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

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“Penn’s Vision,” mural by Violet Oakley mural in Governor’s Reception Room, Pennsylvania State Capitol

 

The Justinian Society of Philadelphia
&
Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section

cordially invite you to a Reception presenting

The Beccaria Award to

ISLA A. FRUCHTER, ESQUIRE

Assistant Defender, Appeals Division,

Defender Association of Philadelphia

Recognizing her contribution

to the cause of justice and

the advancement of legal education

 

Monday, November 13, 2017 • 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Presentation
Mayor’s Reception Room (202) – City Hall
Light Fare & Refreshments following the Presentation

Free of charge to:
The Justinian Society members and all members of the Bench and Philadelphia Bar

The Beccaria Award Co-Chairs

Co-Chairs, The Justinian Society
Elizabeth Preate Havey, Esquire
Perry de Marco Jr., Esquire

Chairs, Criminal Justice Philadelphia Bar Association
James F. Berardinelli, Esquire
Thomas Ivory, Esquire

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Cesare Beccaria, an 18th Century Italian scholar, was an early proponent of many of the tenets of modern criminal law. His visionary work is credited with aiding the subsequent European penal code reform and the eventual development of the American criminal justice system. The Beccaria Award is presented annually to a legal jurist, scholar or practitioner for outstanding contributions to the cause of justice and the advancement of legal education.

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In Re:  Order Amending Rules 1005, 1006, and 1007 of the PA Rules of Criminal Procedure – No. 497 Criminal Procedural Rules Docket–Writs of certiorari and appeals to the Philadelphia Municipal Court

Click for Final Report.

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Click for text of Rules.

Click for Order.

In Re: Order Amending Rules 203 and 513 of the PA Rules of Criminal Procedure – No. 496 Criminal Procedural Rules Docket–Verification for affidavits

Click for Final Report.

Click for Rules.

Click for Order.

News Release:  Pennsylvania’s Veterans Courts can make a difference

Click for text.

The information below is from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest

Session schedule

Senate

November 13, 14, 15

December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

House

November 20, 21, 22 (non-voting)

December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

Public hearings and meetings

November 13– NEW. Agenda Posted. Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on Senate Bill 554 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) providing for safe harbor in human trafficking. [Note: The bill is in the House Judiciary Committee.] Room 8E-B East Wing. 10:30.  Click Here to watch the hearing live.

December 6-7– Commission On Sentencing. PA Judicial Center, 601 Commonwealth Avenue., Harrisburg. (formal notice for details)

 

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Oklahoma statehood, November 16, 1907

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Unity

Violet Oakley mural, Pennsylvania State Capitol

Governor signs Senate Bill 222 as Act 49 creating new judgeships in suburbs.

Click for text of Bill.    Bucks County will gain two Judges, Delaware County will gain one Judge and  Montgomery County will gain one Judge.

Session Schedule

Senate

November 13, 14, 15

December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

House 

November 20, 21, 22,

December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

Public Hearings and Meetings

November 6– Department of Health Medical Marijuana Advisory Board meeting.  Hearing Room 1, Keystone Building, Harrisburg.  10:00.  (formal notice)

December 6-7– Commission On Sentencing. PA Judicial Center, 601 Commonwealth Avenue., Harrisburg. (formal notice for details)

(The information above is from Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest).

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November 30 is deadline to apply for Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee.

Click for information.

January 2 is deadline to comment on proposed changes to Juvenile Rules.  

Click for text of Reports
Proposed Amendment of Pa.R.J.C.P. 1140 – Absconding Child Proposal
Proposed Amendment of Pa.R.J.C.P. 191 – PDR & JCHO Proposal
Proposed Amendment of Pa.R.J.C.P. 407 – Act 21 & SORNA (IR141)

 

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Veterans Day.  Government holiday November 10.

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Bills moving

Sexual Offenders: Senate Bill 854 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) sexual offender registration (sponsor summary) was Tabled pursuant to Senate Rule 9.

Criminal Record: Senate Bill 883 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) automatic expungement of criminal history record after pardon (sponsor summary) was Tabled pursuant to Senate Rule 9.

Child Pornography Investigations: House Bill 561 (Saccone-R-Allegheny) repealing sunset for administrative subpoenas in child pornography investigations (sponsor summary) was Tabled pursuant to Senate Rule 9.

