SB66 (2017)

(New Title) including a fetus in the definition of "another" for purposes of certain criminal offenses.


Status: HOUSE Criminal Justice and Public Safety (Details)
Length: 1 words.


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Revisions of this bill in our system:

 HouseSenate
Public hearing:(unscheduled) (unscheduled)
Executive session:2017-05-09 00:00:00(unscheduled)
Floor vote:(unscheduled)2017-02-16 00:00:00

SB 66-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

02/16/2017   0490s

2017 SESSION

17-0447

04/09

 

SENATE BILL 66-FN

 

AN ACT including a fetus in the definition of "another" for purposes of certain criminal offenses.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. Avard, Dist 12; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Innis, Dist 24; Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Sen. French, Dist 7; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Gannon, Dist 23; Sen. Gray, Dist 6; Rep. Hoelzel, Rock. 3

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill provides that a fetus shall be included in the definition of “another” for the purposes of first and second degree murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide, and causing or aiding suicide.

 

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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

02/16/2017   0490s 17-0447

04/09

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT including a fetus in the definition of "another" for purposes of certain criminal offenses.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Homicide; Capital Murder; Definition of Another.  Amend RSA 630:1, IV to read as follows:

IV.  As used in this section [and RSA 630:1-a, 1-b, 2, 3 and 4], the meaning of “another” [does] shall not include a [foetus] fetus.

2  New Paragraphs; First Degree Murder; Definition of Another; Exemption for Abortion.  Amend RSA 630:1-a by inserting after paragraph III the following new paragraphs:

IV.  For the purposes of this section and RSA 630:1-b, RSA 630:2, RSA 630:3, and RSA 630:4, the meaning of “another” shall include a fetus as defined in paragraph V.

V.(a)  Nothing in this section or RSA 630:1-b shall apply to:

(1)  Any act committed by the pregnant woman;

(2)  Any act committed at the request or direction of the pregnant woman or for the benefit of the pregnant woman;

(3)  Any act performed by a physician or other medical professional in the course of such physician’s or medical professional’s professional duties, including but not limited to, an act that results in the termination of a pregnancy; or

(4)  Any act taken in furtherance of the lawful dispensation or administration of prescription or nonprescription medication.

(b)  In this section:

(1)  “Fetus” means an unborn offspring, from the embryo stage which is the end of the twentieth week after conception or, in the case of in vitro fertilization, the end of the twentieth week after implantation, until birth.

(2)  “Pregnant” means the female reproductive condition of having one or more developing embryos or fetuses implanted in the uterus or elsewhere in the female body.

(3)  “Pregnancy” means one or more developing embryos or fetuses implanted in the uterus or elsewhere in the female body.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2018.

 

LBAO

17-0447

Amended 2/17/17

 

SB 66-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE (AMENDMENT #2017-0490s)

 

AN ACT including a fetus in the definition of "another" for purposes of certain criminal offenses.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2018

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill contains penalties that may have an impact on the New Hampshire judicial and correctional systems.  There is no method to determine how many charges would be brought as a result of the changes contained in this bill in order to determine the fiscal impact on expenditures.  However, the entities impacted have provided the potential costs associated with these penalties below.

Judicial Council

 

 

Public Defender Program

Has contract with State to provide services.

Has contract with State to provide services.

Assigned Counsel – Felony.

Homicide (Including capital cases)

$100/Hour up to $20,000

$100/Hour up to $20,000

It should be noted that a person needs to be found indigent and have the potential of being incarcerated to be eligible for indigent defense services. The majority of indigent cases (approximately 85%) are handled by the public defender program, with the remaining cases going to contract attorneys (14%) or assigned counsel (1%).

Department of Corrections

 

 

FY 2016 Average Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$35,832

$35,832

FY 2016 Average Cost of Supervising an Individual on Parole/Probation

$573

$573

NH Association of Counties

 

 

Estimated Average Daily Cost of Incarcerating an Individual

$85 to $110

$85 to $110

 

This bill would extend the applicability of the statutes for first and second degree murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide and causing or aiding suicide to situations where the actor caused the death of a fetus.  The Department of Justice cannot estimate how many additional prosecutions would be brought under this, therefore, cannot determine the potential fiscal impact.

 

The Judicial Branch has no way to estimate how many, if any, prosecutions will be brought under the proposed bill and the associated costs would vary depending on the severity of charges.  If enacted, the bill may result in an additional count in cases that would have occurred without the bill in situations where both a fetus and someone else are victims.  It may also result in additional cases where the only victim is the fetus.  An additional count in a case that would have occurred anyway would add to the time needed to present evidence related to the count and, because of the presence of a charge relating to a fetus, such a case is likely to generate great publicity adding to the potential cost.  For the additional cases that would not otherwise have been brought, the potential sentences are great and frequently result in jury trials.  The cost of a full day jury trial in the superior court is estimated to be $2,142 in FY 2018 and $2,157 in FY 2019.  There would be additional costs for preliminary hearings, time to write a charge to the jury and clerical processing.  In addition, should a decision be appealed, several thousand dollars of additional costs would be incurred in judge, law clerk, and staff time at the Supreme court.

 

The Judicial Council notes, in addition to increased costs for indigent defense, there would be an increased costs for additional services other than council such as forensic medical analysis and expert medical testimony.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Judicial Council, New Hampshire Association of Counties, and the Departments of Justice and Corrections