Bill Text: TX HB3586 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the creation of the Texas Sentencing Commission and to the collection and analysis of certain criminal sentencing information.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2021-05-03 - Left pending in committee [HB3586 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB3586-Introduced.html
  87R11951 TSS-D
 
  By: Sherman, Sr. H.B. No. 3586
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the creation of the Texas Sentencing Commission and to
  the collection and analysis of certain criminal sentencing
  information.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 42, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 42.25 to read as follows:
         Art. 42.25.  SENTENCING INFORMATION FORM. On accepting a
  plea of guilty or nolo contendere or entering an adjudication of
  guilt, the judge shall complete and return the sentencing
  information form made available by the Office of Court
  Administration of the Texas Judicial System under Section 72.257,
  Government Code.
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 72, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter H to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER H. TEXAS SENTENCING COMMISSION
         Sec. 72.251.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter, "commission"
  means the Texas Sentencing Commission.
         Sec. 72.252.  ESTABLISHMENT. The Texas Sentencing
  Commission is established to ensure that criminal sentencing in
  this state is justly implemented to:
               (1)  punish an offender commensurate with:
                     (A)  the nature and extent of the harm caused by
  the offense committed; and
                     (B)  facts or circumstances that mitigate the
  offender's culpability; and
               (2)  rehabilitate the offender so that the offender may
  successfully reenter the offender's community.
         Sec. 72.253.  COMPOSITION; TERMS.  (a)  The commission is
  composed of the following members:
               (1)  nine voting members, appointed by the governor,
  including:
                     (A)  three members who are judges of district or
  county courts who hear criminal cases;
                     (B)  two members who are prosecuting attorneys;
  and
                     (C)  two members who are public defenders;
               (2)  one advisory member appointed by the senate
  committee with primary jurisdiction over the judiciary; and
               (3)  one advisory member appointed by the house
  committee with primary jurisdiction over the judiciary.
         (b)  The governor shall select a member of the commission to
  serve as presiding officer.
         (c)  Members of the commission serve staggered four-year
  terms, with the terms of four or five members expiring on February 1
  of each odd-numbered year.
         (d)  A vacancy on the commission shall be filled in the same
  manner as the original appointment.
         Sec. 72.254.  STAFF. The commission may employ an executive
  director, an assistant director, two attorneys licensed to practice
  in this state, and an intern as necessary to administer the
  commission's functions.
         Sec. 72.255.  MEETINGS. The commission shall meet at least
  four times each year at the call of the presiding officer.
         Sec. 72.256.  COMPENSATION; REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES.  A
  member of the commission is not entitled to compensation for
  service on the commission or reimbursement of expenses incurred in
  performing functions as a commission member.
         Sec. 72.257.  DUTIES OF COMMISSION. The commission shall:
               (1)  evaluate the efficacy of sentencing laws and
  policies throughout the state;
               (2)  develop suggested sentencing standards for each
  trial judge in this state that hears criminal cases;
               (3)  develop a sentencing information form to be used
  by each trial judge in this state that hears criminal cases that
  requires the judge to provide the following information regarding
  each criminal case:
                     (A)  demographic information of the offender and
  each victim, if known;
                     (B)  the outcome of the case;
                     (C)  a description of the sentence ordered, if
  any;
                     (D)  the reasons the sentence ordered differed
  from the suggested sentencing standard developed under Subdivision
  (2), if known and applicable, and
                     (E)  the signature of the judge and the
  prosecuting attorney;
               (4)  analyze the information included on each
  sentencing information form collected by the office and returned to
  the commission; and
               (5)  update sentencing standards and forms developed
  under this subsection as necessary to better achieve the
  commission's purpose under Section 72.252.
         Sec. 72.258.  BIENNIAL REPORT. The commission shall submit
  a biennial report to the legislature not later than November 1 of
  each even-numbered year detailing the commission's legislative
  recommendations relating to sentencing in criminal cases.
         Sec. 72.259.  SENTENCING STANDARDS AND FORMS. (a)  The
  office shall make available the sentencing standards and form
  developed by the commission under Section 72.257 to each trial
  judge in this state that hears criminal cases and make the standards
  and form available on the office's Internet website. 
         (b)  The office shall develop and implement a procedure to
  collect completed sentencing information forms under this section
  and return the forms to the commission.
         Sec. 72.260.  ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT. The office shall
  provide administrative and technical support services to the
  commission as necessary to carry out the purposes of this
  subchapter.
         SECTION 3.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
  of this Act, the appropriate persons shall appoint the members of
  the Texas Sentencing Commission created by Subchapter H, Chapter
  72, Government Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 4.  As soon as practicable after the effective date
  of this Act, the Office of Court Administration of the Texas
  Judicial System shall make available on the office's Internet
  website all forms and materials required by Section 72.257,
  Government Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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