On the Governor’s desk

Common Pleas Judges: Senate Bill 222 (Greenleaf-R- Montgomery) providing for additional Common Pleas judges. House Fiscal Note and summary.  If the bill is signed by the Governor, Bucks County will gain two Judges, Delaware County will gain one Judge and  Montgomery County will gain one Judge.

Victim Representation: Senate Bill 260 (Ward-R-Westmoreland) further providing for crime victim representation. House Fiscal Note and summary.

Session schedule

Senate

November 13, 14, 15

December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

House

November 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22,

December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

Public hearings and meetings

November 6– Department of Health Medical Marijuana Advisory Board meeting.  Hearing Room 1, Keystone Building, Harrisburg.  10:00.  (formal notice)

December 6-7– Commission On Sentencing. PA Judicial Center, 601 Commonwealth Avenue., Harrisburg. (formal notice for details)

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

 

Community Forum - Appellate Court Candidates

Philadelphia Bar Association Logo Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts Logo

Candidates:

Speaker Photo
Hon. Christine Fizzano Cannon
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Hon. Ellen H. Ceisler
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Hon. Irene M. Clark
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Hon. Emil Giordano
Speaker Photo
Hon. Wade A. Kagarise
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Hon. Deborah A. Kunselman
Speaker Photo
Paul Lalley
Speaker Photo
Hon. Maria McLaughlin
Speaker Photo
Jules Mermelstein
Speaker Photo
Hon. H. Geoffrey Moulton
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Justice Sallie Updyke Mundy
Speaker Photo
Hon. Carolyn H. Nichols
Speaker Photo
Craig Stedman
Speaker Photo
Hon. Dwayne D. Woodruff

Community Forum:
Pennsylvania Appellate Court Candidates
Monday, October 30, 2017The Philadelphia Bar Association and Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts will host candidates for the SupremeCourt of Pennsylvania, Superior Court of Pennsylvania and Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania at a Community Forum on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017 at 5 p.m.at the Parkway Central Library’s Skyline Room. The event will be introduced by Association Chancellor Deborah R. Gross and moderated by Immediate-Past Chancellor Gaetan J. Alfano.
Moderated by
Speaker Photo
Gaetan J. Alfano
Immediate-Past Chancellor
Philadelphia Bar Association


Introduced by
Speaker Photo
Deborah R. Gross
Chancellor
Philadelphia Bar Association


Date:
Monday, October 30, 2017

Time:
5 p.m.

Location:
Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine St., Philadelphia
Skyline Room

Registration Info:
There is no fee to attend but registration is required.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 

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Nevada Statehood, October 31, 1864

Pennsylvania_State_Capitol_Front_Panorama

Supreme Court adopts Pa.R.A.P. 1941:  Review of Sufficiency of the Evidence and the Propriety of the Penalty in Death Penalty Appeals.

Click for Rule.

Click for Order.

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

Pennsylvania Bulletin:  Commission on Sentencing invites comments on new Sentencing Guidelines

The Commission on Sentencing published for public comment Amendment 4 of the 7th Edition of Sentencing Guidelines in the October 21 PA Bulletin.  Click Here for the formal notice, summary of changes and text of changes.

Bills moving

House

Additional Common Pleas Judges: Senate Bill 222 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) providing for additional Common Pleas judges was amended on the House Floor, referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House with amendments.  A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.  The bill returns to the Senate for a concurrence vote.  The bill creates two judgeships for Bucks County and one judgeship for Montgomery County.

Legal Services: Senate Bill 741 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) funding for courts and indigent legal services 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 is available.  The bill returns to the Senate for a concurrence vote.

Crime Victims: Senate Bill 260 (Ward-R-Westmoreland) further providing for crime victim representation was referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Senate

Controlled Substances: Senate Bill 674 (Rafferty-R- Montgomery) implementing automatic schedule changes for controlled substances in Pennsylvania was amended and reported from the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Domestic/Sexual Violence Victims: Senate Bill 919 (Haywood-D-Philadelphia) relocation of victims of domestic and sexual violence relocation into public housing was amended and reported from the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Session schedule

Senate

October 23, 24, 25

November 13, 14, 15

December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

House [Updated]

October 23, 24, 25 are cancelled.

