Bill Text: MS SB2162 | 2020 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Juvenile offenders; provide alternative sentencing and early-release options when convicted of certain crimes.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-01-24 - Referred To Judiciary, Division B;Corrections [SB2162 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2020-SB2162-Introduced.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2020 Regular Session

To: Judiciary, Division B; Corrections

By: Senator(s) Turner-Ford

Senate Bill 2162

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-3-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ESTABLISH SENTENCING GUIDELINES FOR PERSONS WHO WERE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 WHEN THEY COMMITTED THE OFFENSE OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER, SECOND-DEGREE MURDER OR CAPITAL MURDER; TO REMOVE LIFE WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE AS A SENTENCING OPTION FOR JUVENILES CONVICTED OF THESE OFFENSES; TO PROVIDE THAT JUVENILES CONVICTED OF THESE OFFENSES MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE RETROACTIVE APPLICATION OF PAROLE ELIGIBILITY; TO AMEND SECTION 97-3-2, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN JUVENILE OFFENDERS MAY BE RELEASED FROM THE CUSTODY OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS (MDOC)BEFORE SERVING 50% OF THE SENTENCE IMPOSED BY THE COURT; TO AMEND SECTION 47-7-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT JUVENILE OFFENDERS CONVICTED OF CERTAIN OFFENSES MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE AFTER SERVING 25% OF A DEFINITE SENTENCE OR AFTER SERVING TEN YEARS OF A LIFE SENTENCE; TO AUTHORIZE THE PAROLE BOARD TO ESTABLISH A METHOD OF DETERMINING TENTATIVE PAROLE HEARING DATES FOR PAROLE-ELIGIBLE JUVENILE OFFENDERS WHO WERE CONVICTED BEFORE JULY 1, 2020; TO AMEND SECTION 47-7-3.1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CHANGE THE DEADLINE BY WHICH MDOC MUST COMPLETE CASE PLANS FOR PAROLE-ELIGIBLE JUVENILE OFFENDERS WHO WERE CONVICTED BEFORE JULY 1, 2020; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

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

     SECTION 1.  Section 97-3-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     97-3-21.  (1)  (a)  Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection for a juvenile offender, every person who shall be convicted of first-degree murder shall be sentenced by the court to imprisonment for life in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

          (b)  Every juvenile offender who shall be convicted of first-degree murder may be sentenced to forty (40) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections if the punishment is so fixed by the jury after a separate sentencing proceeding.  If the jury fails to agree on fixing the penalty at forty (40) years, the court shall fix the penalty at not less than ten (10) nor more than twenty (20) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

     (2)  (a)  Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection for a juvenile offender, every person who shall be convicted of second-degree murder shall be imprisoned for life in the custody of the Department of Corrections if the punishment is so fixed by the jury in its verdict after a separate sentencing proceeding.  If the jury fails to agree on fixing the penalty at imprisonment for life, the court shall fix the penalty at not less than twenty (20) nor more than forty (40) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

          (b)  Every juvenile offender who shall be convicted of second-degree murder may be sentenced to thirty (30) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections if the punishment is so fixed by the jury after a separate sentencing proceeding.  If the jury fails to agree on fixing the penalty at thirty (30) years, the court shall fix the penalty at not less than five (5) nor more than fifteen (15) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

     (3)  (a)  Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection for a juvenile offender, every person who shall be convicted of capital murder shall be sentenced ( * * *ai) to death; ( * * *bii) to imprisonment for life in the State Penitentiary without parole; or ( * * *ciii) to imprisonment for life in the State Penitentiary with eligibility for parole as provided in Section 47-7-3(1)(f).

          (b)  Every juvenile offender who shall be convicted of capital murder may be sentenced to fifty (50) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections if the punishment is so fixed by the jury after a separate sentencing proceeding.  If the jury fails to agree on fixing the penalty at fifty (50) years, the court shall fix the penalty at not less than fifteen (15) nor more than twenty-five (25) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections.

     (4)  A juvenile offender sentenced under this section may be eligible for parole as provided in Section 47-7-3(1)(i).  Notwithstanding Section 99-19-1, the provisions of this subsection shall apply retroactively to any juvenile offender regardless of the date on which an offense in violation of Section 97-3-19 is committed.

     (5)  For purposes of this section, "juvenile offender" means a person who was under the age of eighteen (18) at the time of the commission of an offense in violation of Section 97-3-19.

