Rejected by House 4-11-2013
SB371 HFA Armstead 4-11 #4
Delegate Armstead moves to amend the amendment on page 10, after section 6, after line 21, by inserting a new article, to read as follows:
“ARTICLE 14. WEST VIRGINIA SENTENCING COMMISSION.
§61-14-1. Creation of sentencing commission; how members are appointed; no compensation for service of members; terms of office for members; what constitutes quorum; how chairperson elected; Executive Director.
(a) There is hereby created a West Virginia Sentencing Commission.
(b) The commission consists of the following members, who shall serve without compensation:
(1) Two members are from the West Virginia House of Delegates, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House;
(2) Two members are members of the West Virginia Senate, to be appointed by the President of the Senate;
(3) Seven members are current or retired circuit judges, magistrates or municipal court judges, to be appointed to their membership on this commission by the Governor;
(4) Two members that are citizens of the State of West Virginia, with no required prerequisite other than citizenship in this state, to be appointed by the Governor;
(5) The presiding Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, who shall serve as an ex officio member.
(c) Each member serves a two-year term, with the exception of the ex officio members who shall serve as long as they shall hold their respective offices.
(d) The chairperson of this commission shall be elected by the other members of the commission.
(e) Seven members of the commission constitute a quorum.
(f) The Commission shall elect one of its members to serve as the Executive Director of the Commission and will provide administrative services.
§61-14-2. Purpose of Sentencing Commission.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:
(a) There is a need for fair and uniform sentencing;
(b) There is a need for research on issues regarding sentencing in order to promote a fuller understanding of the efficient, just and fair operation of this state’s criminal justice system;
(c) There is a need for establishing priorities with regard to the severity of the criminal offenses;
(d) There is a need to utilize the limited correctional resources in a manner best able to fulfill the goals of criminal punishment, rehabilitation and protection of the public.
§61-14-3. Objectives of the commission.
The Sentencing Commission shall pursue the following objectives:
(a) Promoting sentencing that more accurately reflects the time that an offender will actually be incarcerated;
(b) Reducing unwarranted disparity in sentences for offenders who have committed similar offenses and have similar criminal histories;
(c) Preserving meaningful judicial discretion in the imposition of sentences and sufficient flexibility to permit individualized sentences;
(d) Ensuring that sentencing judges in every jurisdiction in the state are able to impose the most appropriate criminal penalties including correctional options programs for appropriate nonviolent offenders; and
(e) Determining whether the state needs to set out all criminal offenses in terms of priority in order of severity and harm to society and to provide alternatives to incarceration for certain offenses.
§61-14-4. Powers and duties of the commission.
The Sentencing Commission established pursuant to this article has the following powers and duties:
(a) The commission shall establish general policies and propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this article;
(b) The commission may request such information, data and reports from any officer or agency of the state government as the commission may from time to time require and as may be produced consistent with other law;
(c) The commission may issue invitations requesting the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of any evidence that relates directly to a matter with respect to which the commission or any member thereof is empowered to make a determination under this article;
(d) The commission shall establish a research and development program within the commission for the purpose of:
(1) Serving as a clearinghouse and information center for the collection, preparation and dissemination of information on sentencing practices;
(2) Assisting and serving in a consulting capacity to state courts, departments and agencies in the development, maintenance and coordination of sound sentencing practices;
(e) The commission shall collect data obtained from studies, research and the empirical experience of public and private agencies concerning the sentencing processes;
(f) The commission shall publish data concerning the sentencing process;
(g) The commission shall collect and disseminate information concerning sentences actually imposed;
(h) The commission shall, collect and disseminate information regarding effectiveness of sentences imposed;
(i) The commission shall make recommendations to the Legislature concerning modification or enactment of sentencing and correctional statutes which the commission finds to be necessary and advisable to carry out an effective, humane and rational sentencing policy;
(j) The commission shall establish a plan and timetable to collect and disseminate information relating to incapacitation, recidivism, deterrence and overall effectiveness of sentences imposed;
(k) The commission shall evaluate the state’s sentencing and correctional laws and policies and make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature on or before January 1, 2014, and at its discretion thereafter or at the request of the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Delegates, regarding the following issues:
(1) Whether the state should adopt guided discretion sentencing guidelines and, if so, what type of guided discretion sentencing guidelines should be adopted;
(2) Whether the state should alter the manner in which an inmate may obtain credit for good time served or release on mandatory supervision;
(3) Whether the state needs to take action to ensure that there is a coordinated system of correctional options to incarceration at the state and county levels and, if so, what action should be taken; and
(4) Any other matters relating to state and local laws and policies governing sentencing, parole, mandatory supervision and correctional options programs.”
On page 1, line 1, by striking the enacting section and inserting a new enacting section, to read as follows:
“That §25-1-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that §28-5-27 of said code be amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding thereto two new sections, designated §31-20-5g and §31-20-5h; that §61-7-6 of said code be amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §61-13-1, §61-13-2, §61-13-3 and §61-13-4; that §62-11A-1a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §62-11B-9 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §62-11C-2, §62-11C-3 and §62-11C-6 of said code be amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §62-11C-10; that §62-12-6, §62-12-7, §62-12-9, §62-12-10, §62-12-13, §62-12-14a, §62-12-15, §62-12-17 and §62-12-19 of said code be amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §62-12-29; that §62-15-2 and §62-15-4 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto two new sections, designated §62-15-6a and §62-15-6b, all to read as follows:”