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Apr 19, 2015 8:48 AM

Judicial branch wants to streamline felony process

The Associated Press

CONCORD (AP) - The New Hampshire Judicial Branch wants to streamline how felony cases are handled and overhaul a process that dates back to when judges rode horses to court and grand juries sat only twice a year.

The state Senate passed a bill that would have all felonies filed in Superior Court, bypassing District Court where they now start. Judicial officials say those cases can currently linger at the district level for two to five months before being transferred to Superior Court.

The bill has the support of most law enforcement officials. But some prominent defense lawyers say it could hurt defendants by doing away with most hearings to determine if there's enough evidence to proceed to trial.

The bill is in the House Judiciary Committee.

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