New Hampshire: The Color Scarlet

The Color Scarlet

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's fictional Massachusetts, Hester Prynne wore the scarlet A to betoken her adultery. In 17th century New Hampshire, however, the transgression brought "two sets of 40 lashes" and the letters AD worn on upper garments. Today, adultery in the Granite State can bring a $1,000 fine or up to a year in prison. Soon it may not be a crime at all. The state house has passed a measure that would decriminalize adultery. If the senate follows suit, Republican Governor John Sununu is expected to sign the bill into law.

The repeal move started in December, when Robert Stackelbeck...

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