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Bar Journal - September 1, 2001

I'm Guilty - I Think? In re Wesley B.: An Analysis of the Voluntariness of Juvenile Confessions

By:

I. INTRODUCTION

It is fundamental to our system of justice that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.1 Therefore, a confession must be the result of a voluntary choice by the suspect in order to be admissible at trial.2 The New Hampshire Constitution guarantees every citizen due process of the law.3 Due process requires the State to act in accordance with the laws of the land and also to act "consistent with fundamental principles of liberty and justice which lie at the base of all our civil and political institutions."4 Fundamental principles are implicated when the State attempts to obtain a conviction by using a confession that was involuntarily given against that individual.5 A totality of the circumstances test is used to determine whether the confession was given voluntarily. This test considers numerous factors related to a suspect's particular situation, characteristics and vulnerabilities, and weighs these in relation to the circumstances surrounding the confession.

The criminal justice system takes into account the limited experiences, intelligence and maturity of a child when determining culpability for a crime. Ways in which the system addresses these issues include special juvenile courts and defenses based on age. Children of certain ages are presumed to lack the capacity to commit a crime. New Hampshire recognizes the unique needs of children and has special laws that allow a child to disaffirm a contract, laws that regulate age requirements for marriage, laws that restrict driving, purchasing of cigarettes and alcohol, and a special juvenile form that explains their Miranda rights.6

In re Wesley B.7 illustrates the court's position that, when dealing with a confession of a child, voluntariness must be viewed in light of the totality of the circumstances. The court must consider the characteristics of the accused as well as the circumstances of the interrogation. In the context of In re: Wesley B., this article will explore the issues surrounding the voluntariness of juvenile confessions, the reasons why special care must be taken when trying to elicit confessions from juveniles and the test to be used in determining whether a juvenile has voluntarily confessed to a crime.

II. HISTORY

A. Treatment of Juveniles Under the Law

The concept of having different rules for juveniles brought before the criminal justice system from those of adults is an old one. The Infancy Defense was society's way, through the judicial system, of recognizing that children, because of their youth and inexperience, were less able to understand the wrongfulness of their acts.8 Under this defense, children under the age of seven were conclusively presumed not to have the capacity to commit a criminal offense.9 Children between the ages of seven and fourteen were given a rebuttable presumption of capacity while children fourteen and older were treated as adults.10 Allowance for special consideration based solely on the age of the child spared children from the harsh realities of adult punishment.11

The juvenile court system was created early in the twentieth century, and it changed the way juveniles were treated by the criminal justice system.12 The system was first adopted in 1899 in Illinois, and has now been accepted by every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.13 Under this system, children faced a judge whose job it was to act as a parent and protector rather than a fact finder.14 The goal was the rehabilitation and treatment of the young offenders, not the punishment of them.15 Likewise, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has affirmed the wisdom of treating juveniles differently by explaining that the philosophies of the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems are not the same; the juvenile system is protective not penal.16

The 1960's brought more change to the juvenile justice system when individual rights and accountability, elements commonly seen in the adult criminal justice system, joined rehabilitation and treatment as the goals of the juvenile justice system.17 This blending of goals within the juvenile system heralded the beginning of the end of the parent-protector focus for juveniles in trouble with the law.18 New Hampshire has recently amended RSA 169-B to add provisions to make both the juvenile and his or her parents more accountable for the child's actions. The amendment removes the stated purpose of sparing the child the taint of criminality and penal consequences of criminal behavior with language that points to the promotion of the minor's acceptance of personal responsibility for the delinquent acts.19 Likewise, the parents will be made aware of the extent, if any, that they may have contributed to the problems experienced by the child and to hold them accountable for their role in the resolution.20

An early United States Supreme Court case that recognized the need to treat juvenile confessions differently from adult confessions was Haley v. Ohio.21 Haley was the first Supreme Court case to articulate the duty of the judiciary to distinguish juvenile suspects from adult suspects.22 In Haley, a fifteen-year-old confessed after being questioned by five or six police officers, revolving in teams of two, from midnight to five in the morning.23 The Court held that the confession was involuntary and inadmissible.24 In Haley, the Court pointed out that the confession was given by a "mere child" who is "an easy victim of the law . . ." and thus special care should be used when reviewing the record.25 The Haley decision was significant because it reaffirmed the notion that juveniles do require added constitutional protection.26

