LEGISLATIVE BUDGET BOARD
Austin, Texas
 
CRIMINAL JUSTICE IMPACT STATEMENT
 
81ST LEGISLATIVE REGULAR SESSION
 
May 8, 2009

TO:
Honorable Pete Gallego, Chair, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
 
FROM:
John S. O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
 
IN RE:
SB839 by Hinojosa (Relating to the punishment for a capital felony committed by a juvenile whose case is transferred to criminal court. ), Committee Report 2nd House, Substituted

The bill would amend the Penal Code by making punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life, a person adjudged guilty of a capital felony in which the death penalty was not sought, and the individualís exclusive original jurisdiction was waived by a juvenile court and the case is transferred to the appropriate district court or criminal district court for criminal proceedings (Section 54.02, Family Code).  The bill would also require that prospective jurors be informed that life imprisonment is mandatory on the conviction of a capital felony for those cases transferred under Section 54.02, Family Code. The bill would amend the Government Code allowing those individuals whose case was transferred under Section 54.02, Family Code for a capital felony to be eligible for parole release when time served equals 40 calendar years.  The bill would amend the Government Code allowing those individuals whose case was transferred under Section 54.02, Family Code for a capital felony who was found guilty as a party to the offense, or by criminal responsibility for conduct of another, to be eligible for parole release when time served equals one-half of the sentence or 30 calendar years, whichever is less, but in no event is the inmate eligible for release on parole in less that two calendar years. 

 

Under current law and policy, the average time served in prison by persons likely to be affected by the provisions of this bill is greater than five years.  Therefore, no significant impact on demands on the adult corrections agencies is anticipated during the first five years following passage.
 
The bill would take effect September 1, 2009. 



Source Agencies:
LBB Staff:
JOB, GG, LM