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

images

The clock is ticking.

The Pennsylvania Constitution requires that the State budget be enacted by June 30.  On Saturday, the House passed a Republican backed budget and sent it to the Senate.  Will the Democratic Governor sign it or veto it?  Click for report.  The General Assembly will be meeting up to the budget deadline as follows:

Senate

June 28, 29, 30

House

June 27, 28, 29, 30

Bills moving

House

Collection Of Restitution: House Bill 1070 (D.Costa-D-Allegheny) further providing for the collection of restitution by counties was reported from the House Rules Committee, considered on the House Floor, referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary are available.   The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Collection Of Restitution: House Bill 758 (Toepel-R-Luzerne) further providing for the collection of restitution by counties was reported out of the House Rules Committee, amended on the House Floor, referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary are available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Liability For Phishing: House Bill 969 (Neuman-D-Washington) further providing for liability under the offense of phishing (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Consumer Affairs Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee.

Medical Marijuana: Senate Bill 3 (Folmer-R-Lebanon) authorizing the use of medical marijuana was reported from the House Health Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee.

Senate

Child Support: Senate Bill 663 (Vulakovich-R-Allegheny) further providing for rape survivor child custody and support was amended on the Senate Floor and passed by the Senate.  The bill now goes to the House for action. (The House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider this bill on June 28.)

Vaping Tobacco: Senate Bill 751 (Greenleaf-R- Montgomery) prohibit sale of electronic cigarettes to minors (sponsor summary) was amended on the Senate Floor and remains on the Senate Calendar for action.

Abandoned Contraband: Senate Bill 533 (Eichelberger-R-Blair) relating to the disposition of abandoned contraband by Probation and Parole (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee and are now on the Senate Calendar for action

Child Protection: House Bill 1276 (Watson-R-Bucks) further changes to child protection laws was amended and reported out of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

False Alarm: Senate Bill 296 (Hughes-D- Philadelphia) relating to sentencing for false alarms (sponsor summary) was amended and reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Committee hearings

June 28– House Judiciary Committee meets to consider Senate Bill 663 (Vulakovich-R-Allegheny) further providing for rape survivor child custody and support. Room 205 Ryan Building. 2:30.

June 28– Senate Appropriations Committee meets to consider House Bill 1276 (Watson-R-Bucks) further changes to child protection laws. Rules Room.  Off the Floor.

June 30– Senate Judiciary Committee meets to consider Senate Bill 851 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) providing a safe harbor for human trafficking (sponsor summary), Senate Bill 859 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) consolidating Corrections and Probation and Parole    (sponsor summary).  Rules Room.  Off the Floor.

Adoption of amendment to Sentencing Guidelines

The Commission on Sentencing published notice in the June 27 PA Bulletin of the adoption of amendment 3 to the 7th edition of Sentencing Guidelines (page 3457).

 images-1

Scotus plaza

By Burt Rose

Click for Opinion

The SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES has decided the case of SAMUEL JAMES JOHNSON, PETITIONER v. UNITED STATES, No. 13–7120. JUSTICE SCALIA delivered the opinion of the Court.

Under the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984, 18 U.S.C. §924(e)(2)(B), a defendant convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm faces more severe punishment if he has three or more previous convictions for a “violent felony,” a term defined to include any felony that “involves conduct that presents a serious potential risk of physical injury to another.”The District Court held that the residual clause does cover unlawful possession of a short-barreled shotgun, and imposed a 15-year sen­tence under the ACCA. The Eighth Circuit affirmed.

The Supreme Court decided that this language regarding the definition of a violent felony cannot survive the Constitution’s prohibition against vagueness in criminal laws and thus it violates due process. Justice Alito wrote a dissenting opinion.

images

By Burt Rose

Click for Opinion

I am reporting about a decision of a Panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in the case of COMMONWEALTH Of Pennsylvania, Appellant v. Curtis Doval DIEGO, Appellee, No. 1989 MDA 2014, 2015 WL 3868639 (June 23, 2015). This was a Commonwealth appeal from a suppression order of Judge Scott Evans of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, Criminal Division, CP–22–CR–0001203–2013. The Dauphin County Defender represented the Appellee. The Panel was composed of Judges BENDER,JENKINS and STRASSBURGER. Judge Bender wrote the Opinion. There was no dissent.

