Bill Text: TX HB686 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to the release on parole of certain youthful offenders; changing parole eligibility.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 21-6)

Status: (Vetoed) 2021-06-18 - Vetoed by the Governor [HB686 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB686-Enrolled.html
 
 
  H.B. No. 686
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the release on parole of certain youthful offenders;
  changing parole eligibility.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter E, Chapter 508, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 508.1415 to read as follows:
         Sec. 508.1415.  ADDITIONAL PAROLE CONSIDERATIONS FOR
  YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS. (a) This section applies only to the
  consideration for release on parole of an inmate who was younger
  than 17 years of age at the time the offense for which the inmate is
  eligible for release on parole was committed.
         (b)  In determining whether to release an inmate described by
  Subsection (a) on parole, a parole panel shall assess the growth and
  maturity of the inmate, taking into consideration:
               (1)  the diminished culpability of juveniles, as
  compared to that of adults;
               (2)  the hallmark features of youth; and
               (3)  the greater capacity of juveniles for change, as
  compared to that of adults.
         (c)  The board shall adopt a policy establishing factors for
  a parole panel to consider when reviewing for release on parole an
  inmate to whom this section applies to ensure that the inmate is
  provided a meaningful opportunity to obtain release. The policy
  must:
               (1)  consider the age of the inmate at the time of the
  commission of the offense as a mitigating factor in favor of
  granting release on parole;
               (2)  permit persons having knowledge of the inmate
  before the inmate committed the offense or having knowledge of the
  inmate's growth and maturity after the offense was committed to
  submit statements regarding the inmate for consideration by the
  parole panel; and
               (3)  establish a mechanism for the outcome of a
  comprehensive mental health evaluation conducted by an expert
  qualified by education and clinical training in adolescent mental
  health issues to be considered by the parole panel.
         (d)  This section does not:
               (1)  affect the rights granted under this chapter or
  Article 56A.051, Code of Criminal Procedure, to a victim, guardian
  of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim; or
               (2)  create a legal cause of action.
         SECTION 2.  Section 508.145, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (d-2) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  An inmate serving a life sentence under Section
  12.31(a)(1), Penal Code, for a capital felony is not eligible for
  release on parole until the actual calendar time the inmate has
  served, without consideration of good conduct time, equals 30 [40]
  calendar years, except that an inmate serving a life sentence under
  Section 12.31(a)(1), Penal Code, for a capital felony under Section
  19.03(a)(1) or (7) of that code is not eligible for release on
  parole until the actual calendar time the inmate has served,
  without consideration of good conduct time, equals 40 calendar
  years.
         (d-2)(1)  This subsection applies only to an inmate who:
                     (A)  is serving a sentence for:
                           (i)  a first degree felony described by
  Article 42A.054(a), Code of Criminal Procedure;
                           (ii)  an offense under Section 20A.03 or
  71.023, Penal Code; or
                           (iii)  a first degree felony under Section
  71.02, Penal Code; and
                     (B)  was younger than 17 years of age at the time
  the offense was committed.
               (2)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this
  section, an inmate described by Subdivision (1) is not eligible for
  release on parole until the inmate's actual calendar time served,
  without consideration of good conduct time, equals 30 calendar
  years or one-half of the applicable time provided by this section,
  whichever is less, but in no event is the inmate eligible for
  release on parole in less than four calendar years unless the inmate
  would otherwise be eligible for release on parole under another
  provision of this section.
         SECTION 3.  The change in law made by this Act applies to any
  inmate who is confined in a facility operated by or under contract
  with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on or after the
  effective date of this Act, regardless of whether the offense for
  which the inmate is confined occurred before, on, or after the
  effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect January 1, 2022.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 686 was passed by the House on April
  8, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 110, Nays 39, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 686 on May 30, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 134, Nays 6, 1
  present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 686 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 24, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 29, Nays
  1.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor       
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