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Old 04-25-2005, 03:06 AM
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Default legislation to expand state death penalty law

April 22, 2005


TEXAS----legislation to expand state death penalty law

Bill seeks death penalty for murderers of judges


Any person who murders a judge in Texas could receive the death penalty if found guilty, according to a provision approved Thursday by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee. The bill by Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, classifies the murder of any jduge, including municipal judges and justices of the peace, as a capital crime. The bill follows the fatal shooting of a judge in Atlanta in March and the slaying of a judge's husband and mother in Chicago in February.

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Current status TX death penalty legislation

On Monday, when the House and Senate convene there will be only 35 days
left in the legislative session. On Monday, May 9, various legislative deadlines begin to take effect. For instance, May 9, the 119th Day, is the last day for House committees to report HB's and HJR's. Most days in May have deadlines associated.

Also, bills are beginning to move between the bodies. Some highlights of the past week include:

SB 60, Life without Paroles has passed the Senate, and a substitute has
been favorably reported by House Criminal Jurisprudence. It will be
scheduled for floor consideration by the Calendars Committee. House
passage is expected.

SB 1263, by Whitmire, passed the Senate. It would create an oversight body to ensure the quality of forensic science.

SB 925, by Duncan, passed the Senate. It relates to technical issues involving competency to be executed.

SB 544, by Shapleigh, to create a death penalty study commission has been
placed on the Senate intent calendar awaiting floor consideration. (This
means the sponsor is looking for 21 votes for floor consideration.)

SB 548, by Ellis, mandating clemency consideration in capital cases has been placed on the Senate intent calendar awaiting floor consideration.

SB 1033, by Ellis, would grant subpoena power to the Governor's Criminal
Justice Advisory Council. The committee substitute was approved by Senate
Criminal Justice Committee.

Current status TX death penalty legislation
04-22-2005


HB 48 Keel Relating to disposal of an exhibit in a capital case.
Specific Remarks: This bill relates to requirements of district clerks to maintain evidence, a very legitimate issue. Some defense lawyers have concerns they hope to address
Bill History: 11-08-04 H Filed
01-27-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 61 McClendon Relating to the punishment for a capital felony committed by a person who is younger than 18 years of age at the time of committing the felony.
Companions: HB 333 (I) SB 226 (I)
Specific Remarks: The Dutton bill (HB 434) will be heard March 8.
Increases age limit for death penalty eligibility to 18 years of age.
Bill History: 11-08-04 H Filed
01-27-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 66 McClendon Relating to the punishment for a capital offense.
Specific Remarks: Sen. Lucio is prime sponsor. He is working with Goolsby
in Hs. (HB 284).
Bill History: 11-08-04 H Filed
01-27-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-19-05 H Meeting set for 2:00 P.M. or Adj., E2.016, House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-19-05 H Committee action pending House Criminal Jurisprudence



HB 93 Riddle Relating to the showing the cause of death on the death certificate of an inmate of the Department of Criminal Justice who is lawfully executed.
Specific Remarks: Changes cause of death noted on death certificate.
Has been introduced before and failed to advance.
Bill History: 03-23-05 H 1 Floor amendment(s) adopted
03-23-05 H Passed to third reading (Vote: Y:119/N: 23)
03-29-05 H Laid out for discussion
03-29-05 H 1 Floor amendment(s) adopted
03-29-05 H Passed (Vote: Y:136/N: 4)



HB 268 Keel Relating to the qualifications and appointment of counsel for indigent defendants in capital cases.
Senator Hinojosa is the Senate sponsor.
Bill History: 03-21-05 H Laid out for discussion
03-21-05 H 1 Floor amendment(s) adopted
03-21-05 H Passed (Vote: Y:140/N: 0)
03-21-05 S Received in the Senate - Not referred
03-30-05 S Referred to Senate Committee on Senate Criminal Justice



HB 284 Goolsby Relating to the punishment for a capital offense.
Companions: HB 454 (I)
Specific Remarks: Goolsby companion to SB 60. LWoP now as second option.
Bill History: 01-04-05 H Filed
02-02-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-19-05 H Meeting set for 2:00 P.M. or Adj., E2.016, House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-19-05 H Committee action pending House Criminal Jurisprudence