The Commonwealth appealed from the trial court’s order granting the Appellee’s suppression motion based on violations of the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act, 18 Pa.C.S. § 5701 et seq.

Following an investigation of stolen guns involving Gary Still, Detective James Moyer of the Swatara Police Department went to Mr. Still’s father’s residence following Mr. Still’s release from a hospital. Detective Moyer had determined that Mr. Still was involved in the theft of firearms from a residence. Mr. Still stated that he took numerous guns, and told the officers that he purchased heroin from Appellee. Mr. Still indicated that these transactions with the Appellee were set up on his iPad, which had been seized earlier by the police as part of the firearms investigation.

Detective Moyer testified that he asked Mr. Still to set up a heroin deal with Appellee. Mr. Still agreed, telling the officers that he would use the text messaging service on his iPad. The transaction took place in the basement of the police station and was set up with Mr. Still communicating directly with the Appellee on the iPad. Mr. Still relayed to the detectives each response from Appellee. A transaction was set up to take place. When the time came for the deal, Mr. Still was on location with the officers and pointed out Appellee. The Appellee was found to be in possession of multiple bundles of heroin and drug paraphernalia. Appellee sought suppression of these items, which was granted by the lower court.

On appeal, the Commonwealth contended that an iPad is not a “device” as that term is defined under the Wiretap Act, and that Appellee’s text messages were not “intercepted” within the meaning of the Act. This was a matter of first impression.

The Wiretap Act prohibits the interception of “any wire, electronic or oral communication.” 18 Pa.C.S. § 5703(1)-(3). “Intercept” is defined by the act as follows:

Aural or other acquisition of the contents of any wire, electronic or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical or other device. The term shall include the point at which the contents of the communication are monitored by investigative or law enforcement officers. The term shall not include the acquisition of the contents of a communication made through any electronic, mechanical or other device or telephone instrument to an investigative or law enforcement officer, or between a person and an investigative or law enforcement officer, where the investigative or law enforcement officer poses as an actual person who is the intended recipient of the communication, provided that the Attorney General, a deputy attorney general designated in writing by the Attorney General, a district attorney or an assistant district attorney designated in writing by a district attorney of the county wherein the investigative or law enforcement officer is to receive or make the communication has reviewed the facts and is satisfied that the communication involves suspected criminal activities and has given prior approval for the communication. 18 Pa.C.S. § 5702.

The Wiretap Act also defines the intercepting “electronic, mechanical or other device” as:

Any device or apparatus, including, but not limited to, an induction coil or a telecommunication identification interception device, that can be used to intercept a wire, electronic or oral communication other than:

(1) Any telephone or telegraph instrument, equipment or facility, or any component thereof, furnished to the subscriber or user by a provider of wire or electronic communication service in the ordinary course of its business, or furnished by such subscriber or user for connection to the facilities of such service and used in the ordinary course of its business, or being used by a communication common carrier in the ordinary course of its business, or by an investigative or law enforcement officer in the ordinary course of his duties.

(2) A hearing aid or similar device being used to correct subnormal hearing to not better than normal.

(3) Equipment or devices used to conduct interceptions under section 5704(15) (relating to exceptions to prohibition of interception and disclosure of communications). 18 Pa.C.S. § 5702.

The Commonwealth argued that the Appellee’s iPad was not an intercepting “electronic, mechanical or other device” under the Wiretap Act because it was being used as the functional equivalent of a modern cellular phone, and telephones are explicitly excluded from the definition of what constitutes a “device” under the portion of Section 5702 cited immediately above. The Court disagreed.

Judge Bender wrote that Appellee’s iPad was not an “electronic, mechanical or other device” under Section 5702 because it was not used “to intercept a wire, electronic or oral communication.” Indeed, there was no evidence that Appellee used an iPad to communicate with Still. Moreover, Appellee’s text messaging device was the origin of the intercepted message, and not the device that purportedly intercepted that message. Gary Still’s iPad was purportedly used to intercept Appellee’s electronic communication.

However, the Commonwealth also argued that Still’s iPad was not an “electronic, mechanical or other device” within the meaning of the Wiretap Act because (again) an iPad was the functional equivalent of a telephone under the statutory definition set forth in Section 5702. The Court disagreed again. An iPad is not a telephone or telegraph instrument. The fact that an iPad or any other tablet computer can perform functions similar or identical to a modern cellular phone is not dispositive.

