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

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Supreme Court amends Juvenile Rules 152 and 242 on waiver of counsel

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Clock for Report

March 20 is deadline to comment on proposed Juvenile Rules on expungements and weight of evidence claims

Click for Notice of Proposed Rule making on expungements

Click for proposed changes to Juvenile Rules 170 and 172

Click for Report on proposed changes to Rules on expungements

Click for Notice of Proposed Rule making on weight of evidence claims

Click for proposed new Rules 415 and 518 and changes to Rule 620

Click for Report on proposed changes to Rules on weight of the evidence claims

Bills Moving

House

Juvenile Sentences: House Bill 159 (Nesbit-R-Butler) further providing for the enforcement of sentences against juveniles 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.

Trafficking In Infants: House Bill 128 (Jozwiak-R-Berks)  providing for the offense of trafficking in infant children 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.

Protection From Abuse: House Bill 44 (Delozier-R-Cumberland) further providing for protection from abuse orders was reported from 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.

Restitution: House Bill 234 (Costa-D-Allegheny) further providing for collection of restitution and fines (sponsor summary) and House Bill 236 (Corbin-R-Chester) providing for restitution attachments for support obligations and restitution payments (sponsor summary) and House Bill 285 (Stephens-R-Montgomery) requiring criminals to pay restitution to crime victims (sponsor summary) were reported out of the House Judiciary Committee and are on the House Calendar for action.

Bonds & Recognizances: House Bill 280 (Delozier-R-Cumberland) further providing for forfeiture and allocation of bail monies was amended and reported out of the House Judiciary Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action.

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors: House Bill 126 (Baker-R-Tioga) further authorizing the use of epinephrine auto-injectors (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Health Committee and is now on the House Calendar for action.

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors: House Bill 224 (Simmons-R-Lehigh) providing for the administration of epinephrine auto-injectors by school bus drivers (sponsor summary) was reported from the House Education Committee, was amended on the Floor and was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.

 

Senate

Sanctuary Cities: Senate Bill 10 (Reschenthaler-R- Allegheny) prohibits municipalities, cities and counties from adopting sanctuary city policies, removes the sovereign immunity of those who do from lawsuits and makes other changes (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee, referred into, amended and reported out of the Senate Rules Committee and was passed by the Senate.  The bill now goes to the House for action.

Abortion: Senate Bill 3 (Brooks-R-Washington) further relating to the prohibition of abortions (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Appropriations Committee and passed by the Senate.  The bill now goes to the House for action.

REAL ID Correction: Senate Bill 133 (Ward-R-Westmoreland) fix for federal REAL ID issues (sponsor summary) was reported from the Senate Communications and Technology Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.

Lottery Winnings/Restitution: Senate Bill 146 (Boscola-D-Lehigh) lottery winnings and individual tax refunds as restitution was Tabled.

Senate passes bill to penalize sanctuary cities

The Senate Tuesday voted 37-12 to advance legislation that supports enforcement of federal laws requiring municipalities to report illegal immigrants who pose a danger to Pennsylvania communities and residents.

Senate Bill 10 (Reschenthaler-R-Allegheny) requires cities and counties to honor detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement for those who are arrested by local authorities.

Under the bill, municipalities that do not enforce federal immigration policy would not be eligible for state grants for law enforcement purposes and could be sued for negligence for releasing an individual with a detainer who subsequently committed another crime.

Senate Bill 10 now goes to the House for consideration.

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Senate Committee approves bill to comply with Federal Real ID requirements.

The Senate Communications and Technology Committee Wednesday approved Senate Bill 133 (Ward-R-Westmoreland) designed to help fix Pennsylvania’s compliance with the federal REAL ID Act, according to Committee Chairman Sen. Ryan P. Aument (R-Lancaster).

In 2005, the federal government passed the REAL ID Act requiring states to adopt specific standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards in order to strengthen immigration enforcement and boost homeland security.

The General Assembly passed a law in response that prohibits the state from participating in the act due to concerns regarding the cost of compliance and questions pertaining to privacy issues.