     SECTION 2.  Section 97-3-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     97-3-2.  (1)  The following shall be classified as crimes of violence:

          (a)  Driving under the influence as provided in Sections 63-11-30(5) and 63-11-30(12)(d);

          (b)  Murder and attempted murder as provided in Sections 97-1-7(2), 97-3-19, 97-3-23 and 97-3-25;

          (c)  Aggravated assault as provided in Sections 97-3-7(2)(a) and (b) and 97-3-7(4)(a);

          (d)  Manslaughter as provided in Sections 97-3-27, 97-3-29, 97-3-31, 97-3-33, 97-3-35, 97-3-39, 97-3-41, 97-3-43, 97-3-45 and 97-3-47;

          (e)  Killing of an unborn child as provided in Sections 97-3-37(2)(a) and 97-3-37(2)(b);

          (f)  Kidnapping as provided in Section 97-3-53;

          (g)  Human trafficking as provided in Section 97-3-54.1;

          (h)  Poisoning as provided in Section 97-3-61;

          (i)  Rape as provided in Sections 97-3-65 and 97-3-71;

          (j)  Robbery as provided in Sections 97-3-73 and 97-3-79;

          (k)  Sexual battery as provided in Section 97-3-95;

          (l)  Drive-by shooting or bombing as provided in Section 97-3-109;

          (m)  Carjacking as provided in Section 97-3-117;

          (n)  Felonious neglect, abuse or battery of a child as provided in Section 97-5-39;

          (o)  Burglary of a dwelling as provided in Sections 97-17-23 and 97-17-37;

          (p)  Use of explosives or weapons of mass destruction as provided in Section 97-37-25;

          (q)  Statutory rape as provided in Section 97-3-65(1), but this classification is rebuttable on hearing by a judge;

          (r)  Exploitation of a child as provided in Section 97-5-33;

          (s)  Gratification of lust as provided in Section 97-5-23; and

          (t)  Shooting into a dwelling as provided in Section 97-37-29.

     (2)  In any felony offense with a maximum sentence of no less than five (5) years, upon conviction, the judge may find and place in the sentencing order, on the record in open court, that the offense, while not listed in subsection (1) of this section, shall be classified as a crime of violence if the facts show that the defendant used physical force, or made a credible attempt or threat of physical force against another person as part of the criminal act.  Except as otherwise provided by law, no person convicted of a crime of violence listed in this section is eligible for parole or for early release from the custody of the Department of Corrections until the person has served at least fifty percent (50%) of the sentence imposed by the court.

     SECTION 3.  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;

          (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.

          (i)  (i)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person who was under the age of eighteen (18) at the time of the commission of an offense in violation of Section 97-3-19 is eligible for parole as follows:

                   1.  After having served twenty-five percent (25%) of the sentence imposed by the court if sentenced to serve a term of years; or

                   2.  After having served not less than ten (10) years if sentenced to a term of life imprisonment.

              (ii)  A person eligible for parole under subparagraph (i) of paragraph (i) is required to have a parole hearing before the board before parole release.

              (iii)  This paragraph (i) shall apply retroactively to any person who was under the age of eighteen (18) at the time of the commission of an offense in violation of Section 97-3-19 regardless of the date on which the offense was committed.

     (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)  (a)  Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, 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.

          (b)  The State Parole Board shall, by rules and regulations, establish a method of determining a tentative parole hearing date for offenders who were convicted before July 1, 2020, and who are eligible for parole under subsection (1)(i) of this section.  The board shall establish the method of determining the tentative parole hearing date for such eligible offenders before December 31, 2020.

     (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 4.  Section 47-7-3.1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     47-7-3.1.  (1)  In consultation with the Parole Board, the department shall develop a case plan for all parole-eligible inmates to guide an inmate's rehabilitation while in the department's custody and to reduce the likelihood of recidivism after release.

     (2)  Except as provided in subsection (7) of this section, within ninety (90) days of admission, the department shall complete a case plan on all inmates which shall include, but not limited to:

          (a)  Programming and treatment requirements based on the results of a risk and needs assessment;

          (b)  Any programming or treatment requirements contained in the sentencing order; and

          (c)  General behavior requirements in accordance with the rules and policies of the department. 

     (3)  The department shall provide the inmate with a written copy of the case plan and the inmate's caseworker shall explain the conditions set forth in the case plan. 

          (a)  Except as provided in subsection (7) of this section, within ninety (90) days of admission, the caseworker shall notify the inmate of their parole eligibility date as calculated in accordance with Section 47-7-3(3);

          (b)  At the time a parole-eligible inmate receives the case plan, the department shall send the case plan to the Parole Board for approval.

     (4)  The department shall ensure that the case plan is achievable prior to inmate's parole eligibility date.

     (5)  The caseworker shall meet with the inmate every eight (8) weeks from the date the offender received the case plan to review the inmate's case plan progress.

     (6)  Every four (4) months the department shall electronically submit a progress report on each parole-eligible inmate's case plan to the Parole Board.  The board may meet to review an inmate's case plan and may provide written input to the caseworker on the inmate's progress toward completion of the case plan.

     (7)  The ninety-day deadlines imposed under subsections (2) and (3)(a) of this section shall not apply in the case of juvenile offenders who were convicted before July 1, 2020, and who are eligible for parole under Section 47-7-3(1)(i).  For those offenders, the department shall complete the case plan and the caseworker shall notify the offender of his parole eligibility date before December 31, 2020.  In all other respects, the case plans for such juvenile offenders shall be governed by this section.

     ( * * *78)  The Parole Board shall provide semiannually to the Oversight Task Force the number of parole hearings held, the number of prisoners released to parole without a hearing and the number of parolees released after a hearing.

     SECTION 5.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2020.


feedback