Pennsylvania’s Wiretap Act emphasizes the protection of privacy and provides a statutory exclusionary rule that extends to non-constitutional violations. Because of this privacy concern, the provisions of the Wiretap Act are strictly construed. Therefore,

an iPad is an “electronic, mechanical, or other device” that does not fall within the telephone exception under the Wiretap Act.

The Commonwealth also contended that the Appellee lacked a reasonable expectation of privacy in the contents of the text message conversation he had with Gary Still. This time the Court agreed. While engaging in a conversation over the telephone, a party would have no reason to believe that the other party was taping the conversation; however, any reasonably intelligent person, savvy enough to be using the Internet, would be aware of the fact that messages are received in a recorded format, by their very nature, and can be downloaded or printed by the party receiving the message. By the very act of sending a communication over the Internet, the party expressly consents to the recording of the message. Accordingly, by the act of forwarding an email or communication via the Internet, the sender expressly consents by conduct to the recording of the message.

When Appellee engaged in a text message conversation with Gary Still, he knew, or should have known, that the conversation was recorded. By the act of engaging in this means of communication, the Appellee risked that Gary Still would share the contents of that conversation with a third party. It is the sender’s knowledge that the communication will automatically be recorded, surmised from the very nature of the selected means of transmission, that is dispositive of the sender’s lack of any reasonable expectation of privacy. Thus the Appellee lacked a reasonable expectation of privacy in the text message conversation he had with Still. When an individual sends a text message, he or she should know that the recipient, and not the sender, controls the destiny of the content of that message once it is received.

However, evidence may be suppressed for violations of the Wiretap Act even if the interception does not violate a reasonable expectation of privacy. Telephone conversations are wire communications which, unlike oral communications, are protected against interception without regard to the speaker’s expectation of privacy. Section 5703 of the Wiretap Act prohibits the interception, disclosure or use of a telephone conversation as a wire communication under Section 5702, even if the telephone conversation is not also an oral communication under Section 5702. A reasonable expectation of privacy in an electronic communication is not required to seek relief for Wiretap Act violations. Thus Appellee’s lack of a reasonable expectation of privacy in his text messages with Still does not, by itself, preclude application of the statutory exclusionary rule provided by the Act. The Commonwealth argued that no interception occurred when the police monitored Still’s communication with Appellant because there was “less police intrusion” in this case than in like cases. The Court disagreed.

The definition of “intercept” in Section 5702 specifically excludes “the acquisition of the contents of a communication made through any electronic, mechanical or other device or telephone instrument to an investigative or law enforcement officer, or between a person and an investigative or law enforcement officer, where the investigative or law enforcement officer poses as an actual person who is the intended recipient of the communication.” Here, no law enforcement officer was a direct party to the communication and therefore the Section 5702 exception to the definition of “intercept” does not apply.

However, the Court concluded that no intercept occurred in this case. Gary Still, and not the police, spoke directly with Appellee by text message in the at-issue communication, and he did so voluntarily. Still was a party to the conversation, and therefore he could not be said to have intercepted it simply because he received it. Although he subsequently relayed the contents of that conversation to the police, neither his nor the police’s conduct was an “interception” under the plain meaning of the Act.

“Once an individual text message is received by the intended recipient, the communication has ended. Once the communication had ended, subsequent actions do not constitute intercepts within the meaning of the Wiretap Act. While it is true that, in most instances, the content of a text message conversation will be recorded by the recipient’s device as it is received, that circumstance is innate or inherent to the technology. It would be absurd to conclude that anytime an iPad or similar device records a text message conversation that a Wiretap Act violation occurs—for that is the equivalent of saying that everyone receiving a text message on such a device has committed a Wiretap Act violation.”

If an intercept did not occur during the transmission of the message, or at least simultaneous to the receipt of the message, then no intercept occurred at all. The record does not support the Appellee’s assertion that the police were watching Still’s iPad screen over his shoulder as the text messages were sent back and forth to Appellee. If the police had observed the text message conversation over Appellee’s shoulder as it occurred, a different legal question would be before the Court because the police may have observed the content of the text messages before Still had received them. However, because that particular factual scenario was not before the Court, it was not addressed here.

Thus no Wiretap Act violation occurred; therefore, the trial court erred when it granted suppression on that basis. Furthermore, because Appellee lacked any reasonable expectation of privacy in his text messages after they were received on Still’s iPad, there was no constitutional violation of Appellant’s privacy rights.

stateCapital

House Bill 1336 introduced to amend Constitution to provide for merit selection of appellate judges

Click for text of bill.

