Provides for family members of a crime victim and interested parties to make statements to members of the parole board; provides that such oral statement shall be made to the members of the state board of parole who will determine whether the defendant is released.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law and the executive law, in relation to requiring that all family members of a crime victim and all interested parties who want to give a victim impact statement to parole board members be allowed to do so
PURPOSE: Provides for family members of a crime victim and interested parties to make statements to members of the parole board.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1. Section 440.50 of the criminal procedure law, as added by chapter 496 of the laws of 1978, subdivision 1 as amended by section 80 of subpart B of part C of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, and subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 14 of laws of 1985. Section 2. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 38-f-1 of subpart A of part C of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011. Section 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
JUSTIFICATION: Prior to a convicted criminals parole hearing, it is necessary that proper action is taken to ensure all evidence is brought to the attention and consideration of the parole board. It is therefore crucial to hear testimony from not only the victim and the criminal, but family members and interested parties of a crime victim as well. Any person who has been involved in the case and can provide sufficient information should be allowed to go before all three members of the parole board to testify. Previously, only one parole board member was required to hear testimony from family members. Giving family members the opportunity to speak before the parole board will make the process open and more fair to a victim's family who has gone through an emotional roller coaster since the criminal act was committed. A convict has the ability to plead his case before all three members of the parole board. Why can't all family members and interested parties have the same opportunity to speak to all board members? It is the states responsibility that crime victim's rights be preserved, ensuring a more judicious process.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011: S.2946 - 3rd Reading Calendar/A.3596 - Referred to Codes 2010: S.730 - Referred to Codes/A.3596 - Referred to Codes 2009: S.730 - Referred to Codes/A.3596 - Referred to Codes 2008: S.6825 - Passed Senate/A.10118 - Referred to Codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2946--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 3, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. LANZA, AVELLA, NOZZOLIO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes -- recommitted to the Committee on Codes in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law and the executive law, in relation to requiring that all family members of a crime victim and all interested parties who want to give a victim impact statement to parole board members be allowed to do so THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 440.50 of the criminal procedure law, as added by chapter 496 of the laws of 1978, subdivision 1 as amended by section 80 of subpart B of part C of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, and subdivi- sion 2 as amended by chapter 14 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows: S 440.50 Notice to crime victims, FAMILY MEMBERS OF A CRIME VICTIM OR AN INTERESTED PARTY of case disposition. 1. Upon the request of a victim of a crime, A FAMILY MEMBER OF A CRIME VICTIM OR AN INTERESTED PARTY, or in any event in all cases in which the final disposition includes a conviction of a violent felony offense as defined in section 70.02 of the penal law or a felony defined in article one hundred twenty-five of such law, the district attorney shall, within sixty days of the final disposition of the case, inform the victim OR A FAMILY MEMBER OF A CRIME VICTIM OR AN INTERESTED PARTY WHO REQUESTS TO BE INFORMED by letter of such final disposition. If such final disposi- tion results in the commitment of the defendant to the custody of the department of corrections and community supervision for an indeterminate sentence, the notice provided to the crime victim, A FAMILY MEMBER OF A CRIME VICTIM OR AN INTERESTED PARTY shall also inform
[the victim]HIM OR HER of his or her right to submit a written, audiotaped, or vide-EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03683-05-2 S. 2946--A 2
otaped victim impact statement to the department of corrections and community supervision or to meet personally with
[a member]MEMBERS of the state board of parole WHO WILL DETERMINE WHETHER THE DEFENDANT IS RELEASED at a time and place separate from the personal interview between a member or members of the board and the inmate and make such a statement, subject to procedures and limitations contained in rules of the board, both pursuant to subdivision two of section two hundred fifty-nine-i of the executive law. The right of the victim, A FAMILY MEMBER OF THE CRIME VICTIM OR AN INTERESTED PARTY under this subdivision to submit a written victim impact statement or to meet personally with [a member]MEMBERS of the state board of parole applies to each personal interview between a member or members of the board and the inmate. 