In re Gault, another United States Supreme Court decision, also dramatically altered the juvenile court system.27 In this case, the lower court found a fifteen-year-old boy to be a delinquent child for using vulgar, abusive or obscene language, which was a misdemeanor.28 He was committed to the State Industrial School "for the period of minority (e.g., until age 21), unless sooner discharged by due process of law."29 The boy's confession, which was made without his parent's presence, without having been informed of his right to remain silent and without a lawyer present, was used as evidence against him.30 The Supreme Court held that juvenile proceedings were criminal in nature and the rights afforded under the Due Process Clause had to be observed, even for juveniles.31 The Court stressed that "neither the Fourteenth Amendment nor the Bill of Rights is for adults alone."32 The practice of juvenile courts prior to Gault was to deny juveniles the basic rights of notice of the charges, right to counsel, right to confrontation and cross-examination, privilege against self-incrimination, right to a transcript of the proceedings and the right to appellate review.33 It is interesting to note that, while the Gault decision came down one year after Miranda v. Arizona, the Court did not address the issue of Miranda warnings for juvenile. Instead the Court stated "it would indeed be surprising if the privilege against self-incrimination were available to hardened criminals but not to children."34

Moreover, the Gault Court clarified the rights of juveniles when it declared, "the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination is as applicable in the case of juveniles as it is with respect to adults."35 Once the Gault Court ruled that juveniles had the right to due process, attention turned to whether or not the juvenile had the capacity to understand his rights in order to be able to waive them.

B. Juveniles and their Capacity to Comprehend

"You have the right to remain silent unless you are told to talk."36 When told of their right to remain silent, many juveniles believe the right lasts only until told to speak.37 These findings are the result of studies conducted by Psychologist Thomas Grisso, who found that, as a class, juveniles younger than fifteen years old could not meet the standards for adequate comprehension of their Miranda rights that are required of adults.38 These studies also revealed that juveniles ages fifteen to nineteen with low IQ scores were less able to comprehend their rights under Miranda than the average twelve year old.39 A Virginia study on the competency of learning disabled juveniles produced findings consistent with Grisso's. The study, comprised of fourteen to eighteen year old males, revealed the juveniles believed the warnings to be conditional. When asked what the "right to remain silent" meant, one student responded that it meant, "I have the right to remain silent while they arrest me."40 Another student thought it meant, "I don't have to say anything until the police ask me a question."41 All of these studies support the need for the judicial system to recognize that juveniles have a lesser capacity than adults do to comprehend their rights and therefore, special accommodations are necessary.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has relied on such studies when considering cases of juvenile confessions and the likelihood that the juvenile knew what his rights were when dealing with the authorities.42 The court noted that studies show that many children are incapable of exercising informed judgment concerning their Constitutional rights and, hence, cannot knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waive those rights.43 The court suggested that a possible remedy to this situation would be to use a simplified Miranda form when reading a child his or her rights.44

Courts have also addressed the issue of a juvenile's right to have a parent present during questioning as it relates to a request for an attorney under the Fifth Amendment privilege. Some courts have found that a juvenile's request to speak with a parent is to be considered the same as if he requested an attorney under the Fifth Amendment.45 In some jurisdictions, "interested adult" rules have been enacted to protect the interests of juveniles by giving them the opportunity to have a parent, guardian, custodian or other interested adult present during interrogations.46 In Lewis v. State, Indiana became one of the first states to adopt a per se rule that required the presence of an "interested adult" while the juvenile is informed of his or her rights.47 The juvenile must be allowed to consult with that adult when deciding whether to waive those rights.48 The court held that statements or confessions by juveniles without the benefit of consultation with a parent or guardian could not be used against the juvenile at a subsequent trial or hearing.49 Likewise, Vermont has instituted a per se rule for juvenile custodial interrogations. Relying on the reasoning of Lewis, the Vermont Supreme Court fashioned a three part per se rule and held that a juvenile could not waive his Fifth or Sixth Amendment rights without a parent or guardian present.50 Likewise, a Massachusetts Court in Commonwealth v. A Juvenile, held that juveniles under the age of fourteen could not effectively waive their rights and confess without an interested adult present.51 The court explained that a parent or other interested adult would be in a better position to understand the rights of the juvenile and to assist in the protection of those rights.52 Currently, New Hampshire does not require an interested adult to be present in order for a juvenile waiver to be effective but, instead, relies on the totality of the circumstances when deciding whether a juvenile's confession was voluntary.53 These studies show, and courts have recognized, that juveniles must be treated with special care when dealing with authorities so that their fundamental rights of due process under the law are not infringed.