Click for legislative memo by Representatives Bryan Cutler and Madeleine Dean..

Click for report from Associated Press.

Session schedule

The Pennsylvania Constitution requires that the State budget be adopted by June 30.

Senate

June 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30

House

June 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

Bills moving

House

Vaping Tobacco: House Bill 954 (Rapp-R-Forest) further providing for the offense of selling “vaping” tobacco products to minors was reported out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary are available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Child Protection: House Bill 1276 (Watson-R-Bucks) further providing for child protection (sponsor summary) was amended on the House Floor, referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary are available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Limits On Civil Actions For Child Protection: House Bill 655 (Bishop-D-Philadelphia) further providing for a statute of limitations for civil actions for serious crimes committed against children (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Judiciary Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee.

Fines, Restitution, Penalties: House Bill 1070 (Costa-D-Allegheny) further providing for collection of restitution by counties (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Judiciary Committee and referred to the House Rules Committee.

“If a county does not already use a collection agency, firm or in-house resources to help ensure that restitution is made to a victim, the provisions contained in House Bill 1070 are designed to help the county implement a system that is thorough and efficient,” Rep. Costa said. “As a member of the Judiciary Committee and a former police officer, I cannot understate the value that restitution plays in the delivery of justice. Without it, victims will remain that much further from financial and mental closure. Every county should be equipped to stay on top of these orders.

“This bill specifically addresses concerns outlined by the report and would require counties to establish collection-enforcement units with staff who focus solely on collection efforts within the jurisdiction,” Rep. Costa said. “It also contains provisions for annual reviews and would seek to keep a balance between the collections and county-assessed prison room and board rates, other county-established fees and other priorities.”

Senate

Safe Campuses: Senate Bill 202 (Schwank-D-Berks) establishing the Safe Campuses Act (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.  A Senate Fiscal Note and summary are available.

Rape Survivor Child Custody: Senate Bill 663 (Vulakovich-R-Allegheny) further providing for rape survivor child custody and support was amended on the Senate Floor and remains on the Senate Calendar for action.

Public hearing

June 23– Senate Judiciary Committee meets to hold a hearing on the collateral consequences of criminal convictions and to consider Senate Bill 296 (Hughes-D- Philadelphia) relating to sentencing for false alarms (sponsor summary). Hearing Room 1, North Office Building. 10 a.m.

Happy Summer.

ESL

violet oakle

By Burt Rose

Click for Opinion

Click for Concurring Opinion

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has issued a decision in the matter ofCOMMONWEALTH of Pennsylvania, Appellant v. Jose A. CARRASQUILLO, Appellee, 2015 WL 3684430, No. 7 EAP 2014 (June 15, 2015)

This was an appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court, #1045 EDA 2011, 78 A.3d 1120 (Pa.Super.2013), dated October 8, 2013, vacating a Judgment of Sentence of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, CP–51–CR–0009652–2009 and CP–51–CR–0009653–2009. The case was before Justices SAYLOR, EAKIN, BAER,TODD and STEVENS.

The Superior Court had ruled that an unambiguous assertion of innocence—regardless of its rationality, clarity, sincerity, or plausibility—was sufficient to warrant withdrawal of a guilty plea. Chief JusticeSAYLOR wrote for the entire Court that a presentence motion to withdraw a guilty plea should not be granted merely because the defendant has made a bare assertion of innocence.

A defendant’s innocence claim must be at least plausible to demonstrate, in and of itself, a fair and just reason for presentence withdrawal of a plea. The proper inquiry on consideration of a plea withdrawal motion is whether the accused has made “some colorable demonstration” such that permitting withdrawal of the plea “would promote fairness and justice”. The Court stated that “The policy of liberality remains extant but has its limits, consistent with the affordance of a degree of discretion to the common pleas courts.”

Here, Appellee’s assertion was first made in sentencing allocution, after the close of the evidentiary record, along with bizarre statements that he was the antichrist. In these circumstances, the common pleas court acted within its discretion to refuse the attempted withdrawal of the plea. The Superior Court was reversed.

June 14 at 3:30 AM
.
Last July, Patricia fatally stabbed a female relative of her then-partner in a confrontation, provoked by what she described as continuous, poisonous innuendo. “I couldn’t stand it any more,” she said. “I took the life of another person.”She was just 17.

