Listen to NH Judges Jail People For Inability To Pay Court Fines

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.

Police Shooting Victim’s Family Fights Police Camera Footage Release

Sept. 10, 2015
The family of Hagen Esty-Lennon today (Sept. 10, 2015) asked the court to bar release of any portion of video or audio captured on police body cameras and a cruiser camera of the incident July 6 when two Haverhill police officers shot Esty-Lennon to death in Bath.

On behalf of the family, Concord lawyer Diane Puckhaber argued: “the media’s insistence on releasing all and/or part of both is an effort to satisfy the public’s interest in ‘sensationalism.’”