Honorable John Whitmire, Chair, Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
John S O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
SB377 by Huffman (Relating to the murder of a child as a capital offense.), As Introduced
The bill would amend the Penal Code by increasing the threshold age for a charge of capital murder of a child from age six to age 10. Under current statute, the offense of murder is punishable as a felony of the first degree, by confinement in prison for life or a term from 5 to 99 years and, in addition to confinement, an optional fine not to exceed $10,000.
Increasing the penalty for any criminal offense is expected to result in increased demands upon the correctional resources of counties or of the State due to longer terms of probation, or longer terms of confinement in county jails or prison. Under current law and policy, and under the proposed bill, the average time served in prison by persons likely to be affected by the provisions of this bill is greater than five years. In fiscal year 2010, 13 offenders were admitted to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for capital murder of a child under six years of age. For this analysis, it is assumed the bill would not result in a significant impact on the programs and workload of state corrections agencies or on the demand for resources and services of those agencies.
JOB, GG, ADM