A heated debate over whether teenagers who commit violent crimes can be rehabilitated, or should be tried and imprisoned as adults, has split Brazil. High-profile violent crimes involving adolescents have inflamed the issue and polarized opinion around a controversial measure in Congress to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16. A vote is planned this month.

Elisa Rodrigues, director of the Aldaci Barbosa Mota youth detention center in Fortaleza where Patricia — whose name has been changed for legal reasons — is jailed said Patricia understands the damage she caused and is suffering with the separation from her 2-year-old son, Nicolas.

“The person she killed had a serious involvement in drugs,” Rodrigues said.

Although economic growth in Ceara, a state in Brazil’s northeast, outperforms that of the country as a whole, murder rates in Fortaleza more than doubled in the 10 years ending in 2012, reaching 76.8 per 100,000 people, according to the Violence Map produced by the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences. Fortaleza was listed as the eighth-most violent city in the world in 2014 in a report by Security, Justice and Peace, a Mexican nongovernmental organization.

Under current Brazilian law, teenage offenders like Patricia are detained for a maximum of three years at “educational centers” such as this one to be “re-socialized.”

“No one can change what has past. But I can change my tomorrow,” said Patricia, now 18, who takes academic, school, beauty and dance classes. “I can become a better person.”

In an April poll by the Datafolha polling institute, 87 percent of respondents supported the proposal to reduce the age of criminal majority. Pepper spray was used on protesters demonstrating against it recently. “Our primitive leftists think that murder is the eve of redemption,” right-wing columnist Reinaldo Azevedo wrote in the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper.

Opponents counter that throwing teenagers into Brazil’s notoriously brutal and overcrowded adult prisons, where criminal gangs rule, riots are common and decapitations are not unheard of, is no solution — even if convicted adolescents serve time in separate prisons or units.

“Reducing the age of penal majority will not resolve the problem of juvenile delinquency,” President Dilma Rousseff wrote on her Facebook page in April. Her government may support a counterproposal to increase the maximum adolescent detention to 10 years.

Black-clad police SWAT teams patrol Fortaleza streets in groups of four: three ride motorbikes, and one with an automatic rifle rides on the back of one of the bikes. On a recent afternoon they arrested two teenage boys on a motorbike who had just held up a motorcycle shop.

The battered .38-caliber revolver used in the holdup was dropped onto Officer Rachel Moreira’s desk at the city’s Child and Adolescent Police Station. “The most everyday infractions are robberies with the use of weapons,” she said, locking it in a filing cabinet.

She said that reducing the penal age alone would not impact crime levels and that wider changes to the law are needed. “These people of 16, 17 years are aware of the crime,” countered her deputy, Officer Emerson de Sousa, who supports the age reduction. Soldier Xavier, one of the arresting officers, said that more education, not reduction, is what’s needed.

In Ceara, about 31 percent of violent crimes are committed by adolescents, the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper calculated from state government figures. “The motivation is drugs,” said Manuel Clístenes, chief judge at Fortaleza’s Childhood and Juvenile Court.

Brazil’s crack epidemic has hit Fortaleza hard. Marijuana is cheap and widely used. Adulterated cocaine has flooded poorer neighborhoods. Offenders are generally from the lowest social classes. “There is always the criteria of [abandonment]. Rarely does an individual come who has a mother and father, from the middle class,” Clístenes said.

Like most Brazilian states, Ceara does not offer internment for clinically dependent drug users — just a three- to four-day detox. “Brazil pushes these people,” he said.

A shelter for children

Casa do Menor is a nongovernmental organization that houses teenage boys with drug problems in one of its centers in Ceara. Pablo, 12, whose name has been changed for legal reasons, was its only resident on a recent morning. He said his mother, a crack addict, had died with a “lung full of ashes, sick.” She was pregnant.

“The majority of my family is of this world,” he said. “For someone to enter is easy, you can go in, you can buy drugs. But to get out? You stay.”

Pablo had lived on the street, dealt drugs, and used a knife and gun in assaults at a Fortaleza beach, he said. Now he wanted to clean up. “I cried when I came here,” he said. “Everyone received me well.”

The Rev. Renato Chiera, an Italian priest, founded Casa do Menor in Nova Iguacu, near Rio de Janeiro, in 1986 to shelter local homeless children threatened by vigilantes. Adolescents like Pablo need psychological and spiritual treatment, Cheira said, not jail. “The narco-traffic has become the refuge for these kids,” he said.