HB 333 Burnam Relating to the punishment for a capital felony committed by a person who is younger than 18 years of age at the time of committing the felony.
Companions: HB 61 (I)
Specific Remarks: Burnam Juv Bill. Dutton bill (HB 431) will be heard by House Criminal Jurisprudence March 8.
Bill History: 01-07-05 H Filed
02-02-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 408 Dutton Relating to jury selection in capital cases.
Specific Remarks: Dutton bill calls for separate sentencing phase jury.
Bill History: 01-13-05 H Filed
02-03-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 419 Keel Relating to the applicability of the death penalty to a capital offense committed by a person with mental retardation.
Companions: SB 65 (I)
Specific Remarks: Determination of mr by capital trial jury in sentencing phase, advanced by some prosecutors. No indication the Senate will take up
this issue.
Bill History: 01-13-05 H Filed
02-03-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 431 Dutton Relating to the admissibility of certain evidence in capital cases in which the state seeks the death penalty.
Specific Remarks: Dutton bill relates to informant or accomplice testimony.
Bill History: 01-13-05 H Filed
02-03-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 432 Dutton Relating to the creation of a commission to study capital
punishment in Texas and to a moratorium on executions.
Specific Remarks: Button study cmsn/moratorium bill.
General Remarks: Dutton study commission and moratorium bill. The
Naishtat/Shapleigh study cmsn bill is the one endorsed by the State Bar of
Texas.
Bill History: 01-13-05 H Filed
02-03-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 434 Dutton Relating to the punishment for a capital felony committed by a person who is younger than 18 years of age at the time of committing the felony.
Specific Remarks: Dutton bill (HB 431) will be heard by House Criminal
Jurisprudence March 8.
Bill History: 02-03-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House
Criminal Jurisprudence
03-08-05 H Meeting set for 2:00 P.M., E2.016, House Criminal
Jurisprudence
03-15-05 H Meeting set for 2:00 P.M. or Adj., E2.016, House Criminal
Jurisprudence
03-15-05 H Voted favorably from committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence
03-18-05 H Reported favorably from committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 450 Dutton Relating to the admissibility of certain confessions in capital cases.
Specific Remarks: Dutton custodial interrogation recording bill.
Bill History: 01-14-05 H Filed
02-03-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 452 Dutton Relating to the abolition of the death penalty.
Specific Remarks: Dutton abolition bill.
Bill History: 01-14-05 H Filed
02-03-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 454 Dutton Relating to the punishment for a capital offense.
Companions: HB 284 (I)
Specific Remarks: Dutton two option LWoP. capital life sentence not eligible
for parole.
Bill History: 01-14-05 H Filed
02-07-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-19-05 H Meeting set for 2:00 P.M. or Adj., E2.016, House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-19-05 H Committee action pending House Criminal Jurisprudence



HB 456 Dutton Relating to the punishment for a capital offense.
Specific Remarks: Dutton LWoP as second option. Changes current law, would
make capital life sentence ineligible for parole.
Bill History: 01-14-05 H Filed
02-07-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 458 Dutton Relating to standards for judicial review of certain writes of habeas corpus in capital cases.
Specific Remarks: Dutton bill - standard of evidence in state habeas.
Other substantive legislation will be introduced by other sponsors.
Bill History: 01-14-05 H Filed
02-07-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 493 Naishtat Relating to the creation of a commission to study capital punishment in Texas.
Companions: SB 544 (I)
Specific Remarks: Naishtat Study Cmsn bill. Companion is SB 544 by
Shapleigh. Part of State Bar legislative package.
Bill History: 01-19-05 H Filed
02-07-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 646 Otto Relating to the provision of certain reports and records requested by the attorney general.
Bill History: 04-07-05 H Committee substitute adopted
04-07-05 H Passed to third reading on local calendar
04-07-05 H Passed on local calendar
04-11-05 S Received in the Senate - Not referred
04-12-05 S Referred to Senate Committee on Senate Criminal Justice



