A blog of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section

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Supreme Court increases loan assistance to expand number of attorneys who serve the poor 

Click for news release

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections names new mental health advocate for offenders

Click for news report from PennLive

(The information below is from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Session schedule

Senate

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30

House

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

Sentencing Commission

June 3-4– PA Commission on Sentencing meets for a hearing and policy discussion. PA Judicial Center, Harrisburg. (formal notice)

Public hearing

June 11– House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on Pennsylvania’s death penalty moratorium.  Room 140. 10 a.m.


Soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, the Old Guard, places flags at more than 224,000 headstones at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday in preparation for Memorial Day. (Photo by Spec. Steven Hitchcock/ U.S. Army).  From Washington Post, May 23, 2015.

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John P. Delaney, Jr., Esquire appointed to Criminal Procedural Rules Committee

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Courts launch mobile app for finding dockets

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(The information below is from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Session schedule

The House and Senate are in recess until June 1.   The following session days are scheduled:

Senate

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30

House

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

Bills moving

House

GOP Property Tax Reform: House Bill 504 (Gabler-R-Clearfield) was amended to include Rep. Saylor’s version of property tax reform and was passed by the House.  A summary and House Fiscal Note are available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.  This bill raises the sales tax and personal income tax.  The bill does NOT impose a sales tax on legal services   Click for news report.

Confidential Information:  House Bill 824 (Petri-R-Bucks) providing for the confidentiality of information for public safety officials was amended and reported from the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and Tabled.

Senate

Medical Cannabis: Senate Bill 3 (Folmer-R-Lebanon) providing for medical use of cannabis was amended on the Senate Floor and was passed by the Senate 40 to 7.  The bill now goes to the House for action.

Child Custody: Senate Bill 663 (Vulakovich-R-Allegheny)  further providing for child support considering a criminal rape conviction (sponsor summary) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Public hearings and meetings

June 3-4– PA Commission on Sentencing meets for a hearing and policy discussion. PA Judicial Center, Harrisburg.  (formal notice)

June 11– House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on Pennsylvania’s death penalty moratorium.  Room 140. 10 a.m.

Capitol

June 5 is deadline to comment on proposed new Criminal Rule 107 on subpoenas

Click for text of proposed Rule and report.

The information below is from Crisci Associates’ PA Capitol Digest

Session schedule

Senate

May 11, 12, 13

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30

House

May 11, 12, 13

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

Bills moving

The following bills of interest saw action in the House or Senate this week–

House

Bail Bondsmen: House Bill 367 (Cutler-R-Lancaster) further regulating bail bondsmen was reported from the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A summary and House Fiscal Note are available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Child Custody: House Bill 410 (Hackett-R-Delaware (resigned)) child custody in the case of rape was removed from the Table, amended on the House Floor and referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A summary and House Fiscal Note are available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Protection From Abuse: House Bill 124 (Delozier-R-Cumberland) further providing for protection of child abuse was removed from the Table and referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A summary and House Fiscal Note are available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Confidential Information:  House Bill 824 (Petri-R-Bucks) providing for the confidentiality of information for public safety officials was amended, but held in the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.

Senate

Law Enforcement Training: House Bill 221 (Caltagirone- D-Berks) providing for law enforcement training to recognize mental health conditions (summary and Senate Fiscal Note are available) was reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Child Support: Senate Bill 663 (Vulakovich-R-Allegheny)  further providing for child support considering a criminal rape conviction (sponsor summary) was amended and reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is on the Senate Calendar for action.

DNA Testing: Senate Bill 683 (Pileggi-R- Delaware) relating to the use of DNA in criminal cases (sponsor summary) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Medical Cannabis: Senate Bill 3 (Folmer-R-Lebanon) authorizing medical use of cannabis was amended and reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Public hearing

May 12– Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the collateral consequences of criminal convictions.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. 10 a.m.

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Pennsylvania prison recidivism rate drops

Click for report from Penn Live

6th-Anniversary-flier

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Senate

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Session Schedule

Senate

May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30

House

May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

Public Hearings

May 4– Senate Appropriations Committee meets to consider Senate Bill 3 (Folmer-R-Lebanon) authorizing medical use of cannabis, Rules Room.  Off the Floor.

May 5– Senate Judiciary Committee meets to consider Senate Bill 663 (Vulakovich-R-Allegheny)  further providing for child support considering a criminal rape conviction (sponsor summary).  Room 8E-B East Wing. 11:30 a.m.

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Thomas B. Darr appointed new Court Administrator of Pennsylvania

Click for news release

“Companion aides” share a room with elderly prisoners at Devens. Some low-security inmates are tasked with caring for elderly prisoners

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UNWINDING THE DRUG WAR: First in a series..

Published on May 2, 2015

INSIDE COLEMAN PRISON, Fla.

Twenty-one years into his nearly 50-year sentence, the graying man steps inside his stark cell in the largest federal prison complex in America. He wears special medical boots because of a foot condition that makes walking feel as if he’s “stepping on a needle.” He has undergone tests for a suspected heart condition and sometimes experiences vertigo.

“I get dizzy sometimes when I’m walking,” says the 63-year-old inmate, Bruce Harrison. “One time, I just couldn’t get up.”

In 1994, Harrison and other members of the motorcycle group he belonged to were caught up in a drug sting by undercover federal agents, who asked them to move huge volumes of cocaine and marijuana. After taking the job, making several runs and each collecting $1,000, Harrison and the others were arrested and later convicted. When their sentences were handed down, however, jurors objected.

“I am sincerely disheartened by the fact that these defendants, who participated in the staged off-loads and transports . . . are looking at life in prison or decades at best,” said one of several who wrote letters to the judge and prosecutor.

Click for entire report from the Washington Post

PaCapitol

Session schedule

Senate

May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30

House

May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13

June 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

Bills moving

House

Bail Bondsmen: House Bill 367 (Cutler-R-Lancaster) relating to bail bondsmen was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.

Child Abuse: House Bill 124 (Delozier-R- Cumberland) further providing for protection from child abuse (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Judiciary Committee and Tabled.

Child Custody: House Bill 410 (Hackett-R-Delaware) further providing for child custody in cases of rape (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Judiciary Committee and Tabled.

Senate

Contraband Property: Senate Bill 533 (Eichelberger-R- Blair) relating to the disposition of abandoned contraband was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Medical Marijuana: Senate Bill 3 (Folmer-R-Lebanon) legalizing medical marijuana (sponsor summary) was amended and reported from the Senate State Government Committee and referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Children Of Incarcerated Parents: Senate Bill 163 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) relating to children of incarcerated parents (sponsor summary) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Law Enforcement/Mental Illness: House Bill 221 (Caltagirone-D-Berks) law enforcement training to recognize individuals suffering mental health problems (House Fiscal Note) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Campus Crime: Senate Bill 202 (Schwank-D-Berks) relating to reporting crimes on college campuses (sponsor summary) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Public hearings

April 28– NEW. Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on best practices for law enforcement.  Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell. 10 a.m.

April 28– Senate Democratic Policy Committee roundtable discussion on employment and workforce challenges for individuals with criminal records.  Reading Area Community College, Reading. 11:00.

April 29- House Gaming Oversight Committee holds a hearing on how to keep PA’s casinos competitive.  Mohegan Sun Pocono, Wilkes-Barre. 2:00.

April 29– House Judiciary and Health Committees hold a joint hearing on medical cannabis protocols in other states.  Allegheny County Courthouse, Pittsburgh. 10 a.m.

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