November 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22,

December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

Public hearings and meetings

October 27– Joint hearings by the House Judiciary Committee on House Bill 42 (Saccone-R- Allegheny) further providing for the removal of license suspensions for non-driving offenses    (sponsor summary) and the House Transportation Committee on House Resolution 76 (Miller-D-Allegheny) concurrent resolution on removing federally mandated license suspension for individuals convicted for a drug offense (sponsor summary). South Hills Country Club, Pittsburgh.  10:00.

November 6– NEW. Department of Health Medical Marijuana Advisory Board meeting.  Hearing Room 1, Keystone Building, Harrisburg.  10:00.  (formal notice)

December 6-7– Commission On Sentencing. PA Judicial Center, 601 Commonwealth Avenue., Harrisburg. (formal notice for details)

Governor Wolf announces consolidation of Department of Corrections and Board of Probation and Parole

Governor Tom Wolf Thursday announced that his administration is moving ahead with a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole that results in the combining of the agencies’ similar, shared and overlapping resources and functions.

The consolidation will be effective immediately upon signing of the MOU by all involved parties, including the chairman of the PBPP, the secretary of the DOC, the respective agencies’ chief counsels, and the deputy general counsel of the Office of General Counsel.

The Administrative Code authorizes Commonwealth agencies to enter into agreements for cooperation and coordination of work and the elimination of duplicating and overlapping of functions and allows the respective parties to share in the use of employees, land, buildings, facilities and equipment.

“On June 30, both the House and Senate passed a $31.83 billion budget that decreased spending while still prioritizing funding for important government functions like schools, health and safety,” Governor Wolf said. “That budget was passed based on the bipartisan agreement that the DOC and PBPP’s parole supervision duties be consolidated under one agency.

“This MOU puts Pennsylvanians first by respecting their finances and their security while shrinking the size of state government,” Governor Wolf said. “We are moving forward in our efforts to eliminate bureaucratic redundancies and to do so while still allowing these agencies to continue to serve their individual missions. This is government that works.

“We are giving legislators exactly what they have been calling for – taxpayer savings through the restructuring of state government; and we’re doing so in a way that continues to provide for public safety while eliminating duplication of efforts.”

Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), Majority Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, praised the move saying, “After consulting with administration officials in recent years, I have been eyeing this consolidation as a way to drastically improve the performance of both departments and better execute the many reforms that we have worked so hard to put in place.

“I would like to thank Governor Wolf for recognizing the great value in this merger and his willingness to help us advance corrections reforms and save taxpayer dollars.  The Senate Appropriations Committee has estimated an annual cost savings of over $32.2 million by the fifth year,” said Sen. Greenleaf.

Drew Crompton, Chief of Staff for Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) Tweeted Thursday, “General Assembly inaction does not then legally permit the Gov. office to merge departments by MOU which actually takes a law to do just that.”

Under the MOU, both agencies– the DOC and the PBPP– will remain separate from each other; however, the community supervision of parolees and all other reentry services will be combined under a new, centralized chain of command that everyone in those areas will report to and follow.

It will involve reentry tasks, such as but not limited to inmate/reentrant records, inmate/reentrant reentry planning, reentrant placement and supervision and parole violation management and return process.

“Today is an important day in Pennsylvania’s criminal justice history,” DOC Secretary John Wetzel said. “By combining similar reentry and parole supervision duties and responsibilities, officials now can fine-tune and focus their efforts as they relate to reentry.

“This move, while saving taxpayer dollars, also allows for better and more timely record-sharing, allows for consistent delivery of reentry programming, better employee communications and training, and better transition via a smooth handoff to community parole agents and supervisors. We look forward to a close and productive partnership with our Parole Board coworkers.”

DOC and PBPP personnel combined within the new organizational structure will fall within direct supervision of that new structure, but shall remain employees of the respective agencies. Employees will continue fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of their respective agencies and there will be no changes in salaries or collective bargaining agreements.

“Employees from each agency should report to work as normal on their next scheduled shift/work day,” Secretary Wetzel said. “There should be no disruption in services staff provide to individuals, nor should employees themselves encounter any disruptions where their employment statuses or duties are concerned.”