HB 696 Dutton Relating to jury selection in capital cases.
Bill History: 01-31-05 H Filed
02-08-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 966 Haggerty Relating to the murder of a commissioned security officer as a capital offense.
Specific Remarks: Death penalty expansion bill by Haggerty. Makes murder of
private security personnel a capital crime.
Bill History: 02-09-05 H Filed
02-14-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-13-05 H Subcommittee meeting set for 2:00 P.m. or Adj., JHR 110,
House
Criminal Jurisprudence
04-13-05 H Committee action pending House Criminal Jurisprudence



HB 2123 Naishtat Relating to consideration applicable to a decision to commute a sentence of death.
Bill History: 03-07-05 H Filed
03-14-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 2125 Naishtat Relating to the procedure applicable to a decision to commute a sentence of death.
Bill History: 03-07-05 H Filed
03-14-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 2165 Dunnam Relating to the sentencing procedures in capital felony cases.
Bill History: 03-07-05 H Filed
03-14-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HB 3396 Gallego Relating to the use of the substance pancuronium bromide to execute an inmate sentenced to death.
Specific Remarks: Prohibits use of this drug in lethal injection cocktail.
Bill History: 03-11-05 H Filed
03-23-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-20-05 H Subcommittee meeting set for On Adj., E1.026, House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-19-05 H Sent to subcommittee House Criminal Jurisprudence
04-20-05 H Committee action pending House Criminal Jurisprudence



HJR 14 Naishtat Relating to a moratorium on the execution of persons convicted of capital offenses.
Specific Remarks: Naishtat proposed constitutional amendment. Gives governor moratorium authority.
Bill History: 11-08-04 H Filed
02-08-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HJR 24 McClendon Relating to establishing a moratorium in death penalty cases in which analyses performed by a crime laboratory operated by the City
of Houston Police Department were admitted into evidence.
Specific Remarks: Rep. McClendon is from San Antonio and has proposed this
constitutional amendment for a moratorium on Harris County executions.
Bill History: 01-04-05 H Filed
02-08-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



HJR 73 Coleman Relating to a moratorium on the execution of persons convicted of capital offenses.
Bill History: 03-10-05 H Filed
03-14-05 H Introduced and referred to committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence



SB 60 Lucio
Goolsby
Relating to the punishment for a capital offense.
Specific Remarks: Lucio. LWoP as second sentencing option as passed by
Senate. HB 284 is Hs. companion.
Bill History: 04-18-05 H Referred to House Committee on House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-19-05 H Meeting set for On Adj., E2.016, House Criminal Jurisprudence
04-19-05 H Committee action pending House Criminal Jurisprudence
04-20-05 H Voted favorably from committee as substituted House Criminal
Jurisprudence
04-22-05 H Reported from committee as substituted House Criminal
Jurisprudence



SB 65 Staples Relating to the applicability of the death penalty to a capital offense committed by a person with mental retardation.
Companions: HB 419 (I)
Specific Remarks: Staples. Sen. Companion to HB 419. No indication the
Senate will take up the issue.
Bill History: 11-08-04 S Filed
01-31-05 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Criminal Justice



SB 85 Ellis, Rodney Relating to the applicability of the death penalty to a capital offense committed by a person with mental retardation.
Specific Remarks: Ellis. This is the model mr determination bill as recommended by Prof. Jim Ellis; pre-trial determination. No indication the Senate will take up this issue.
Bill History: 11-15-04 S Filed
01-31-05 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Criminal Justice



SB 226 Ellis, Rodney Relating to the punishment for a capital felony committed by a person who is younger than 18 years of age at the time of
committing the felony.
Companions: HB 61 (I)
Specific Remarks: Ellis. See HB 434.
Bill History: 01-21-05 S Filed
02-03-05 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Criminal Justice



SB 228 Ellis, Rodney Relating to the authority of the governor to grant one or more reprieves in a capital case.
Specific Remarks: Ellis. Allows governor to issue more than one reprieve.
Requires passage of SJR 11.
Bill History: 01-21-05 S Filed
02-03-05 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Criminal Justice



