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Bar News - June 17, 2011

US Supreme Court Accepts NH Criminal Case

The US Supreme Court will hear a NH criminal case on a due-process issue. (Perry v. New Hampshire, USSC No. 10-8974, May 31, 2011).

The court will consider: "Do the due process protections against unreliable identification evidence apply to all identifications made under suggestive circumstances, as held by the First Circuit Court of Appeal and other federal courts of appeal, or only when the suggestive circumstances were orchestrated by the police, as held by the New Hampshire Supreme Court and other courts?"

According to the website, Jurist, the incarcerated defendant, "Barion Perry is challenging his conviction for breaking into a car based on a witness identifying him as the perpetrator while he was in handcuffs under police custody. The witness claims she saw Perry break into the car and steal things but later could neither pick him out of a photo line-up nor describe his appearance. Perry argues that the identification was suggestive since he was in handcuffs, making him look like a criminal. The appeal comes after the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld Perry’s conviction."

Richard Guerriero of the NH Public Defender was counsel of record and responsible for the pleading, with Deputy Chief Appellate Defender David Rothstein, Appellate Defender Heather Ward, and Public Defender Alex Parsons playing critical and invaluable roles in presenting the case to the court.

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