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January 16. 2014 12:58AM

Domestic violence A legal tweak to save lives

It is surprising that New Hampshire’s criminal code has no “domestic violence” classification. If it did, the legal system might be able to prevent some horrible acts of domestic abuse.

Senate Bill 318, introduced by Sen. Donna Soucy, D-Manchester, would tag the term “domestic violence” onto the end of some criminal offenses committed against family members and romantic partners. For instance, a person convicted of first degree assault against a stranger would have “First Degree Assault” written into his criminal record, but a person convicted of the same offense against a spouse, child or romantic partner would have “First Degree Assault — Domestic Violence” written into his record.

Police and prosecutors say the paper trail this creates would help to identify and stop repeat abusers. It is information that could save lives. It is hard to think of a good argument against it.


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