Failure to comply with the REAL ID Act would mean Pennsylvania driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards would not be considered a valid form of identification for the purposes of boarding an airplane or entering federal buildings or nuclear power plants.

Although the new requirements were supposed to go into effect on January 30, Pennsylvania received an extension until June 6 to allow additional time to comply with the federal mandate.

Senate Bill 133 would repeal the state law that prevents Pennsylvania from complying with federal law and allow the state to begin having discussions with Federal authorities on how Pennsylvania may become compliant.

Senator Aument also indicated that whatever plan is developed for compliance must include an opt-out provision to accommodate those with religious or security concerns

A sponsor summary of the bill is available.

The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration when it returns March 20.

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Representatives Dawkins and Grove to introduced bipartisan resolution for taskforce on juvenile life sentences

State Representatives Jason Dawkins (D-Philadelphia)  and Seth Grove (R-York) Monday announced they will reintroduce a bipartisan resolution– House Resolution 915 from last session– to establish a task force on juvenile life sentences

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Representative Dawkins

The resolution did not get out of the House Judiciary Committee last session.

“With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling a life sentence for juveniles is cruel and unusual punishment, we as a state must develop policies to address it,” said Rep. Grove.  “I appreciate Representative Dawkins’ leadership on this issue and look forward to working with him on ensuring we as a state can develop policies which conform to the court’s rulings.”

“Pennsylvania faces a greater challenge than most states in complying with the Supreme Court’s rulings, since our state is home to nearly 500 of the nation’s 2,000 ‘juvenile lifers.’” said Rep. Dawkins.  “I thank Representative Grove for his commitment to working in a bipartisan way on this vital criminal justice issue.”

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory life without parole sentences for people who were under 18 at the time of the offense are unconstitutional, and in January 2016, the court ruled in Montgomery v. Louisiana that its decision in Miller must be applied retroactively.

The proposed task force would undertake a thorough and comprehensive review of laws, court decisions, policies and procedures. The lawmakers said this would ensure an efficient appeals and post-conviction relief process that would provide just and fair sentences that are sufficient both to protect public safety and promote rehabilitation.

Under the resolution, the task force would meet to develop recommendations regarding how best to handle appeals and applications for post-conviction relief from the hundreds of people in Pennsylvania sentenced to mandatory life without parole when they were under 18.

The task force would be comprised of 11 experts who are knowledgeable and experienced in issues relating to criminal appeals, post-conviction relief and the appropriate sentencing of youth offenders.

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Representative Grove

Seven members would be appointed by the House, Senate and governor, while the remaining four would be representatives from the Department of Corrections, the Board of Probation and Parole, the Sentencing Commission and the Office of Victim Advocate.

The resolution would require the task force to make a final report within 90 days of its first meeting.

Rep. Dawkins is also committed to continuing to pursue broader judicial reform regarding life sentencing.

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

Session Schedule

Senate

March 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

April 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30

House

March 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, & 22.

April 3, 4, 5 , 18, 19, 24, 25, & 26.

May 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, & 24.

June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, & 30

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

 

Legislative Hearings      

February 23– Change. Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings:  1:00- State Police/Homeland Security; Moved To March 8- 3:00- Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

February 27– NEW. Joint Legislative Budget & Finance Committee meeting to consider reports on Commonwealth’s Access To Justice Act and the Department of Corrections Overtime Study.  Room 14 East Wing.

February 28- House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Judiciary; 1:00- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3:00- Department of Health/ Department of Drug & Alcohol Programs .  Room 140.

March 2– Senate Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- Department of Corrections/Board of Probation & Parole; 3:00- PA Emergency Management Agency/State Fire Commissioner.  Hearing Room 1, North Office Building.

March 8– House Appropriations Committee budget hearings: 10:00- State Police/ Homeland Security.  Room 140.

(From Crisci Associates PA Capitol Digest)

 

February 14 Statehood Day

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Oregon

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Arizona

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