C. The Standard Used In Considering Whether a Juvenile Confession is Voluntary

In Gault, the United States Supreme Court held that the privilege against self-incrimination is necessary to assure that "admissions or confessions are reasonably trustworthy, that they are not the mere fruits of coercion, but are reliable expressions of the truth."54 This established the foundation upon which individual states adopted a totality of the circumstances test, the standard generally used to determine the voluntariness of a juvenile's confession.

Based upon the belief that many juveniles are not capable of using sound judgment when waiving their Constitutional rights and making a confession, the State of New Hampshire, in State v. Benoit, established concrete procedures for courts to follow in order to assure that juveniles fully understand the rights they are waiving when they make a statement or confession.55 The court considers these procedures, along with the other factors surrounding a particular case, when applying the totality of the circumstances test to determine if the juvenile's waiver of his constitutional rights was knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently given.56

Even though the procedures established in Benoit addressed the issue of the validity of a Miranda waiver, the realization that special procedures are necessary when dealing with a juvenile is equally applicable to the due process issue of whether a juvenile's confession is voluntary and obtained without coercion. To be considered voluntary, the confession must be "the product of an essentially free and unconstrained choice. The decision to confess must be freely self-determined, the product of a rational intellect and a free will. The defendant's will to resist must not be overborne, nor can his capacity for self-determination be critically impaired."57 The totality of all the circumstances, including the individual characteristics of the minor, the details of the interrogation and the manner in which it was carried out, must be considered.58 Furthermore, the standard to be used is measured by the nature of the interview within the context of the minor's abilities.59 The confession is involuntary if it is induced by a juvenile's decreased mental capacity in combination with any coercive factors during questioning. The confession must also not be the result of adolescent fantasy, fear or despair.60 It is important that there not be any appearance of pressure, suggestion or coercion in order for the confession to be considered voluntary.61

The factors to be considered in evaluating whether a confession is voluntary include the suspect's unique characteristics and vulnerabilities, including age, level of education, mental capacity, deficits in comprehension and understanding and familiarity with the criminal justice system.62 Also included in the analysis is the manner by which the police conduct the interrogation, including: the length of detention; location of the interrogation; occurrence of any trickery; deceptions or promises offered to the suspect; any particular explanations or instructions given to explain the process; and whether there was any physical or psychological mistreatment.63 In addition to these considerations, the extra procedures suggested in Benoit would also apply to an interrogation in which the due process issue of voluntariness of a confession is considered.

III. IN RE WESLEY B.

A. Facts

On November 6, 1997, Wesley B., an eleven year old juvenile, was taken to the Manchester Police Station for questioning in connection with a fire at his home.64 The police decided to question Wesley after he approached a uniformed police officer and informed the officer that he had called 9-1-1 to report the fire.65 A juvenile division detective arrived on the scene and asked Wesley's mother if he could take Wesley to the station for questioning.66 Wesley's mother consented to the questioning while agreeing to pick Wesley up at the station in a half hour.67 When Wesley left with the detective, he was barefoot and dressed only in a tee shirt and pants.68

The detective interviewed Wesley alone for approximately two hours in the juvenile division of the police station.69 Wesley was given juice and was read his rights from the juvenile Miranda form.70 During the interview the detective was aware that Wesley was "slow," fidgety and having trouble paying attention.71 However, no modifications were made to accommodate Wesley's deficits other than the officer refocusing Wesley's attention when it frequently wandered.72 None of the procedures to address Wesley's deficits that were suggested by the court-appointed psychologist, and later used during the trial, were used by the police during the initial interrogation.73 After repeated questioning, Wesley offered several inconsistent theories on how the fire could have started.74 The detective then informed Wesley that he did not believe him and that he felt that Wesley was responsible for the fire.75 Before the interview was concluded, Wesley admitted that he started the fire.76

