sentencing

Jack Rodolico / NHPR

It’s been nearly 30 years since Pamela Smart was sentenced to life in prison for being an accomplice in the 1990 murder of her husband, Gregg. Since then, interest in one of New Hampshire’s most notorious murder cases has seemingly never waned, and the four then-teenage boys who confessed to being involved in the murder have been let out of prison.

This week, Smart, now 51, is making another attempt at freedom, using the only legal avenue she has left: Her attorney is petitioning Gov. Chris Sununu and the New Hampshire Executive Council to commute her life sentence and give her the possibility of parole.

cuffsnchains / Flickr/CC

With growing concerns nationally and in New Hampshire about a large and expensive prison population, the House recently passed a bill to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for some offenses. And then later we'll look at another House measure to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Reconsidering N.H. Sentencing Laws

Apr 15, 2015
Thomas Hawk / Flickr/cc

Decades of a tough-on-crime approach brought mandatory minimum sentences that many now say are too costly – both in social terms and dollars, as prison populations have soared. State lawmakers recently considered removing these for certain nonviolent offenders. But some are urging caution on behalf of public safety.