Bill Text: TX HB2847 | 2011-2012 | 82nd Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to the use of video teleconferencing systems in certain criminal proceedings.

Status: (Passed) 2011-06-17 - Effective on 9/1/11 [HB2847 Detail]

Download: Texas-2011-HB2847-Enrolled.html
 
 
  H.B. No. 2847
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the use of video teleconferencing systems in certain
  criminal proceedings.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Article 1.13(a), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (a)  The defendant in a criminal prosecution for any offense
  other than a capital felony case in which the state [State] notifies
  the court and the defendant that it will seek the death penalty
  shall have the right, upon entering a plea, to waive the right of
  trial by jury, conditioned, however, that, except as provided by
  Article 27.19, the [such] waiver must be made in person by the
  defendant in writing in open court with the consent and approval of
  the court, and the attorney representing the state [State]. The
  consent and approval by the court shall be entered of record on the
  minutes of the court, and the consent and approval of the attorney
  representing the state [State] shall be in writing, signed by that
  attorney [him], and filed in the papers of the cause before the
  defendant enters the defendant's [his] plea.
         SECTION 2.  Article 20.011(a), Code of Criminal Procedure,
  is amended to read as follows:
         (a)  Only the following persons may be present in a grand
  jury room while the grand jury is conducting proceedings:
               (1)  grand jurors;
               (2)  bailiffs;
               (3)  the attorney representing the state;
               (4)  witnesses while being examined or when necessary
  to assist the attorney representing the state in examining other
  witnesses or presenting evidence to the grand jury;
               (5)  interpreters, if necessary; [and]
               (6)  a stenographer or person operating an electronic
  recording device, as provided by Article 20.012; and
               (7)  a person operating a video teleconferencing system
  for use under Article 20.151.
         SECTION 3.  Article 20.02(b), Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  A grand juror, bailiff, interpreter, stenographer or
  person operating an electronic recording device, [or] person
  preparing a typewritten transcription of a stenographic or
  electronic recording, or person operating a video teleconferencing
  system for use under Article 20.151 who discloses anything
  transpiring before the grand jury, regardless of whether the thing
  transpiring is recorded, in the course of the official duties of the
  grand jury, is [shall be] liable to a fine as for contempt of the
  court, not exceeding $500 [five hundred dollars], imprisonment not
  exceeding 30 [thirty] days, or both the [such] fine and
  imprisonment.
         SECTION 4.  Chapter 20, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 20.151 to read as follows:
         Art. 20.151.  CERTAIN TESTIMONY BY VIDEO TELECONFERENCING.
  (a)  With the consent of the foreman of the grand jury and the
  attorney representing the state, a peace officer summoned to
  testify before the grand jury may testify through the use of a
  closed circuit video teleconferencing system that provides an
  encrypted, simultaneous, compressed full motion video and
  interactive communication of image and sound between the peace
  officer, the attorney representing the state, and the grand jury.
         (b)  In addition to being administered the oath described by
  Article 20.16(a), before being interrogated, a peace officer
  testifying through the use of a closed circuit video
  teleconferencing system under this article shall affirm that:
               (1)  no person other than a person in the grand jury
  room is capable of hearing the peace officer's testimony; and
               (2)  the peace officer's testimony is not being
  recorded or otherwise preserved by any person at the location from
  which the peace officer is testifying.
         (c)  Testimony received from a peace officer under this
  article shall be recorded in the same manner as other testimony
  taken before the grand jury.
         SECTION 5.  Article 27.18, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by amending Subsection (c) and adding Subsection (c-1) to
  read as follows:
         (c)  A record [recording] of the communication shall be made
  by a court reporter and preserved by the court reporter until all
  appellate proceedings have been disposed of. The defendant may
  obtain a copy of the record [recording] on payment of a reasonable
  amount to cover the costs of reproduction or, if the defendant is
  indigent, the court shall provide a copy to the defendant without
  charging a cost for the copy.
         (c-1)  The loss or destruction of or failure to make a record
  of a plea entered under this article is not alone sufficient grounds
  for a defendant to withdraw the defendant's plea or to request the
  court to set aside a conviction or sentence based on the plea.
         SECTION 6.  Article 38.073, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended to read as follows:
         Art. 38.073.  TESTIMONY OF INMATE WITNESSES. In a
  proceeding in the prosecution of a criminal offense in which an
  inmate in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice is
  required to testify as a witness, any deposition or testimony of the
  inmate witness may be conducted by a video teleconferencing system
  in the manner described by Article 27.18 [electronic means, in the
  same manner as permitted in civil cases under Section 30.012, Civil
  Practice and Remedies Code].
         SECTION 7.  Article 102.017(d-1), Code of Criminal
  Procedure, is amended to read as follows:
         (d-1)  For purposes of this article, the term "security
  personnel, services, and items" includes:
               (1)  the purchase or repair of X-ray machines and
  conveying systems;
               (2)  handheld metal detectors;
               (3)  walkthrough metal detectors;
               (4)  identification cards and systems;
               (5)  electronic locking and surveillance equipment;
               (6)  video teleconferencing systems;
               (7)  bailiffs, deputy sheriffs, deputy constables, or
  contract security personnel during times when they are providing
  appropriate security services;
               (8) [(7)]  signage;
               (9) [(8)]  confiscated weapon inventory and tracking
  systems;
               (10) [(9)]  locks, chains, alarms, or similar security
  devices;
               (11) [(10)]  the purchase or repair of bullet-proof
  glass; and
               (12) [(11)]  continuing education on security issues
  for court personnel and security personnel.
         SECTION 8.  Articles 20.011(a) and 20.02(b), Code of
  Criminal Procedure, as amended by this Act, and Article 20.151,
  Code of Criminal Procedure, as added by this Act, apply only to
  testimony before a grand jury that is impaneled on or after the
  effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 9.  Article 27.18, Code of Criminal Procedure, as
  amended by this Act, applies to a plea of guilty or nolo contendere
  entered on or after the effective date of this Act, regardless of
  whether the offense with reference to which the plea is entered is
  committed before, on, or after that date.
         SECTION 10.  Article 38.073, Code of Criminal Procedure, as
  amended by this Act, applies only to the testimony of an inmate
  witness that is taken on or after the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 11.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2011.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2847 was passed by the House on May 3,
  2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 144, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 2847 on May 28, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 147, Nays 0,
  1 present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 2847 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 25, 2011, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays
  0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor       
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