The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire (ACLU-NH) supports the rights of crime victims, and ensuring they are treated with the compassion and respect to which they deserve. At the same time, it is essential the proposed constitutional amendment (CACR) preserve the accused's constitutional rights to due process.
As currently written, the language in the CACR would risk violating the due process rights in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. Without improved language, this CACR would come into direct conflict with these federal constitutional rights afforded to the accused, who are still innocent until proven guilty. The CACR offers no guidance on how courts across the state should reconcile any of these potential conflicts.
We believe that with some language improvements, this CACR could both reinforce victims’ rights and preserve constitutional rights for the accused. We look forward to working with legislators to offer improvements to ensure the continued integrity of our judicial system.