Pages

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Terri Hodge Files Bill to End Death Penalty Under Law of Parties

Terri Hodge has filed HB 2267 that would end the death penalty under the Law of Parties, so now there are two Law of Parties bill. Rep Dutton also has filed one, HB 304. Now that Hodge has filed a Law of Parties bill our chances are improved of getting a hearing and actually getting the bill passed in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee, since she is a member of that committee. Last week, we held a press conference at the capitol on the issue of the Law of Parties with the families of Kenneth Foster and Jeff Wood. We also meet with the general counsel of the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee about the Law of Parties.

Hodge was one of the legislators we got to sign a clemency letter for Kenneth Foster in 2007.

On March 24, there will be a Lobby Day Against the Death Penalty at the Capitol and one of the issues we will be advocated for on that day is ending the Death Penalty under the Law of Parties.


81R9476 GCB-D


By: Hodge
H.B. No. 2267



A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT

relating to the joint or separate prosecution of a capital felony

charged against two or more defendants and the extent of a

defendant's criminal responsibility for the conduct of a

coconspirator in capital felony cases.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Article 36.09, Code of Criminal Procedure, is

amended to read as follows:

Art. 36.09. SEVERANCE ON SEPARATE INDICTMENTS. (a) Two

or more defendants who are jointly or separately indicted or

complained against for the same offense or any offense growing out

of the same transaction may be, in the discretion of the court,

tried jointly or separately as to one or more defendants; provided

that in any event either defendant may testify for the other or on

behalf of the state; and provided further, that in cases in which,

upon timely motion to sever, and evidence introduced thereon, it is

made known to the court that there is a previous admissible

conviction against one defendant or that a joint trial would be

prejudicial to any defendant, the court shall order a severance as

to the defendant whose joint trial would prejudice the other

defendant or defendants.

(b) Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the court may not join

two or more defendants in the same criminal trial if any defendant

to be tried is indicted or complained against for a capital felony,

and the court shall order a severance as to any two or more

defendants who are jointly indicted or complained against for a

capital felony.

SECTION 2. Section 1, Article 37.071, Code of Criminal

Procedure, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 1. (a) If a defendant is found guilty in a capital

felony case in which the state does not seek the death penalty, the

judge shall sentence the defendant to life imprisonment without

parole.

(b) A defendant who is found guilty in a capital felony case

only as a party under Section 7.02(b), Penal Code, may not be

sentenced to death, and the state may not seek the death penalty in

any case in which the defendant's liability is based solely on that

section.

SECTION 3. Section 2, Article 37.0711, Code of Criminal

Procedure, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 2. (a) If a defendant is found guilty in a case in

which the state does not seek the death penalty, the judge shall

sentence the defendant to life imprisonment.

(b) A defendant who is found guilty in a capital felony case

only as a party under Section 7.02(b), Penal Code, may not be

sentenced to death, and the state may not seek the death penalty in

any case in which the defendant's liability is based solely on that

section.

SECTION 4. Article 36.09, Code of Criminal Procedure, as

amended by this Act, applies only to a trial commenced in a criminal

case on or after the effective date of this Act. A trial commenced

before the effective date of this Act is covered by the law in

effect when the trial commenced, and the former law is continued in

effect for that purpose.

SECTION 5. Section 1, Article 37.071, and Section 2,

Article 37.0711, Code of Criminal Procedure, as amended by this

Act, apply only to the sentence imposed in a criminal proceeding

that commences on or after the effective date of this Act. The

sentence imposed in a criminal proceeding that commenced before the

effective date of this Act is governed by the law in effect when the

proceeding commenced, and the former law is continued in effect for

that purpose.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: