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Enrolled Version - Final Version House Bill 4210 History

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COM SUB 2 LINES

ENROLLED

COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

H. B. 4210

(By Delegates Fleischauer, Skinner, Poore,

Longstreth, Barill, Ellem, Sponaugle, Lynch,

Manypenny, Hamilton and Pethtel)

[Passed March 8, 2014; in effect ninety days from passage.]

 

AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-11-23; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §62-12-13b, all relating to providing to eligibility for parole for persons who are convicted of criminal offenses where the person was less than eighteen years of age at the time the offense was committed, generally; prohibiting a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole upon such persons; requiring that persons who are convicted of offenses and the person was less than eighteen years of age at the time the offenses were committed shall be eligible for parole after he or she has served fifteen years; requiring certain factors to be considered by court when sentencing such persons convicted after transfer to the criminal jurisdiction of the court; and requiring certain factors to be considered by the parole board when considering the eligibility for parole of a person sentenced after transfer to the criminal jurisdiction of a court.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-11-23; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §62-12-13b, all to read as follows:

CHAPTER 61. CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENT.

ARTICLE 11. GENERAL PROVISIONS CONCERNING CRIMES.

§61-11-23 Punishment for juvenile convicted as an adult; eligibility for parole; factors to be considered prior to sentencing.

    (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole may not be imposed on a person who:

    (1) Is convicted of an offense punishable by life imprisonment; and

    (2) Was less than eighteen years of age at the time the offense was committed.

    (b) Unless otherwise provided by this code, the provisions of article twelve, chapter sixty-two of this code shall govern the eligibility for parole of a person who is convicted of an offense and sentenced to confinement if he or she was less than eighteen years of age at the time the offense was committed, except that a person who is convicted of one or more offenses for which the sentence or any combination of sentences imposed is for a period that renders the person ineligible for parole until he or she has served more than fifteen years shall be eligible for parole after he or she has served fifteen years if the person was less than eighteen years of age at the time each offense was committed.

    (c) In addition to other factors required by law to be considered prior to the imposition of a sentence, in determining the appropriate sentence to be imposed on a person who has been transferred to the criminal jurisdiction of the court pursuant to section ten, article five, chapter forty-nine of this code and who has been subsequently tried and convicted of a felony offense as an adult, the court shall consider the following mitigating circumstances:

    (1) Age at the time of the offense;

    (2) Impetuosity;

    (3) Family and community environment;

    (4) Ability to appreciate the risks and consequences of the conduct;

    (5) Intellectual capacity;

    (6) The outcomes of a comprehensive mental health evaluation conducted by an mental health professional licensed to treat adolescents in the State of West Virginia: Provided, That no provision of this section may be construed to require that a comprehensive mental health evaluation be conducted;

    (7) Peer or familial pressure;

    (8) Level of participation in the offense;

    (9) Ability to participate meaningfully in his or her defense;

    (10) Capacity for rehabilitation;

    (11) School records and special education evaluations;

    (12) Trauma history;

    (13) Faith and community involvement;

    (14) Involvement in the child welfare system; and

    (15) Any other mitigating factor or circumstances.

    (d)(1) Prior to the imposition of a sentence on a person who has been transferred to the criminal jurisdiction of the court pursuant to section ten, article five, chapter forty-nine of this code and who has been subsequently tried and convicted of an felony offense as an adult, the court shall consider the outcomes of any comprehensive mental health evaluation conducted by an mental health professional licensed to treat adolescents in the State of West Virginia. The comprehensive mental health evaluation must include the following:

    (A) Family interviews;

    (B) Prenatal history;

    (C) Developmental history;

    (D) Medical history;

    (E) History of treatment for substance use;

    (F) Social history; and

    (G) A psychological evaluation.

    (2) The provisions of this subsection are only applicable to sentencing proceedings for convictions rendered after the effective date of this section and shall not constitute sufficient grounds for the reconsideration of sentences imposed as the result of convictions rendered after the effective date of this section.

CHAPTER 62. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE.

ARTICLE 12. PROBATION AND PAROLE.

§62-12-13b. Special parole considerations for persons convicted as juveniles.

    (a) When a person who is serving a sentence imposed as the result of an offense or offenses committed when he or she was less than eighteen years of age becomes eligible for parole pursuant to applicable provisions of this code, including, but not limited to, section twenty-three, article eleven, chapter sixty-one thereof, the parole board shall ensure that the procedures governing its consideration of the person’s application for parole ensure that he or she is provided a meaningful opportunity to obtain release and shall adopt rules and guidelines to do so that are consistent with existing case law.

    (b) During a parole hearing involving a person described in subsection (a) of this section, in addition to other factors required by law to be considered by the parole board, the parole board shall take into consideration the diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to that of adults, the hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and increased maturity of the prisoner during incarceration. The board shall also consider the following:

    (1) A review of educational and court documents;

    (2) Participation in available rehabilitative and educational programs while in prison;

    (3) Age at the time of the offense;

    (4) Immaturity at the time of the offense;

    (5) Home and community environment at the time of the offense;

    (6) Efforts made toward rehabilitation;

    (7) Evidence of remorse; and

    (8) Any other factors or circumstances the board considers relevant.

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