Bill Text: TX HB715 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the appointment by the attorney general of a special prosecutor to prosecute certain offenses that are committed by certain peace officers and that result in serious bodily injury or death.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-12-03 - Filed [HB715 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB715-Introduced.html
  87R4713 MCF-F
 
  By: Reynolds H.B. No. 715
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the appointment by the attorney general of a special
  prosecutor to prosecute certain offenses that are committed by
  certain peace officers and that result in serious bodily injury or
  death.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 2, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
  amended by adding Article 2.081 to read as follows:
         Art. 2.081.  APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL PROSECUTOR FOR
  OFFICER-INVOLVED INJURIES OR DEATHS. (a) In this article:
               (1)  "Local law enforcement agency" means an agency of
  a political subdivision of the state authorized by law to employ
  peace officers.
               (2)  "Officer-involved injury or death" means any
  serious bodily injury or death caused by a peace officer acting
  under the authority of a political subdivision of the state.
               (3)  "Prosecuting attorney" means a district attorney,
  criminal district attorney, or county attorney.
               (4)  "Serious bodily injury" has the meaning assigned
  by Section 1.07, Penal Code.
         (b)  With respect to any offense arising out of an
  officer-involved injury or death, a prosecuting attorney is
  disqualified from prosecuting a peace officer who is employed by a
  political subdivision of this state that is also served by the
  attorney.
         (c)  As soon as practicable after an officer-involved injury
  or death, the local law enforcement agency employing the peace
  officer or officers involved shall report the incident to the
  attorney general.
         (d)  Notwithstanding Article 2.07(a), the attorney general
  shall appoint a special prosecutor to perform the duties of a
  prosecuting attorney in a case for which the prosecuting attorney
  is disqualified under Subsection (b).  Except as provided by
  Subsection (e), the special prosecutor must be a duly elected
  prosecuting attorney for a county that is adjacent to the county
  served by the prosecuting attorney who is disqualified under
  Subsection (b) from prosecuting the offense arising out of an
  officer-involved injury or death.
         (e)  A duly elected prosecuting attorney appointed as
  special prosecutor under Subsection (d) may decline the appointment
  by providing written notice to the attorney general stating why it
  is impracticable for the attorney to prosecute the case. If each
  duly elected prosecuting attorney described by Subsection (d)
  declines the appointment as permitted by this subsection, the
  attorney general may appoint as special prosecutor any duly elected
  prosecuting attorney who is not otherwise disqualified from
  prosecuting the offense arising out of an officer-involved injury
  or death.
         (f)  A local law enforcement agency that submits a report
  under Subsection (c) shall cooperate with the special prosecutor
  appointed by the attorney general under this article in the
  prosecution of any offense arising out of an officer-involved
  injury or death.
         SECTION 2.  (a)  Not later than February 1, 2022, each local
  law enforcement agency shall comply with the requirements under
  Article 2.081, Code of Criminal Procedure, as added by this Act.
         (b)  Article 2.081, Code of Criminal Procedure, as added by
  this Act, applies only to the prosecution of an offense arising out
  of an officer-involved injury or death commencing on or after
  February 1, 2022. The prosecution of an offense arising out of an
  officer-involved injury or death commencing before February 1,
  2022, is governed by the law in effect on the date the prosecution
  commenced, and the former law is continued in effect for that
  purpose. For purposes of this subsection, "officer-involved injury
  or death" has the meaning assigned by Article 2.081(a), Code of
  Criminal Procedure, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect January 1, 2022, but only
  if the constitutional amendment proposed by the 87th Legislature,
  Regular Session, 2021, requiring the attorney general to appoint a
  special prosecutor to prosecute certain offenses that are committed
  by peace officers is approved by the voters. If that amendment is
  not approved by the voters, this Act has no effect.
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