“The MOU does not change the independency of the Parole Board,” PBPP Chairman Leo Dunn said. “The Parole Board will continue to exercise its exclusive and independent decision-making role with regard to decisions to parole, re-parole, commit and recommit for violations of parole and to discharge persons sentenced by any court at any time to imprisonment in a correctional institution.”

In addition, the Office of Victim Advocate and the Sex Offender Assessment Board will continue to be independent from the DOC.

Finally, this MOU will consolidate the agencies’ business administration offices, internal affairs and investigative offices. The communications/public information offices will also be combined.

The MOUs that DOC and PBPP had previously entered into to consolidate information technology, management of data and research functions will continue and not be affected by this new MOU.

“We look forward to working with our PBPP coworkers to enhance public safety by streamlining community supervision of parolees, and we will hold a number of leadership meetings soon to help reinforce this positive relationship,” Wetzel said.

Realizing that change may give rise to questions, officials encourage employees to send their questions, comments and concerns about the MOU to: Ra-crdocpbppunificat@pa.gov.

On May 24 the Senate passed Senate Bill 522 and Senate Bill 523, both sponsored by Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) to consolidate the Department of Corrections and the Board of Probation and Parole.

The bills are now in the House Judiciary Committee which has held a hearing on the issue May 25 on the issue.

 

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President Theodore Roosevelt, born October 27, 1858

 

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Session Schedule

Senate

October 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25

November 13, 14, 15

December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

House

October 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25

November 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22,

December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Public hearings and meetings

October 17– House Judiciary Committee holds an informational meeting on current trends in opiate abuse and other illegal drug use.  Room 140.  10 a.m.

October 27– Joint hearings by the House Judiciary Committee on House Bill 42 (Saccone-R- Allegheny) further providing for the removal of license suspensions for non-driving offenses    (sponsor summary) and the House Transportation Committee on House Resolution 76 (Miller-D-Allegheny) concurrent resolution on removing federally mandated license suspension for individuals convicted for a drug offense (sponsor summary). South Hills Country Club, Pittsburgh.  10 a.m.

December 6-7– NEW. Commission On Sentencing.  PA Judicial Center, 601 Commonwealth Avenue., Harrisburg. (formal notice for details)

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Governor signs “Right to Try” as Act 33.  The new law concerns the right of terminally ill persons to try investigational drugs.

Click for report from Associated Press.

Click for text of bill.

Governor nominates Jennifer Smith to be Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs.  Her nomination requires confirmation by the Senate.

Acting Secretary Jennifer Smith portrait

Jennifer Smith was appointed Acting Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs in January 2017. Prior to this, she served as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Smith began her career with the Commonwealth in 2004 in the Office of the Budget, beginning as an accountant and eventually becoming the office’s Director of Planning and Management in 2012 before beginning as DDAP’s Deputy Secretary in 2015.

Since assuming the role of Acting Secretary, she has continued the Wolf Administration’s initiative to increase drug take-back opportunities, expand access to naloxone in communities around Pennsylvania, and, alongside the Department of Health, released guidelines and protocols for “warm handoffs” that help overdose survivors transition into substance use disorder treatment.

Smith has also worked alongside Governor Wolf and other Wolf Administration Officials to ensure that fighting the opioid crisis remains a priority on the federal, state, and local levels.

In 2017, the Wolf Administration secured a $26.5 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Humans Services as part of $1 billion included in the 21st Century CURES Act to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic and will be used by DDAP to expand access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

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John Brown raids Harpers Ferry, October 16, 1859

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Bills moving

House

Right To Try: House Bill 45 (Godshall-R- Montgomery) Right To Try pharmaceuticals, biological products and medical devices was reported from the House Rules Committee and concurred in by the House.  The bill now goes to the Governor for his action.  A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.

Commerce Court: House Bill 401 (Grove-R- York) forming a statewide commerce court was referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and was passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.  Such courts are already functioning in Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties.

Victim Restitution: House Bill 1806 (Delozier-R-Cumberland) changing the definition of victims under the state restitution law was referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and was passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Common Pleas Judges: Senate Bill 222 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) providing for additional common pleas judges was amended and reported out of the House Judiciary Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action.  The bill would create one judgeship for Delaware County, two judgeships for Bucks County and one judgeship for Montgomery County.