The defense requested a competency evaluation of Wesley, which revealed that Wesley had a severe language handicap in both expressive and receptive areas.77 The court-appointed psychologist found that these factors, combined with Wesley's high degree of immaturity and regression, made him "just" competent to stand trial.78 Given the special needs of Wesley, the district court adopted adjudicatory hearing procedures to assist Wesley, the parties and witnesses were required to use simple terminology, and breaks were taken after each hour of the hearing.79 Despite these measures, Wesley fell asleep three times during the proceedings.80

The district court denied the motion to suppress Wesley's statement.81 The court ruled that Wesley was not in custody at the time of the interview with the detective and found that Wesley's statement was voluntary and therefore admissible.82

B. The Appellate Arguments

On appeal, Wesley asserted that at the time of the confession, he was in custody and did not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently waive his constitutional rights against self-incrimination.83 He relied on the fact that he was held at the station, was not told he could leave or stop the interview and had no way to leave the station since no adult was present to take him home.84 During the two-hour interrogation, there was no adult present who could have assisted Wesley in understanding his Constitutional rights.85 Wesley maintained that the manner by which the interrogation was conducted indicated that he was not free to leave until he confessed to setting the fire.86 All of these factors, considered in the context of an eleven-year-old perception, indicated that Wesley was in custody and was not free to leave.

The defense also contended that Wesley's confession was not voluntary and was inadmissible under both the state and federal Constitutions.87 Though the officer who questioned Wesley testified that during questioning Wesley was "slow" and fidgety, and had difficulty paying attention, the officer did not change the questions or procedures used to assure that Wesley understood the process.88 The defense relied on the fact that Wesley was learning disabled as subsequently evaluated by a psychologist.89 Because of Wesley's immaturity and learning difficulties, his competency was diminished and therefore he could not understand the implications of the questions being asked of him.90 During the trial special procedures were used to accommodate Wesley's learning disability.91 None of these accommodations were present during Wesley's initial interrogation.92 Consequently, the defense argued that any statements Wesley made were not the result of a knowing, intelligent and voluntary choice and were, therefore, inadmissible.93

The State relied on the fact that there was no evidence in the record of any police overreaching, deception or coercive conduct.94 To the contrary, the State contended that the police officer attempted to create a comfortable environment by making small talk with Wesley and getting him juice to drink. Therefore, since coercion is a prerequisite to a finding of involuntariness, and since there was no overt coercion present during questioning, the State argued that the lower court's ruling should be upheld.95

The State contended that there were also several other factors, indicating that the confession was given voluntarily.96 First, Wesley voluntarily offered to make his statement to the police officer by approaching the officer at the scene of the fire.97 Second, Wesley was free to end the interview and leave at any time.98 The officer claimed that just because Wesley would not have been allowed to leave the station unattended to walk home did not mean that he would not have been taken home had he wished to go.99 Third, the officer noticed that Wesley was "slow," fidgety and had difficulty paying attention during the questioning, and calmly refocused Wesley's attention in a non-coercive manner.100 Finally, the officer had obtained permission from Wesley's mother to take Wesley to the station and question him.101 At no time was she denied access, and Wesley was never overtly coerced into staying or answering the questions.102 The State concluded that all of these factors prove that Wesley was treated fairly and was not coerced into giving a statement that he did not wish to give.103 Therefore, the State argued that the confession was voluntary and should be admitted into evidence.104

C. The Court Holding and Application of the Totality of the Circumstances Test

In a unanimous decision, the New Hampshire Supreme Court reversed the trial court and held, by applying the totality of the circumstances test, that the State failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Wesley's confession was voluntary.105 The court did not address the issue of whether Wesley was in custody and validly waived his Miranda rights because it held that Wesley's confession was involuntary and inadmissible under the due process clause of the New Hampshire State Constitution.106

The court relied heavily on the fact that because Wesley was an educationally impaired youth of low average intelligence with a severe language handicap in both the expressive and receptive areas, adaptive trial proceedings were used to facilitate and monitor Wesley's understanding of the proceedings.107 These adaptations were not present during the initial two hour questioning that resulted in Wesley's confession.108 This, coupled with Wesley's young age, the repeated and prolonged questioning, his heightened suggestibility and the absence of any supportive adult during the interview, indicated to the court that Wesley's will was overborne and the confession was not the result of his free and unconstrained choice.109 Therefore, when the circumstances were analyzed in the context of Wesley's mental abilities, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire held that the confession was involuntary and inadmissible.110

