Bill Text: MS HB509 | 2020 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Violent offenders, certain; may be paroled by Parole Board if sentencing judge authorizes parole consideration.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-02-04 - Referred To Corrections;Judiciary B [HB509 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2020-HB509-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2020 Regular Session

To: Corrections; Judiciary B

By: Representatives Banks, Brown (70th)

House Bill 509

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 47-7-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT AN OFFENDER WHO HAS COMMITTED A CRIME OF VIOLENCE ON OR AFTER JULY 1, 1995, BUT BEFORE JULY 1, 2014, MAY BE PAROLED BY THE PAROLE BOARD IF THE SENTENCING JUDGE AUTHORIZES THE OFFENDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE CONSIDERATION AFTER THE OFFENDER HAS SERVED A CERTAIN NUMBER OF YEARS OF HIS OR HER SENTENCE; TO AMEND SECTION 47-5-138, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PRECEDING SECTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Section 47-7-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     47-7-3.  (1)  Every prisoner who has been convicted of any offense against the State of Mississippi, and is confined in the execution of a judgment of such conviction in the Mississippi Department of Corrections for a definite term or terms of one (1) year or over, or for the term of his or her natural life, whose record of conduct shows that such prisoner has observed the rules of the department, and who has served not less than one-fourth (1/4) of the total of such term or terms for which such prisoner was sentenced, or, if sentenced to serve a term or terms of thirty (30) years or more, or, if sentenced for the term of the natural life of such prisoner, has served not less than ten (10) years of such life sentence, may be released on parole as hereinafter provided, except that:

          (a)  No prisoner convicted as a confirmed and habitual criminal under the provisions of Sections 99-19-81 through 99-19-87 shall be eligible for parole;

          (b)  Any person who shall have been convicted of a sex crime shall not be released on parole except for a person under the age of nineteen (19) who has been convicted under Section 97-3-67;

          (c)  (i)  No person shall be eligible for parole who shall, on or after January 1, 1977, be convicted of robbery or attempted robbery through the display of a firearm until he shall have served ten (10) years if sentenced to a term or terms of more than ten (10) years or if sentenced for the term of the natural life of such person.  If such person is sentenced to a term or terms of ten (10) years or less, then such person shall not be eligible for parole.  The provisions of this paragraph (c)(i) shall also apply to any person who shall commit robbery or attempted robbery on or after July 1, 1982, through the display of a deadly weapon.  This paragraph (c)(i) shall not apply to persons convicted after September 30, 1994;

              (ii)  No person shall be eligible for parole who shall, on or after October 1, 1994, be convicted of robbery, attempted robbery or carjacking as provided in Section 97-3-115 et seq., through the display of a firearm or drive-by shooting as provided in Section 97-3-109.  The provisions of this paragraph (c)(ii) shall also apply to any person who shall commit robbery, attempted robbery, carjacking or a drive-by shooting on or after October 1, 1994, through the display of a deadly weapon.  This paragraph (c)(ii) shall not apply to persons convicted after July 1, 2014;

          (d)  No person shall be eligible for parole who, on or after July 1, 1994, is charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole under the provisions of Section 99-19-101;

          (e)  No person shall be eligible for parole who is charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment under the provisions of Section 99-19-101;

          (f)  No person shall be eligible for parole who is convicted or whose suspended sentence is revoked after June 30, 1995, except that an offender convicted of only nonviolent crimes after June 30, 1995, may be eligible for parole if the offender meets the requirements in this subsection (1) and this paragraph.  In addition to other requirements, if an offender is convicted of a drug or driving under the influence felony, the offender must complete a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program prior to parole or the offender may be required to complete a post-release drug and alcohol program as a condition of parole.  For purposes of this paragraph, "nonviolent crime" means a felony other than homicide, robbery, manslaughter, sex crimes, arson, burglary of an occupied dwelling, aggravated assault, kidnapping, felonious abuse of vulnerable adults, felonies with enhanced penalties, except enhanced penalties for the crime of possession of a controlled substance under Section 41-29-147, the sale or manufacture of a controlled substance under the Uniform Controlled Substances Law, felony child abuse, or exploitation or any crime under Section 97-5-33 or Section 97-5-39(2) or 97-5-39(1)(b), 97-5-39(1)(c) or a violation of Section 63-11-30(5).  In addition, an offender incarcerated for committing the crime of possession of a controlled substance under the Uniform Controlled Substances Law after July 1, 1995, including an offender who receives an enhanced penalty under the provisions of Section 41-29-147 for such possession, shall be eligible for parole.  An offender incarcerated for committing the crime of sale or manufacture of a controlled substance shall be eligible for parole after serving one-fourth (1/4) of the sentence imposed by the trial court.  This paragraph (f) shall not apply to persons convicted on or after July 1, 2014;

          (g)  (i)  No person who, on or after July 1, 2014, is convicted of a crime of violence pursuant to Section 97-3-2, a sex crime or an offense that specifically prohibits parole release * * *, shall be eligible for parole.  All persons convicted of any other offense on or after July 1, 2014, are eligible for parole after they have served one-fourth (1/4) of the sentence or sentences imposed by the trial court.

