By: Naishtat H.B. No. 338
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
relating to authorizing certain persons to make an oral statement
regarding the impact of an offense on the victim before sentencing
in certain cases.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Chapter 56, Code of Criminal Procedure, is
amended by adding Article 56.035 to read as follows:
Art. 56.035. ORAL STATEMENT. (a) After a finding of guilt
or an order of deferred adjudication is entered and before the
imposition of a sentence by the court in a criminal case in which
punishment is assessed by the court, the court shall permit a
victim, guardian of a victim, or close relative of a deceased victim
to appear in person to present to the court an oral statement of the
person's views about the offense and the effect of the offense on
the victim. The court shall consider the oral statement, in
addition to any written victim impact statement, before sentencing
(b) The court shall permit the defendant or the defendant's
counsel an opportunity to cross-examine the victim and comment on
the oral statement. With the approval of the court, the defendant
may introduce testimony or other information alleging a factual
inaccuracy in the oral statement.
(c) The right to present an oral statement under this
article does not affect a person's right to present a statement
under Section 1(b), Article 42.03.
SECTION 2. (a) The change in law made by this Act applies
only to a sentencing proceeding that commences on or after the
effective date of this Act.
(b) A sentencing proceeding that commences before the
effective date of this Act is covered by the law in effect when the
proceeding commenced, and the former law is continued in effect for
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect September 1, 2005.