IV. FUTURE IMPLICATIONS OF IN RE WESLEY B.

State v. Farrell is another recent case that considers whether a juvenile confession was obtained voluntarily.111 In Farrell, the sixteen-year-old defendant took a handgun from his home and the gun discharged while the defendant, the victim and a friend were "messing around" with it.112 The defendant was taken to the police station and interrogated.113 The defendant's father arrived at the station and asked to see his son.114 The defendant was never told that his father was at the station requesting to see him and the police did not notify his father of the interrogation until it was concluded.115

The juvenile was tried as an adult and found guilty of second-degree murder.116 On appeal, the case was reversed and remanded, and the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that the defendant's confession should be suppressed.117 The court held that when a guardian of a defendant arrives at the site of the interrogation and requests to see the child in custody, the police must immediately cease interrogation, notify the juvenile that his parent or guardian is present and immediately allow the parent or guardian into the interrogation room.118 The court further stated that the police conduct in Farrell was inconsistent with the increased care required when a juvenile is detained and interrogated.119

Farrell joins Benoit and Wesley B. in defining and clarifying the issues that need to be considered when determining whether a juvenile confession is voluntarily given. These cases indicate that every benefit should be given to the juvenile defendant while allowing the court flexibility to consider every case individually.

V. CONCLUSION

The decision in Wesley B. is important because it clarified the application of the totality of the circumstances test in the context of a juvenile's individual circumstances and situation. The court recognized the importance of protecting the constitutional rights of juveniles who, because of their age and individual circumstances, cannot appreciate and make informed decisions concerning their rights. The holding in this case complements the holding the court articulated in Benoit.120 Benoit clearly outlined several factors that should be considered when evaluating whether a juvenile has knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waived his Fifth Amendment rights.121 Wesley B. applied these factors in overturning the lower courts decision and finding Wesley's confession to be inadmissible.

This decision in Wesley B. reaffirmed that it is imperative that the courts consider all of the factors affecting a juvenile's circumstances when determining the admissibility of the confession. In Wesley's case, there was no overt police coercion. However, there were behavioral patterns that should have indicated to the police officer that Wesley had possible mental deficits that affected his understanding and capacity to knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily give a confession. The fact that Wesley needed significant modifications to the standard trial procedure in order to understand the court proceedings was a major factor indicating that Wesley had significant mental capacity deficits. The fact that none of these modifications were present during the questioning made it inherently coercive because of Wesley's individual deficits in understanding and capacity. Furthermore, in Farrell the court held that the refusal to allow a juvenile's parent into the room during questioning is inconsistent with the increased care required when a juvenile is detained and interrogated.

Therefore, Wesley B. and other recent case law indicate that the police need heightened awareness when questioning juveniles. Though the court has declined to identify specific procedures for police to use during questioning, it is clearly indicating that extra care should be taken when questioning juveniles to assure that their Constitutional rights are not violated.

