N.H. First State To Require Defendants Appear For Victim Impact Statements

Aug 11, 2015

Seth Mazzaglia
Credit Jim Cole / AP Photo POOL

At a ceremony at the Statehouse Tuesday, Governor Maggie Hassan will sign a bill into law that requires those convicted of violent crimes to appear in court for victim impact statements.

New Hampshire will be the first state to have such a requirement.

The bill was filed after convicted murderer Seth Mazzaglia initially refused to appear in court to hear victim impact statements read by friends and family of his victim, Lizzi Marriott.

Mazzaglia ultimately withdrew his motion, and appeared for the hearing. He received a mandatory life sentence.

The law allows for the judge to excuse the defendant from appearing.

The new law takes effect Jan. 1.