BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) chapter in New Hampshire is pushing the attorney general to make a full, public release of the 171 names on the “Laurie List.”
The list is formally known as the Exculpatory Evidence Schedule, which the attorney general’s office is required to update and maintain. It contains the names of those police officers whose credibility might be called into question during a trial. Those credibility issues might relate to actions such as use of excessive force, falsifying reports, lying in court, or sexual harassment.
Prosecutors have access to the list. If a police officer on the list is acting as a witness in a criminal case, the prosecutor is required to share that information with the judge, who decides if it warrants being shared with defense attorneys.
The ACLU wants the full content of the list made public, including officers’ names, department affiliation, and the nature of their credibility issue as well as information on when and where the issue occurred.
“The public is left unaware of which officers in their towns have had issues concerning their truthfulness or credibility,” the ACLU said in a statement. “And defense lawyers have no way to verify that proper disclosures concerning testifying officers are being made in their cases.”
The attorney general has gone so far as to release only a heavily redacted list. Names are blacked out, as are the dates of the incident when the officer got into trouble. The list includes the date that the attorney general was notified of the issue and—in some cases—the reason for being listed.
The Manchester Police Department, the state’s largest police force, has the single most entries at 20, followed by Nashua with 18 and the New Hampshire State Police with 12.
New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said the release of the redacted list “follows the law and responds to concerns raised by the law enforcement community.”
The Laurie List can be damaging to a law enforcement officer’s reputation and career, and officers have criticized the list because it is difficult to have their names removed after an accusation of misconduct.
Gov. Christopher Sununu backed the attorney general and police, saying, “Everyone agrees that bad cops should be taken off the street. But our men and women in law enforcement deserve the benefit of the doubt, and they deserve the same robust due process protections as any criminal defendant would have in court.”