently: 2010.