SB 231 Ellis, Rodney Relating to the applicability of the death penalty to a capital offense committed by a person with mental retardation.
Specific Remarks: Ellis. Establishes procedure for those currently on death row to raise mr claim.
Bill History: 01-24-05 S Filed
02-03-05 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Criminal Justice



SB 544 Shapleigh Relating to the creation of a commission to study capital punishment in Texas.
Companions: HB 493 (I)
Bill History: 04-06-05 S Not heard in committee Senate Criminal Justice
04-12-05 S Failed in committee Senate Criminal Justice
04-13-05 S Voted favorably from committee on Senate Criminal Justice
04-14-05 S Reported favorably from committee on Senate Criminal Justice
04-22-05 S Placed on the Senate Intent Calendar for



SB 548 Ellis, Rodney Relating to the manner in which the Board of Pardons and Paroles performs duties related to clemency in capital cases.
Bill History: 04-06-05 S Meeting set for 1:30 P.M. or Adj., E1.036, Senate
Criminal Justice
04-06-05 S Committee action pending Senate Criminal Justice
04-12-05 S Voted favorably from committee as substituted Senate Criminal
Justice
04-14-05 S Reported from committee as substituted Senate Criminal Justice
04-22-05 S Placed on the Senate Intent Calendar for



SB 741 Ellis, Rodney Relating to the decertification of a capital case.
Bill History: 02-24-05 S Filed
03-10-05 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Criminal Justice



SB 925 Duncan Relating to competency to be executed in a capital case.
Bill History: 04-13-05 S Reported favorably from committee on Senate Criminal Justice
04-13-05 S Recommended for Local/Uncontested Calendar
04-21-05 S Set on the Local Calendar
04-21-05 S Passed on local calendar (Vote: Y: 31/N: 0)
04-21-05 H Received in the House - Not referred



SB 1033 Ellis, Rodney Relating to the creation of a commission to investigate and prevent wrongful convictions.
Specific Remarks: CSSB would grant subpoena power to Governor's Criminal
Justice Advisory Board
Bill History: 03-07-05 S Filed
03-21-05 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Criminal Justice
04-19-05 S Meeting set for 1:30 P.M. or Adj., E1.016, Senate Criminal Justice
04-19-05 S Committee action pending Senate Criminal Justice
04-21-05 S Voted favorably from committee as substituted Senate Criminal
Justice



SB 1200 Ellis, Rodney Relating to information held by a governmental body regarding forensic evidence used in the trial of a person sentenced to death if the evidence was tested by a forensic laboratory operated by the certain police departments.
Bill History: 03-09-05 S Filed
03-21-05 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Criminal Justice
04-27-05 S Meeting set for 1:30 P.M. or Adj., Extension Auditorium, Senate
Criminal Justice



SB 1263 Whitmire Relating to the creation of a commission to ensure the
quality of forensic science.
General Remarks: Creates oversight body.
Bill History: 04-19-05 S Committee substitute adopted
04-19-05 S 2 Floor amendment(s) adopted
04-19-05 S Passed (Vote: Y: 28/N: 1)
04-19-05 H Received in the House - Not referred
04-21-05 H Referred to House Committee on House Criminal Jurisprudence



SB 1507 Hinojosa Relating to the sentencing procedure in capital felony cases.
Bill History: 03-10-05 S Filed
03-22-05 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Criminal Justice
04-20-05 S Meeting set for 1:30 P.M. or Adj., E1.036, Senate Criminal Justice
04-21-05 S Committee action pending Senate Criminal Justice
04-21-05 S Voted favorably from committee as substituted Senate Criminal
Justice



SJR 11 Ellis, Rodney Relating to authorizing the governor to grant one or more reprieves in a capital case.
Specific Remarks: Ellis. See SB 228.
Bill History: 01-21-05 S Filed
02-07-05 S Introduced and referred to committee on Senate Criminal Justice


Total Bills: 43

You would think they'd communicate better and work together on the same bill (within the house or within the senate) instead of having several versions of the same thing.
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