But rehabilitating teenage drug users is a long, difficult process. In April, the center’s other five residents escaped to buy crack, cocaine and marijuana. They assaulted a bus using weapons they had fashioned out of metal and wire. Afterward, they sought out one of the center’s workers, frightened of the consequences of what they had done. Four are back with their families. The fifth was killed by a dealer.

Clístenes advocated changes in the law applying to children and teenagers, with longer detention for serious crimes and older and repeat offenders. In a letter to congressional leaders and Rousseff, Human Rights Watch said that reducing the age of criminal majority would violate international treaties signed by Brazil, such as the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The letter quoted a U.S. Justice Department bulletin citing research suggesting that trying teenagers as adults in the United States had led to higher levels of re-offending. “The solution is not to send them to adult prison,” said Maria Laura Canineu, Human Rights Watch’s Brazil director. “This will give them a certificate in crime.”

On a recent afternoon, 187 boys were locked in their cells at Fortaleza’s São Miguel educational center, which has a capacity of 60. Cells with concrete beds for four housed up to a dozen on grubby mattresses on the floor.

Inmates shared more stories of the violence sweeping Brazilian society — an armed mugging, a knifing death the perpetrator said was self-defense. According to government estimates, fewer than 8 percent of Brazil’s homicides are solved — a fundamental problem that reducing the age of criminal majority is unlikely to change.

PaCapitol

Session schedule

The Pennsylvania Constitution requires that the State Budget be enacted by June 30.

Senate

June 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30

House

June 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

Bills moving

House

Vaping In Schools: House Bill 954 (Rapp-R-Forest) further providing for the offense of selling “vaping” tobacco products to minors was reported out of the House Rules Committee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee.  (The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider this bill June 15.)

Child Protection: House Bill 1276 (Watson-R-Bucks) further providing for child protection (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Children and Youth Committee, referred into and out of the House Rules Committee, amended on the House Floor and is now on the House Calendar for action.

Death Penalty: House Resolution 143 (Vereb-R-Montgomery) condemning Gov. Wolf’s death penalty moratorium (sponsor summary) was amended and reported out of the House Judiciary Committee and passed by the House 119 to 71.

Senate

Rape Survivor Child Support: Senate Bill 663 (Vulakovich-R-Allegheny) further providing for rape survivor child custody and support was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.  A Senate Fiscal Note and summary are available.

DNA Collection: Senate Bill 683 (Pileggi-R-Delaware) further providing for the use and collection of DNA in criminal cases was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.   A Senate Fiscal Note and summary are available.

Mental Health 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 Tabled.

Bail Bondsmen: Senate Bill 397 (Alloway-R-Franklin) further regulating bail bondsmen was amended and reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Tabled.

Public hearings

June 15–  Senate Appropriations Committee meets to consider Senate Bill 202 (Schwank-D-Berks) establishing the Safe Campuses Act (sponsor summary).  Rules Room.  Of The Floor.

June 15–  House Appropriations Committee meets to consider House Bill 954 (Rapp-R-Forest) further providing for the offense of selling “vaping” tobacco products to minors.  Room 140.  Off the Floor.

June 16–  Senate Judiciary Committee meets to consider Senate Bill 859 (Greenleaf-R- Montgomery) providing for the consolidation of Corrections and Parole (sponsor summary), Senate Bill 518 (Pileggi-R-Delaware) providing for access to digital assets (sponsor summary).  Room 8E-B East Wing. 11:30 a.m.

June 18– House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on House Bill 322 (Gingrich-R- Lebanon) further providing for the gambling self-exclusion list (sponsor summary).        Room 205 Ryan Building. 10 a.m.

News items

House Passes Resolution On Wolf Death Penalty Moratorium

Federal Court Rejects Ban On Death Penalty Defenders Group

Bill Advances To Limit Background Checks To Work With Children

Background Check Fee Waiver Turns Into Political Football

Wolf Waives Fees For Volunteers Seeking Background Checks

Legislation Would Assist Victims Of Human Trafficking

Happy Magna Carta Day

MagnaCharta5

Magna Carta was first agreed upon by King John on 15 June 1215

Read account of anniversary celebrations from BBC

Read the Magna Carta.  It does not say what you may think it says.

Click for text of Magna Carta, 1215 version

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: