New Hampshire Public Defender
Providing State-Wide Representation to Indigent People Accused of Crimes.
June 10, 2020 Statement of New Hampshire Public Defender
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, it is essential that we acknowledge the fact that racism is a problem in New Hampshire, just as it is elsewhere. Mr. Floyd was killed because he was black…the result of racism and police misconduct, pure and simple. Like Mr. Floyd, many of our clients are falsely stereotyped, wrongly stigmatized based on the color of their skin, and treated unfairly because of their race. We will not allow the problem of racism to recede into the background when George Floyd’s name fades from the front page.
NHPD must be part of the current groundswell, tackling issues of racism in our society generally and in our criminal justice system in particular. Many New Hampshire Public Defenders marched on June 8th to express solidarity with people of color who endure unfair treatment at the hands of the criminal justice system. Others have attended rallies around the state to advance social justice. We must go further and act on our values. We can start by considering our own implicit biases (Watch The Neuroscience of Decision Making, a TedX by Kimberly Papillon on youtube). NHPD is committed to providing additional training on the subject. We can also educate ourselves (Google “75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice”). We can call out racism when we see it. We encourage continued discussions that elevate our understanding of racial issues. We can vote for candidates who represent our values.
And, most of all, we can honor George Floyd by continuing to do what we do best: providing zealous representation to all our clients.
The New Hampshire Public Defender is a private, nonprofit corporation created in 1972 to give New Hampshire a cost-effective means of providing high-quality, reliable representation to indigent defendants. The Program’s attorneys serve clients facing criminal and delinquency prosecution who cannot afford to retain private counsel.