Sentence Review Hearings - Superior Court
July 16, 2021 - Merrimack County Superior Court
The Sentence Review Division was created in 1975 by the Legislature. The purpose was to establish a procedure to review and correct arbitrary or disparate sentences.
The Chief Justice of the Superior Court appoints three Superior Court Justices or Judicial Referees to constitute a board of three members to act as a Sentence Review Board. Each member serves a three year term, with the last year of service being the Chair of the Board. An alternate is also appointed in case a member of the Board cannot sit because he or she was the sentencing judge or is disqualified for some other reason.
Any person who has been sentenced to a term of one year or more in the State Prison, except in any case in which a different sentence could not have been imposed, may submit an application for Sentence Review, including the State. The Sentence Review Board will accept an application for review of a defendant’s sentence to the State Prison even though that sentence may be deferred or suspended in part or entirely, and even though the defendant is pursuing an appeal of the case with the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Upon review of the case material, the Sentence Review Board decides if a formal hearing is necessary, or if the matter can be summarily affirmed. If a formal hearing is held, all parties will be required to attend. This is not an appellate hearing on the merits, but is a hearing to determine the appropriateness of the sentence(s). At the conclusion of the review process, a decision will be issued to the parties. The Review Board may increase a sentence, decrease a sentence, modify a sentence or affirm a sentence.
(see - Superior Court Rule of Criminal Procedure 29-K)
SENTENCE REVIEW BOARD MEMBERS
Chair: Honorable Charles S. Temple
Member Term: 1/1/18-12/31/20
Chair Term: 1/1/21-12/31/21
Member: Honorable Mark E. Howard
Member Term: 1/1/20-12/31/21
Chair Term: 1/1/22-12/31/22
Member: Honorable Daniel I. St. Hilaire
Member Term: 1/1/21-12/31/22
Chair Term: 1/1/23-12/31/23
Alternate: Honorable Amy L. Ignatius
FILING AN APPLICATION FOR SENTENCE REVIEW
After sentencing, an application for sentence review may be made directly with the court, or within 30 days from the date of sentencing, but not thereafter unless good cause is shown. The application can be filed electronically with the sentencing court, or by mail with the clerk of the Sentence Review Board at the following address: NH Judicial Branch Administrative Offices, Sentence Review Division. 1 Granite Place, Suite N400, Concord, NH, 03301.
SUMMARY REVIEW PROCESS
Not every Application for Sentence Review receives a hearing. Upon receipt of the materials required to necessitate a review, the Board conducts a summary review. If after their review one of the Board Members would like a formal hearing, then one is scheduled. Otherwise, a decision is issued affirming the sentence.
Typically, hearings are held on Administrative Days (third Friday of each month), and are held at the Merrimack County Superior Court, 5 Court Street, Concord, NH. A docket of the hearings is posted on website usually within 2 weeks of the hearing date.
Clerk: Holly Aquizap
Address: NH Judicial Branch Administrative Offices, Sentence Review Division, 1 Granite Place, Suite N400, Concord, NH, 03301
Phone: 603-271-2030, ext 0103