Bill Text: IA HF2191 | 2021-2022 | 89th General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: A bill for an act relating to the commutation of sentence procedure for class "A" felons.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 26-14)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2022-02-14 - Subcommittee recommends passage. Vote Total: 3-0 [HF2191 Detail]

Download: Iowa-2021-HF2191-Introduced.html
House File 2191 - Introduced HOUSE FILE 2191 BY BAXTER , BACON , SHIPLEY , JENEARY , ANDREWS , BRADLEY , OLSON , WESSEL-KROESCHELL , DOLECHECK , STONE , WHEELER , WORTHAN , MOORE , BODEN , WOLFE , OSMUNDSON , CISNEROS , DUNWELL , HUNTER , THEDE , McCONKEY , INGELS , A. MEYER , MAXWELL , JACOBY , SUNDE , B. MEYER , MITCHELL , BEST , DONAHUE , FORBES , BRINK , BOSSMAN , GOBBLE , NORDMAN , GAINES , MOMMSEN , LUNDGREN , SALMON , ABDUL-SAMAD , and JAMES A BILL FOR An Act relating to the commutation of sentence procedure for 1 class “A” felons. 2 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 3 TLSB 5462YH (6) 89 as/rh
H.F. 2191 Section 1. Section 902.2, Code 2022, is amended to read as 1 follows: 2 902.2 Commutation procedure for class “A” felons. 3 1. a. A Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs “b” 4 and “c” , a person who has been sentenced to life imprisonment 5 under section 902.1 may, no more frequently than once every ten 6 years, make an application to the governor requesting that the 7 person’s sentence be commuted to a term of years. The director 8 of the Iowa department of corrections may make a request to 9 the governor that a person’s sentence be commuted to a term of 10 years at any time. 11 b. A person who has been sentenced to life imprisonment 12 under section 902.1 who has served thirty-five years of a 13 life sentence may make an application to the governor every 14 five years requesting that the person’s sentence be commuted 15 to a term of years if the person is, at the time of each 16 application, classified at the minimum security custody level. 17 c. The director of the Iowa department of corrections may 18 make a request to the governor that a person’s sentence be 19 commuted to a term of years at any time. 20 2. Upon receipt of a request for commutation, the governor 21 shall send a copy of the request to the Iowa board of parole 22 for investigation and recommendations as to whether the person 23 should be considered for commutation. The board shall conduct 24 an interview of the class “A” felon and shall make a written 25 report of its findings and recommendations to the governor 26 within twelve months of the person’s submission of a request 27 for commutation . A decision to recommend commutation shall be 28 by a majority vote of the board. 29 3. In determining whether to recommend commutation 30 of an applicant’s sentence, the board shall consider all 31 circumstances including but not limited to all of the following 32 factors for inclusion in the board’s written report: 33 a. Whether the applicant has engaged in activities that 34 indicate rehabilitation including but not limited to any of the 35 -1- LSB 5462YH (6) 89 as/rh 1/ 4
H.F. 2191 following: 1 (1) Participation in rehabilitative, educational, 2 or vocational programs if available at the applicant’s 3 classification level and facility. 4 (2) Utilization of available materials for 5 self-improvement. 6 (3) Participation in other programs designed to promote 7 behavior change and to prepare offenders for successful reentry 8 into the community. 9 b. The length of time the applicant has exhibited good 10 behavior at the facility. 11 c. The impact of the applicant’s crime on each victim 12 through the use of victim impact statements as defined in 13 section 915.10. 14 d. The details of all criminal convictions of the applicant. 15 e. Whether the applicant has expressed remorse and accepted 16 responsibility for the applicant’s crimes. 17 f. Reports of the department of corrections including 18 disciplinary records, whether the applicant has engaged in 19 community service projects, and whether the applicant has been 20 a positive influence on others. 21 g. Whether the applicant was convicted of murder under 22 felony murder law or for aiding and abetting a felony murder 23 but the applicant did not intend for a murder to occur during 24 the commission of the offense. 25 h. Whether the applicant’s sentence of life without parole 26 was entered following a plea signed and accepted by all parties 27 which recommended a different sentence including a sentence 28 that is excessive compared to other sentences for the same 29 crime. 30 i. Whether a meaningful plan for housing and support is in 31 place including letters of recommendation indicating that the 32 applicant can be a contributing and positive member of society. 33 j. The impact of the crime on the community including 34 evidence that circumstances have changed since the applicant’s 35 -2- LSB 5462YH (6) 89 as/rh 2/ 4
H.F. 2191 original sentencing indicating the applicant’s continued 1 incarceration is no longer in the interest of justice due to 2 sufficient punishment and rehabilitation. 3 EXPLANATION 4 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 5 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 6 This bill relates to the commutation of sentence procedure 7 for class “A” felons. 8 Current law provides that a person who has been sentenced to 9 life imprisonment may, no more frequently than once every 10 10 years, make an application to the governor requesting that the 11 person’s sentence be commuted to a term of years. The director 12 of the Iowa department of corrections may make a request to the 13 governor requesting that the person’s sentence be commuted to a 14 term of years at any time. 15 The bill provides that in addition to the current 16 commutation procedure allowed under current law, a person who 17 has been sentenced to life imprisonment who has served 35 18 years may make an application to the governor every 5 years 19 requesting that the person’s sentence be commuted to a term 20 of years if the person is, at the time of each application, 21 classified at the minimum security custody level. 22 The bill provides that a decision by the Iowa board of 23 parole to recommend commutation by the governor shall be by 24 a majority vote of the board. In determining whether to 25 recommend commutation of the applicant’s sentence, the board 26 must consider all circumstances including but not limited to 27 the following factors for inclusion in the board’s written 28 report: whether the applicant has engaged in activities 29 that indicate rehabilitation including participation in 30 rehabilitative, educational, or vocational programs, the 31 utilization of available materials for self-improvement, and 32 participation in other programs designed to promote behavior 33 change and to prepare offenders for successful reentry into the 34 community; the length of time the applicant has exhibited good 35 -3- LSB 5462YH (6) 89 as/rh 3/ 4
H.F. 2191 behavior at the facility; the impact of the applicant’s crime 1 on each victim through the use of victim impact statements; the 2 details of all criminal convictions of the applicant; whether 3 the applicant has expressed remorse and accepted responsibility 4 for the applicant’s crimes; reports of the department of 5 corrections including disciplinary records, whether the 6 applicant has engaged in community service projects, and 7 whether the applicant has been a positive influence on others; 8 whether the applicant was convicted of murder under felony 9 murder law or for aiding and abetting a felony murder but the 10 applicant did not intend for a murder to occur during the 11 commission of the offense; whether the applicant’s sentence of 12 life without parole was entered following a plea signed and 13 accepted by all parties which recommended a different sentence; 14 whether a meaningful plan for housing and support is in place 15 including letters of recommendation indicating the applicant 16 can be a contributing and positive member of society; and 17 the impact of the crime on the community including evidence 18 that circumstances have changed since the sentencing of the 19 applicant indicating the applicant’s continued incarceration 20 is no longer in the interest of justice due to sufficient 21 punishment and rehabilitation. 22 -4- LSB 5462YH (6) 89 as/rh 4/ 4
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