Legal Services: Senate Bill 741 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) funding for courts and indigent legal services was amended and reported from the House Judiciary Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action.

Crime Victims: Senate Bill 260 (Ward-R-Westmoreland) further providing for crime victim representation was amended and reported from the House Judiciary Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action.

Police Officer Training: Senate Bill 403 (Brewster-D-Allegheny) further providing for the makeup of the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission (sponsor summary) was amended and reported from the House Local Government Committee and Tabled.

Senate

Right To Try: House Bill 45 (Godshall-R- Montgomery) Right To Try pharmaceuticals, biological products and medical devices was passed by the Senate and concurred in by the House.  It now goes to the Governor for his action.  A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.

Sexual Assault: Senate Bill 742 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) sexual assault survivors’ bill of rights (sponsor summary) was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Liquor Code: House Bill 1547 (J.Harris-D- Philadelphia) relating to stop-n-gos in Philadelphia was amended and reported from the Senate Law and Justice Committee and then back into the same committee.

Restitution: House Bill 285 (Stephens-R- Montgomery) further providing for restitution by criminals to victims was removed from the Table and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Legal Custody: Senate Bill 844 (White-R- Indiana) expanding legal standing in custody cases (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Newborn Protection: House Bill 1139 (Topper-R-Bedford) amending the Newborn Protection Act to expand the list of caregivers and other changes was amended and reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Collection Of Restitution: House Bill 234 (Costa-D-Allegheny) further providing for the collection of restitution (House Fiscal Note and summary) was Tabled pursuant to Rule 9.

Sex Offenders: House Bill 631 (Marsico-R-Dauphin) probation tail for sex offenders was Tabled pursuant to Rule 9.

DNA Testing: House Bill 1523 (Marsico-R- Dauphin) further providing for DNA testing was Tabled pursuant to Rule 9.

Session schedule

Senate

October 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25

November 13, 14, 15

December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

House

October 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25

November 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22,

December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

Public hearings

October 17– House Judiciary Committee hold an informational meeting on current trends in opiate abuse and other illegal drug use.  Room 140.  10 a.m.

October 26– House Commerce Committee holds a hearing on cyber security.  Room 205 Ryan Building. 10 a.m.

October 27– NEW. Joint hearings by the House Judiciary Committee on House Bill 42 (Saccone-R- Allegheny) further providing for the removal of license suspensions for non-driving offenses    (sponsor summary) and the House Transportation Committee on House Resolution 76 (Miller-D-Allegheny) concurrent resolution on removing federally mandated license suspension for individuals convicted for a drug offense (sponsor summary). South Hills Country Club, Pittsburgh.  10 a.m.

(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest).

Kristen M. Gibbons Feden appointed to Criminal Procedural Rules Committee.

Click for Order.

 

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October 12, 1492.  Columbus makes landfall in New World.

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Session schedule

Senate (Updated)

October 2, 3, 4, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25

November 13, 14, 15

December 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

House

October 2, 3, 4, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25

November 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22,

December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20

House bills moving

Proof Of Citizenship: House Bill 1095 (Heffley-R-Carbon) requiring proof of lawful presence in the United States as prerequisite to certain public benefits and after repeated attempts to amend the bill on the Floor failed, was referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee and passed by the House.  A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

Commerce Court: House Bill 401 (Grove-R- York) forming a statewide commerce court (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Judiciary Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action.

Definition Of Victim: House Bill 1806 (Delozier-R-Cumberland) changing the definition of victims under the state restitution law (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Judiciary Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action.

Public hearings

October 2– Senate Law and Justice Committee meets to consider House Bill 1547 (J.Harris-D-Philadelphia) relating to stop-n’-gos in Philadelphia.  Rules Room.  Off the Floor.

October 3– Senate Judiciary Committee meets to consider Senate Bill 844 (White-R- Indiana) expanding legal standing in custody cases (sponsor summary), Senate Resolution 169 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) urging Congress to enact criminal justice reform (sponsor summary), House Bill 352 (Cutler-R-Lancaster) adverse possession legislation (House Fiscal Note and summary), House Bill 1139 (Topper-R-Bedford) amending the Newborn Protection Act to expand the list of caregivers and other changes (House Fiscal Note and summary).  Room 8E-B East Wing.  11:30 a.m.