              (ii)  Notwithstanding the provisions in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph (g), a person serving a sentence who has reached the age of sixty (60) or older and who has served no less than ten (10) years of the sentence or sentences imposed by the trial court shall be eligible for parole.  Any person eligible for parole under this subsection shall be required to have a parole hearing before the board prior to parole release.  No inmate shall be eligible for parole under this subparagraph (ii) of this * * * subsection paragraph (g) if:

                   1.  The inmate is sentenced as a habitual offender under Sections 99-19-81 through 99-19-87;

                   2.  The inmate is sentenced for a crime of violence under Section 97-3-2;

                   3.  The inmate is sentenced for an offense that specifically prohibits parole release;

                   4.  The inmate is sentenced for trafficking in controlled substances under Section 41-29-139(f);

                   5.  The inmate is sentenced for a sex crime; or

                   6.  The inmate has not served one-fourth (1/4) of the sentence imposed by the court.

              (iii)  Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection, any offender who has not committed a crime of violence under Section 97-3-2 and has served twenty-five percent (25%) or more of his sentence may be paroled by the parole board if, after the sentencing judge or if the sentencing judge is retired, disabled or incapacitated, the senior circuit judge authorizes the offender to be eligible for parole consideration;

              (iv)  Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law to the contrary, any offender who has been convicted of a crime of violence, as prescribed under Section 97-3-2, on or after July 1, 1995, but before July 1, 2014, and such offender is confined in the execution of a judgment of such conviction in the Department of Corrections, and he or she has a record of conduct that shows the offender has observed the rules of the department and has served not less than ten (10) years for which such offender is sentenced or if he or she is sentenced for the term of the natural life of such offender and has served not less than ten (10) years of such life sentence, then such offender may be released by the parole board if, after the sentencing judge, or if the sentencing judge is retired, disabled or incapacitated, the senior circuit judge authorizes the offender to be eligible for parole consideration.

          (h)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an inmate who has not been convicted as a habitual offender under Sections 99-19-81 through 99-19-87, has not been convicted of committing a crime of violence, as defined under Section 97-3-2, has not been convicted of a sex crime or any other crime that specifically prohibits parole release, and has not been convicted of drug trafficking under Section 41-29-139 is eligible for parole if the inmate has served twenty-five percent (25%) or more of his or her sentence, but is otherwise ineligible for parole.

     (2)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an inmate shall not be eligible to receive earned time, good time or any other administrative reduction of time which shall reduce the time necessary to be served for parole eligibility as provided in subsection (1) of this section.

     (3)  The State Parole Board shall, by rules and regulations, establish a method of determining a tentative parole hearing date for each eligible offender taken into the custody of the Department of Corrections.  The tentative parole hearing date shall be determined within ninety (90) days after the department has assumed custody of the offender.  The parole hearing date shall occur when the offender is within thirty (30) days of the month of his parole eligibility date.  The parole eligibility date shall not be earlier than one-fourth (1/4) of the prison sentence or sentences imposed by the court.

     (4)  Any inmate within twenty-four (24) months of his parole eligibility date and who meets the criteria established by the classification board shall receive priority for placement in any educational development and job training programs that are part of his or her parole case plan.  Any inmate refusing to participate in an educational development or job training program that is part of the case plan may be in jeopardy of noncompliance with the case plan and may be denied parole.

     SECTION 2.  Section 47-5-138, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     47-5-138.  (1)  The department may promulgate rules and regulations to carry out an earned-time allowance program based on the good conduct and performance of an inmate.  An inmate is eligible to receive an earned-time allowance of one-half (1/2) of the period of confinement imposed by the court except those inmates excluded by law.  When an inmate is committed to the custody of the department, the department shall determine a conditional earned-time release date by subtracting the earned-time allowance from an inmate's term of sentence.  This subsection does not apply to any sentence imposed after June 30, 1995.

     (2)  An inmate may forfeit all or part of his earned-time allowance for a serious violation of rules.  No forfeiture of the earned-time allowance shall be effective except upon approval of the commissioner, or his designee, and forfeited earned time may not be restored.

     (3)  (a)  For the purposes of this subsection, "final order" means an order of a state or federal court that dismisses a lawsuit brought by an inmate while the inmate was in the custody of the Department of Corrections as frivolous, malicious or for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

          (b)  On receipt of a final order, the department shall forfeit:

              (i)  Sixty (60) days of an inmate's accrued earned time if the department has received one (1) final order as defined herein;

              (ii)  One hundred twenty (120) days of an inmate's accrued earned time if the department has received two (2) final orders as defined herein;

              (iii)  One hundred eighty (180) days of an inmate's accrued earned time if the department has received three (3) or more final orders as defined herein.

          (c)  The department may not restore earned time forfeited under this subsection.

     (4)  An inmate who meets the good conduct and performance requirements of the earned-time allowance program may be released on his conditional earned-time release date.

     (5)  Except as otherwise provided by Section 47-7-3(1)(g)(iv), for any sentence imposed after June 30, 1995, an inmate may receive an earned-time allowance of four and one-half (4-1/2) days for each thirty (30) days served if the department determines that the inmate has complied with the good conduct and performance requirements of the earned-time allowance program.  The earned-time allowance under this subsection shall not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of an inmate's term of sentence; however, beginning July 1, 2006, no person under the age of twenty-one (21) who has committed a nonviolent offense, and who is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections, shall be subject to the fifteen percent (15%) limitation for earned-time allowances as described in this subsection (5).

     (6)  Any inmate, who is released before the expiration of his term of sentence under this section, shall be placed under earned-release supervision until the expiration of the term of sentence.  The inmate shall retain inmate status and remain under the jurisdiction of the department.  The period of earned-release supervision shall be conducted in the same manner as a period of supervised parole.  The department shall develop rules, terms and conditions for the earned-release supervision program.  The commissioner shall designate the appropriate hearing officer within the department to conduct revocation hearings for inmates violating the conditions of earned-release supervision.

     (7)  If the earned-release supervision is revoked, the inmate shall serve the remainder of the sentence, but the time the inmate served on earned-release supervision before revocation * * *, shall be applied to reduce his sentence.

     SECTION 3.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2020.


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