2. As used in this section, "victim" means any person alleged or found, upon the record, to have sustained physical or financial injury to person or property as a direct result of the crime charged or a person alleged or found to have sustained, upon the record, an offense under article one hundred thirty of the penal law, or in the case of a homicide or minor child, the victim's family. 3. As used in this section, "final disposition" means an ultimate termination of the case at the trial level including, but not limited to, dismissal, acquittal, or imposition of sentence by the court, or a decision by the district attorney, for whatever reason, to not file the case. 4. AS USED IN THIS SECTION, "FAMILY MEMBER OF A CRIME VICTIM" MEANS A MEMBER OF THE VICTIM'S IMMEDIATE FAMILY WHO IS AT LEAST SIXTEEN YEARS OLD. 5. AS USED IN THIS SECTION, "INTERESTED PARTY" SHALL MEAN A PERSON, WHO IS NOT A FAMILY MEMBER OF A CRIME VICTIM, DESIGNATED BY THE JUDGE WHO IMPOSES THE SENTENCE ON THE DEFENDANT, AS A PERSON WHO HAS AN INVOLVEMENT WITH THE CASE SUFFICIENT TO MAKE HIM OR HER AN INTERESTED PARTY. THE JUDGE WHO IMPOSES THE SENTENCE ON A DEFENDANT SHALL DESIGNATE INTERESTED PARTIES, IF ANY, AT THE TIME OF SENTENCING. S 2. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 259-i of the executive law, as separately amended by chapters 40 and 126 of the laws of 1999, subparagraph (A) as amended by section 38-f-1 of subpart A of part C of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: (c) (A) Discretionary release on parole shall not be granted merely as a reward for good conduct or efficient performance of duties while confined but after considering if there is a reasonable probability that, if such inmate is released, he will live and remain at liberty without violating the law, and that his release is not incompatible with the welfare of society and will not so deprecate the seriousness of his crime as to undermine respect for law. In making the parole release decision, the procedures adopted pursuant to subdivision four of section two hundred fifty-nine-c of this article shall require that the follow- ing be considered: (i) the institutional record including program goals and accomplishments, academic achievements, vocational education, train- ing or work assignments, therapy and interactions with staff and inmates; (ii) performance, if any, as a participant in a temporary release program; (iii) release plans including community resources, employment, education and training and support services available to the inmate; (iv) any deportation order issued by the federal government against the inmate while in the custody of the department and any recom- mendation regarding deportation made by the commissioner of the depart- ment pursuant to section one hundred forty-seven of the correction law; (v) any statement made to the board by the crime victim or the victim'sS. 2946--A 3
representative, where the crime victim is deceased or is mentally or physically incapacitated OR A FAMILY MEMBER OF A CRIME VICTIM OR INTER- ESTED PARTY AS DEFINED IN SECTION 440.50 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW; (vi) the length of the determinate sentence to which the inmate would be subject had he or she received a sentence pursuant to section 70.70 or section 70.71 of the penal law for a felony defined in article two hundred twenty or article two hundred twenty-one of the penal law; (vii) the seriousness of the offense with due consideration to the type of sentence, length of sentence and recommendations of the sentencing court, the district attorney, the attorney for the inmate, the pre-sen- tence probation report as well as consideration of any mitigating and aggravating factors, and activities following arrest prior to confine- ment; and (viii) prior criminal record, including the nature and pattern of offenses, adjustment to any previous probation or parole supervision and institutional confinement. The board shall provide toll free tele- phone access for crime victims, FAMILY MEMBERS OF CRIME VICTIMS AND INTERESTED PARTIES AS DEFINED IN SECTION 440.50 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCE- DURE LAW. In the case of an oral statement made in accordance with subdivision one of section 440.50 of the criminal procedure law,
[the parole board member shall present a written report of the statement to the parole board]SUCH ORAL STATEMENT SHALL BE MADE TO THE MEMBERS OF THE STATE BOARD OF PAROLE WHO WILL DETERMINE WHETHER THE DEFENDANT IS RELEASED. A crime victim's representative shall mean the crime victim's closest surviving relative, the committee or guardian of such person, or the legal representative of any such person. Such statement submitted by the victim or victim's representative, OR A FAMILY MEMBER OF A CRIME VICTIM OR INTERESTED PARTY AS DEFINED IN SECTION 440.50 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE LAW may include information concerning threatening or intim- idating conduct toward the victim, the victim's representative, or the victim's family, made by the person sentenced and occurring after the sentencing. Such information may include, but need not be limited to, the threatening or intimidating conduct of any other person who or which is directed by the person sentenced. (B) Where a crime victim or victim's representative as defined in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph OR A FAMILY MEMBER OF A CRIME VICTIM OR INTERESTED PARTY AS DEFINED IN SECTION 440.50 OF THE CRIMINAL PROCE- DURE LAW, or other person submits to the parole board a written state- ment concerning the release of an inmate, the parole board shall keep that individual's name and address confidential. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.