October 3– NEW. House Judiciary Committee meets to consider House Bill 982 (Zimmerman-R-Lancaster) establishing the crime of first responder intimidation (sponsor summary), House Bill 1803 (D.Costa-D-Allegheny) updating the state hate crime statute (sponsor summary), Senate Bill 449 (Bartolotta-R-Washington) Tierne’s Law – enhanced domestic violence protection, Senate Bill 741 (Greenleaf-R-Montgomery) funding for courts and indigent legal services (Senate Fiscal Note and summary). Room 140 Main Capitol. 10:00 a.m.

October 17– House Judiciary Committee hold an informational meeting on current trends in opiate abuse and other illegal drug use.  Room 140.  10:00 a.m.

October 26– NEW. House Commerce Committee holds a hearing on cyber security.  Room 205 Ryan Building. 10:00 a.m.

 

PA reports decrease in serious crime, shrinking prison population.
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The rate of crime in Pennsylvania across most major categories – including violent crime – declined last year, at the same time that other states reported overall increases in their violent crime rates, according to FBI statistics reported Tuesday by the Department of Corrections.

The U.S. Department of Justice 2016 Crime in the United States, a compilation of crime statistics from local and state law enforcement agencies released Monday by the FBI, found a nationwide increase in violent crime (murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault), while property crimes declined overall.

Across the nation, the estimated number of violent crimes increased for the second straight year, rising 4.1 percent in 2016 when compared with 2015 data. By contrast, the number of violent crimes in Pennsylvania remained essentially flat in 2016.

Murder, the most reliably counted crime, increased by 8.6 percent nationwide, but declined by 0.6 percent in Pennsylvania.

Rapes initially appeared to rise in Pennsylvania during 2016, but an anomaly in the reporting revealed that rapes actually declined in 2016, dropping by nearly 1 percent. Total violent crimes appear to have dropped by the same percentage.

The only violent crime category that went up in Pennsylvania was aggravated assault, which increased by 2.7 percent, compared with a 5.1 percent increase nationally.

Pennsylvania also recorded double the rate of overall property crime reductions compared with other states, dropping 3.9 percent compared with 1.3 percent nationally.

“This is significant news for Pennsylvania,” said Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel. “Adding to this positive crime data report is that it comes as the state prison population has shrunk at a record rate two years after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down dozens of mandatory minimum sentences – evidence that the absence of mandatory minimums does not lead to increased crime.”

Bret Bucklen, director of planning, research, and statistics for the Department of Corrections, said the crime statistics show no correlation between higher crime rates and areas where more state inmates are being released.

“The largest number of prison releases have gone to counties where crime went down,” said Bucklen. “Among the 10 counties that saw the largest increase in parole releases to their communities during 2016, the serious crime rate went down 16 percent. While among the 10 counties that saw the largest drop in parole releases to their communities during 2016, the serious crime rate went up 1 percent. Police arrests of state parolees for violent crimes also went down during 2016.”

Wetzel attributed the crime rate decline in part to the success of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, which aims to reduce the inmate population, while redirecting resources to crime prevention programs.

Prior to JRI, the inmate population projection for June 2017 was 56,440 inmates. The state’s prison population today is 48,097 – or more than 8,000 inmates fewer than projected.

Wetzel said the 2016 Crime in the United States data supports the state’s effort to launch a new Justice Reinvestment Initiative – JRI 2 – which will continue to provide more dollars to counties to combat the opioid epidemic, reduce crime, and improve public safety.

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(Source:  Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Criminal Justice Section Executive Committee meets October 4 at 12:30 p.m. in 11th Floor South Conference Room

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Date:
Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Time:
12:00 PM

Location:
Pepper Hamilton LLP
3000 Two Logan Square

Registration Info:
Kindly Respond to Dawn Petit at dpetit@philabar.org.

International Law Committee Meeting

The International Law Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Pepper Hamilton LLP and the Institute for Corean-American Studies request the pleasure of your company at a lunch conference.

We will have the privilege of welcoming General In-Bum Chun. General Chun will discuss the crisis in the Korean Peninsula.

There is no charge for this event, but space is limited and reservations are required.
Lunch will be provided.

 

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Battle of Germantown, October 4, 1777

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