ENDNOTES

1. U.S. Const. amends. V, XIV.
2. Brown v. Mississippi, 297 U.S. 278, 286 (1936).
3. N.H Const. pt. 1, art. 15.
4. State v. Damiano, 124 N.H. 742, 746 (1984) (quoting Herbert v. Louisiana, 272 U.S. 312, 316 (1926)).
5. State v. Damiano, 124 N.H. at 746.
6. State v. Benoit, 126 N.H. 6, 11 (1985).
7. In re Wesley B., ___ N.H. ___, 764 A.2d. 888 (2000).
8. Maryann Zavez, Kids and the Criminal Justice System: Questions of Capacity, Competence and Disability, 24 vt. B.j. & l. Dig. 44 (Dec. 1988).
9. Id.
10. Id.
11. Id.
12. Raymond Chao, Mirandizing Kids: Not As Simple As A-B-C, 21 Whittier L. Rev. 521, 522 (2000).
13. In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1, 14 (1967).
14. Id. at 16 (explaining parens patriae (parent of the country) model of juvenile justice).
15. Id.
16. Benoit, 126 N.H. at 12.
17. Id.
18. Id.
19. N.H.Rev. Stat. Ann. 169-B:1 (Supp. 2000).
20. Id.
21. Haley v. Ohio, 332 U.S. 596, 601 (1948).
22. Chao, supra. note 12, at 527.
23. Haley, 332 U.S. at 599.
24. Id.
25. Id.
26. Chao, supra, note 12, at 527.
27. Gault, 387 U.S. at 1.
28. Id.
29. Id.
30. Id. at 8.
31. Id.
32. Id. at 13.
33. Id. at 10.
34. Id. at 47.
35. Gault, 387 U.S at 55.
36. Zavez, supra note 8, at 45 (explaining findings of empirical study in Thomas Grisso, Juvenile Competency To Stand Trial, Questions in an Era of Punitive Reform, 12 Crim. Just. 4 (1997)).
37. Id.
38. Zavez, supra note 8, at 45(explaining findings of empirical study in Thomas Grisso, Juveniles' Capacities to Waive Miranda Rights: An Empirical Analysis, 68 Cal. L. Rev. 1134 (1980)).
39. Id.
40. Id.
41. Id.
42. Benoit, 126 N.H. at 13-14.
43. Id.
44. Id. at 14.
45. Chao, supra, note 12, at 532.
46. Id. at 539; Benoit, 126 N.H. at 15-16.
47. Lewis v. State, 288 N.E.2d 138, 142 (Ind. 1972).
48. Id; see generally David T. Huang, "Less Unequal Footing": State Courts' Per Se Rules for Juvenile Waivers During Interrogations and the Case for their Implementation, 88 Cornell L. Rev. 437, 452 (2001).
49. Lewis, N.E.2d at 142.
50. Huang, supra note 48, at 453. (explaining that the Indiana three part per se rule states: (1) [the juvenile] must be given the opportunity to consult with an adult; (2) that adult must be one who is not only genuinely interested in the welfare if the juvenile but completely independent from and disassociated with the prosecution, e.g.., a parent, legal guardian, or attorney representing the juvenile; and (3) the independent interested adult must be informed and be aware of the rights guaranteed to the juvenile.)
51. Commonwealth v. A Juvenile, 449 N.E.2d 654, 657 (Mass. 1983).
52. Id.
53. In re Wesley B., ___ N.H. ___, 764 A.2d 888 (2000).
54. Gault, 387 U.S. at 47.
55. Benoit, 126 N.H. at 18-19.
56 Id.
57. State v. Reynolds, 124 N.H. 428, 434 (1984) (quotations and citations omitted).
58. Id.
59. State v. Chapman, 135 N.H. 390, 400 (1992).
60. Gault, 387 U.S. at 54.
61. Id.
62. Benoit, 126 N.H. at 15.
63. Colorado v. Connelly, 479 U.S. 157, 170 (1986).
64. In re Wesley B., 764 A.2d at 890.
65. Id.
66. Id.
67. Id.
68. Id.
69. Id.
70. Id.
71. Id. at 891.
72. Id.
73. Id.
74. Id. at 890.
75. Id.
76. Id.
77. Id.
78. Id.
79. Id.
80. Id.
81. Id.
82. Id.
83. Id.
84. Id. at 891-892.
85. Id. at 890.
86. Id.
87. Id.
88. Id. at 891.
89. Id.
90. Id.
91. Id.
92. Id.
93. Id.
94. Id.
95. Brief for the State at 20-23, In re Wesley B., ___ N.H. ___, 764 A.2d. 888 (2000) (No. 98-471).
96. Id.
97. Id.
98. Id.
99. Id.
100. Id.
101. Id.
102. Id.
103. Id.
104. Id.
105. In re Wesley B., 764 A.2d. at 892.
106. Id. at 890.
107. Id.
108. Id.
109. Id. at 892.
110. Id.
111. State v. Farrell, ___ N.H.___, 766 A.2d. 1057 (2001).
112. Id. at 1059.
113. Id.
114. Id. at 1060.
115. Id.
116. Id. at 1059.
117. Id. at 1062.
118. Id.
119. Id. at 1062-1063.
120. Benoit, 126 N.H. at 18-19.
121. Id. at 19.
The Author
Kimberly Hallquist,Class of 2002,
Franklin Pierce Law Center,
Concord, New Hampshire.
The Author
Sheri Phillips, Class of 2003,
Franklin Pierce Law Center,
Concord, New Hampshire.

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