Bill S733A-2011

Authorizes the personal appearance of crime victims at the parole hearings of the offender

Requires that the district attorney inform the victim of a crime of such victim's right to personally or by representative appear, where the crime victim is deceased or is mentally or physically incapacitated, and be heard at the defendant's parole hearing; establishes qualifications to be a crime victim's representative.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 13, 2012: PRINT NUMBER 733A
  • Jun 13, 2012: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CODES
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO CODES
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO CODES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S733A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law and the executive law, in relation to appearance of a victim at parole hearings

PURPOSE: To provide the victim of a crime the opportunity to personally appear and give oral testimony at parole board hearings for the person convicted of the crime.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Amends Criminal Procedure Law § 440.50 and the Executive Law § 259-i(2) to include the right of the victim of a crime to appear and be heard at parole hearings.

EXISTING LAW: Present law allows the person guilty of the crime to appear at the parole board hearing and for the victim either to submit a written statement or to meet before the parole hearing with a member of the panel. This bill would allow the victim or victim's representatives to appear and be heard at the parole hearing itself.

JUSTIFICATION: The victim of a crime deserves a voice in our criminal justice system and should have a right to participate in hearings regarding the parole of the prisoner. Victims have a legitimate interest in not only seeing that their attackers are appropriately punished, but also that they are not released prematurely to harm others. The parole board takes into consideration the prisoner's behavior while incarcerated, yet no one knows better than the victim how dangerous and ruthless this parole candidate was before he was subject to the scrutiny of the parole board. As of 1987, 31 states had a victims' "right of allocution" whereby victims are permitted to express their statements orally at the parole hearing itself; this is comparable to the right an offender traditionally has to address the parole board. While the victims now can meet with a member of the parole panel, victims still cannot appear and be heard at the parole hearing. This bill corrects such a deficiency.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 208 - 2010 Referred to Codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: November 1st next succeeding the date it shall become law, with provisions.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 733--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. ROBACH, NOZZOLIO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes -- recom- mitted 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 appearance of a victim at parole hearings THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 440.50 of the criminal procedure law, as amended by section 80 of subpart B of part C of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: 1. Upon the request of a victim of a crime, 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 by letter of such final disposition. If such final disposition results in the commitment of the defendant to the custody of the department of corrections and community supervision for an indeter- minate sentence, the notice provided to the crime victim shall also inform the victim of his or her right to (I) submit a written, audio- taped, or videotaped victim impact statement to the department of corrections and community supervision or to meet personally with a member of the state board of parole 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] AND (II) APPEAR AND BE HEARD AT THE PAROLE HEARING pursuant to subdivision two of section two hundred fifty-nine-i of the executive law. The right of the victim under this
subdivision to submit a written victim impact statement or to meet personally with a member of the state board of parole applies to each personal interview between a member or members of the board and the inmate. S 2. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 259-i of the executive law, 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: (a) (i) Except as provided in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph, at least one month prior to the date on which an inmate may be paroled pursuant to subdivision one of section 70.40 of the penal law, a member or members as determined by the rules of the board shall personally interview such inmate and determine whether he OR SHE should be paroled in accordance with the guidelines adopted pursuant to subdivision four of section two hundred fifty-nine-c of this article. AT THE SAME TIME, THE BOARD SHALL GRANT TO THE CRIME VICTIM OR THE VICTIM'S REPRESEN- TATIVE, WHERE THE CRIME VICTIM IS DECEASED OR IS MENTALLY OR PHYSICALLY INCAPACITATED, AN OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAR AND BE HEARD. A CRIME VICTIM OR THE VICTIM'S REPRESENTATIVE MAY ELECT TO APPEAR VIA VIDEO CONFERENCE WHERE SUCH VICTIM OR VICTIM'S REPRESENTATIVE PREFERS OR WHERE THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION DEEM IT NECESSARY FOR SECURITY PURPOSES. 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. If parole is not granted upon such review, the inmate shall be informed in writing within two weeks of such appearance of the factors and reasons for such denial of parole. Such reasons shall be given in detail and not in conclusory terms. The board shall specify a date not more than twenty- four months from such determination for reconsideration, and the proce- dures to be followed upon reconsideration shall be the same. If the inmate is released, he OR SHE shall be given a copy of the conditions of parole. Such conditions shall where appropriate, include a requirement that the parolee comply with any restitution order, mandatory surcharge, sex offender registration fee and DNA databank fee previously imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction that applies to the parolee. The conditions shall indicate which restitution collection agency estab- lished under subdivision eight of section 420.10 of the criminal proce- dure law, shall be responsible for collection of restitution, mandatory surcharge, sex offender registration fees and DNA databank fees as provided for in section 60.35 of the penal law and section eighteen hundred nine of the vehicle and traffic law. (ii) Any inmate who is scheduled for presumptive release pursuant to section eight hundred six of the correction law shall not appear before the board as provided in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph unless such inmate's scheduled presumptive release is forfeited, canceled, or rescinded subsequently as provided in such law. In such event, the inmate shall appear before the board for release consideration as provided in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph as soon thereafter as is practicable. S 3. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 259-i of the executive law, as amended by section 38-f-2 of subpart A of part C of chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: (a) At least one month prior to the expiration of the minimum period or periods of imprisonment fixed by the court or board, a member or members as determined by the rules of the board shall personally inter- view an inmate serving an indeterminate sentence and determine whether he OR SHE should be paroled at the expiration of the minimum period or
periods in accordance with the procedures adopted pursuant to subdivi- sion four of section two hundred fifty-nine-c. AT THE SAME TIME, THE BOARD SHALL GRANT TO THE CRIME VICTIM OR THE VICTIM'S REPRESENTATIVE, WHERE THE CRIME VICTIM IS DECEASED OR IS MENTALLY OR PHYSICALLY INCAPAC- ITATED, AN OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAR AND BE HEARD. A CRIME VICTIM OR THE VICTIM'S REPRESENTATIVE MAY ELECT TO APPEAR VIA VIDEO CONFERENCE WHERE SUCH VICTIM OR VICTIM'S REPRESENTATIVE PREFERS OR WHERE THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND COMMUNITY SUPERVISION DEEM IT NECESSARY FOR SECURITY PURPOSES. 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. If parole is not granted upon such review, the inmate shall be informed in writing within two weeks of such appearance of the factors and reasons for such denial of parole. Such reasons shall be given in detail and not in conclusory terms. The board shall specify a date not more than twenty-four months from such determination for reconsideration, and the procedures to be followed upon reconsideration shall be the same. If the inmate is released, he OR SHE shall be given a copy of the conditions of parole. Such conditions shall where appropriate, include a requirement that the parolee comply with any restitution order and mandatory surcharge previ- ously imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction that applies to the parolee. The conditions shall indicate which restitution collection agency established under subdivision eight of section 420.10 of the criminal procedure law, shall be responsible for collection of restitu- tion and mandatory surcharge as provided for in section 60.35 of the penal law and section eighteen hundred nine of the vehicle and traffic law. S 4. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law, provided that the amendments to paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 259-i of the executive law made by section two of this act shall be subject to the expiration and reversion of such paragraph pursuant to subdivision d of section 74 of chapter 3 of the laws of 1995, as amended, when upon such date the provisions of section three of this act shall take effect.

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