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Review the Capstone case State v. Reynolds. What is the issue the court had to decide? What was the court’s ruling and rationale? Do you agree with the court? Why, or why not?
State v. Reynolds 138 N.H. 519 (1994)
The State of New Hampshire v. Anne Marie Reynolds
Case No. 93-492
Crime No. RSA 651: 20 (1986)
Supreme Court of New Hampshire, 1993
Judgment decided : May 24, 1994
FACTS OF THE CASE
On the date of crime of Annie Marie Reynolds, there was law that permitted the prisoners to make petition of sentence suspension for every two years. Being a prisoner, Reynolds filed petition during January, 1990. Unfortunately she could not get success. During 1992, the old law amended which was effective from January 1, 1993 and it indicated that presentation of such petition of sentence suspension for every four years in respect of violent offenders like Reynolds. Reynolds again submitted the petition in 1993. But the State objected. Reynolds made argument that suspension of petition may cause violation of Article 23 of New Hampshire Constitution. In fact is such petition is suspended, it lead to violation of state and federal constitutional prohibitions against ex post facto laws. Reynolds further argued that new law to her petition would violate part I, article 23 of the constitution.
The Supreme Court transferred the petition without ruling as the suspension of defendant’s petition may violate the state and federal constitution that are against ex post facto laws. The court opined that the holding of the application of the new law to Reynolds petition would violate part I and Article 23 as it reduces the frequency of opportunities to the violent offenders. Hence an opportunity is to be given, the petition cannot be suspended. Such suspension of petition may cause the prisoner to stay more time in punishment. It is also correct that retrospective application of new law to Reynolds’ petition also cause delay and violation of part I, Article 23. The Court considered and declared that retrospective application of new law to Reynolds’ petition would violate part I, article 23 against ex post facto laws. Hence the defendant argument is found correct.
The Supreme Court contention is correct and defendant’s pleadings are acceptable as the suspension of petition may violate Part 1 and Article 23 which is against ex post facto laws. The state’s arguments are not valid about the continuous punishment and payroll. Hence the Supreme Court hold the case in order to avoid violation of part 1, article 23. The expost facto laws should not cause the defendant to stay more time with punishment. Therefore Supreme Court judgment is correct.
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