Op-Ed: Stop NH From Imprisoning Mentally Ill People Who Haven’t Committed a Crime

State Rep. Renny Cushing is urging the public to attend a legislative work session on prohibiting the transfer of people never charged with a crime from the New Hampshire Hospital to the State Prison Secure Psychiatric Unit. The meeting is Sept. 14 in the Legislative Office Building, Room 205 at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee.

Evidence of Police Dishonesty Leads to Overturned Convictions nationally

Editor’s note: This story by Nancy West was sponsored by the Fund for Investigative Journalism and first published by VTDigger on July 19. West founded the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism, which launched its news website InDepthNH.org on Sept. 1.
Maybe Debra Jean Milke masterminded the murder of her tow-haired son Christopher in Phoenix just befyore Christmas 1989 to collect the 4-year-old’s $5,000 life insurance policy.

Or maybe – as Milke has insisted all along – she was just the innocent victim of a corrupt cop with a proven pattern of lying who was out to win a conviction.

150 Names on Lists of Potentially Dishonest Police Officers in NH

The names of an estimated 150 sworn law enforcement officers are maintained on a hodgepodge of “Laurie” lists kept by the state’s 10 county attorneys in New Hampshire.

It appears many of the officers no longer work in law enforcement in the county that lists their name, but it is impossible to be sure because the names are redacted and each county attorney reports their numbers in different formats. (see lists from all 10 counties below.)
CLICK on headline for more …..

Rochester Police Officer Wants off ‘Laurie’ List

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on Thursday from Rochester Police Officer John Gantert seeking to remove his name from a confidential “Laurie” list of potentially dishonest law enforcement officers. Gantert was fired from the Rochester Police Department in June of 2011 for falsifying a Lethal Assessment Protocol, which is used to gauge dangerousness in domestic violence cases. He was reinstated by a Public Employee Labor Relations Board arbitrator the following August and remains employed by the Rochester Police Department, but his name is still on the Strafford County Attorney’s Laurie list. “He filled the form out to the best of his ability and got fired for it,” said Nashua Attorney Timothy Goulden, who represents Gantert. The arbitrator in Gantert’s case sustained a finding that Gantert violated the standard operating procedure “as it related to the falsification of reports,” and said that although discipline was warranted, discharge was too great a penalty.

The Trouble With ‘Laurie’ 20 Years Later

Introduction to InDepthNH.org’s series about how prosecutors disclose the names of testifying police officers who have been disciplined for dishonesty or excessive force.

THREE years ago, I began looking into how county attorneys kept secret lists of police officers who had been disciplined for dishonesty or excessive force that might impact on their ability to testify under oath.
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ACLU-NH: Indigent Mother Jailed ‘Illegally’ For Failing to Pay Court Fine

What happens when a 22-year-old single mother of two toddlers who can’t afford to pay a court fine fails to complete 62 hours of community service instead? For Alejandra Corro, it meant being sentenced to serve nine days in Valley Street Jail in Manchester by Judge Thomas E. Bamberger in the 9th Circuit Court, Nashua District Division, on March 4, 2014. That was after Public Defender Ryan Guptil told Bamberger that Corro had completed only 20 hours of the 62 hours of community service because of a significant fire in her home that forced her to move six weeks earlier.  (Click on story to hear court hearing audio.)

“How did that stop her from doing the community service?” Bamberger asked, according to a court transcript of the hearing. Corro wasn’t alone, according to an ACLU-NH’s report released Wednesday (Sept.