NH Updates Laurie

The New Hampshire governor and attorney general announced changes Monday to a secret list of police officers who could have credibility issues in court.

The list stems from the state Supreme Court ruling New Hampshire v. Carl Laurie, in which justices ruled that prosecutors must disclose in court if one of their police officer witnesses has credibility issues.

The so-called “Laurie List,” now known as the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule, has been a touchy subject for years, but Gov. Chris Sununu and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said they believe they have found a way forward.

“That information includes but is not limited to matters implicating an officer’s trustworthiness, criminal conduct, serious dereliction of duty and excessive use of force,” MacDonald said.

Police organizations said that for years, they have sought due process protection regarding the list.

“We do not want bad apples spoiling our bunch,” said Stephen Arnold of the New England Police Benevolent Association. “But the process to weed out the bad and protect the good has been a blurred and sometimes controversial endeavor up until today.”

MacDonald issued new guidance for the EES list that clarifies who belongs on it and who doesn’t.

“Only allegations of misconduct which are sustained after an investigation and which constitute EES conduct result in an officer’s name being placed on the EES,” he said.

Sununu said the compromise is about supporting law enforcement.

“To think that something has gone on for a dozen years — this is an issue where one year is too long,” Sununu said. “Issues like this really need to be placed on the top of the state’s priority list.”

The number of officers currently on the list is unclear, but police officials said it’s more than 100. The attorney general’s office confirmed that the new guidance will allow some officers to be removed from the list.

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