CONCORD – U.S. District Court Judge Steven J. McAuliffe has approved a magistrate’s report and recommendations that allow a last-ditch appeal by Jim Dale to move forward, but there are still legal hurdles to overcome before the convicted child killer can hope for a new trial.
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.
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.
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.)
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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.
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.
It appears that police departments in New Hampshire are cutting motorists some slack over the hands-free driving law. The state statute passed July 1st prohibits all use of hand-held cell phones, GPS units and other devices while driving, except in emergencies. Since the law went into effect, Dover police have stopped 214 cars and given out 25 summonses. That figure is lower in Portsmouth, where police have cited only three drivers from the 93 motorists stopped. State police in Troop A, based in Epping, have summonses over half the 414 drivers stopped.
The anguish comes through in people’s voices as they hear their fate for being unable to pay fines owed to the court in what the ACLU-NH says is an illegal and systemic practice by judges across New Hampshire. Click on headline to hear what it’s like in the words of Jayson Snow, Thomas Polito, Richard Vaughan and Bryan Sullivan to be sent to jail for failing to pay fines – and listen to the judges who sentenced them. Devon Chaffee, executive director of the ACLU-NH, spoke of the harm to families when loved ones are jailed for failing to pay fines. “Incarcerating people who cannot afford to pay fines is both unconstitutional and cruel. It takes a tremendous toll on precisely those families already struggling the most.”
“Being poor is not a crime in this country,” Chaffee said. These cases provide glimpses into courtroom across New Hampshire.