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2 Document(s) [ Subject: Capital punishment of mentally disabled inmates ]

Committee: House Criminal Jurisprudence
Title: Interim Report
Subjects: Bail | Capital punishment | Capital punishment of mentally ill inmates | Capital punishment of mentally disabled inmates | Court Administration, Texas Office of | Court costs and fees | Courts | Criminal justice | Emergency management | Fines | Gun control | Guns | Hurricane Harvey | Jury instructions | Legal malpractice | Marijuana | Mentally ill persons | Penalties and sentences (Criminal justice) | Prosecutorial misconduct | Risk-based decision-making | School safety | School violence | Sex crimes | Shootings | State jail system |
Library Call Number: L1836.85 C868h
Session: 85th R.S. (2017)
Online version: View report [103 pages]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. Evaluate the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the Texas criminal justice system, including its effect on the speed of criminal trials and litigation, criminal courts, district attorneys' ability to prosecute, and attorneys' ability to provide proper defense. Recommend any changes that could improve operational stability of state criminal justice institutions following a natural disaster and changes that would allow for a more effective response.
2. Assess developments in medical science and legal standards related to the imposition of the death penalty on defendants with serious mental illness or intellectual and developmental disabilities. Review statutorily prescribed jury instructions used during capital sentencing.
3. Study current practices for the enforcement of criminal laws against low-level possession of marijuana. Examine the use of alternative punishments and improvements to criminal enforcement mechanisms and community supervision.
4. Examine instances of prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of defense counsel. Review systemic and structural issues affecting the resolution of criminal cases.
5. Examine the legal framework surrounding sexual assault prosecutions, including statutory definitions, certain age-based offenses, and ongoing developments in evidence collection and processing.
6. Review the Texas state jail system, including its original intent, sentencing guidelines, effectiveness, and recidivism rates. Make recommendations for changes in the state jail system that will improve outcomes. (Joint charge with the House Committee on Corrections)
7. Monitor the work of the Office of Court Administration on pre-trial risk assessment tools for the Texas Judiciary, and study the use of risk assessment tools at various stages in the criminal justice process. Monitor litigation on Harris County pretrial bond practices. Monitor the implementation of the legislation passed by the 85th Legislature regarding the imposition of fines, fees, and court costs in criminal courts.
8. Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature.
9. Review the applicable portions of the state's penal laws and make legislative recommendations regarding whether existing protective order laws are sufficient or could be amended to include 'red flag' or mental health protective orders or whether 'red flag' or mental health protective orders should be independently created to allow law enforcement, a family member, a school employee, or a district attorney to file a petition seeking removal of firearms from a potentially dangerous person and providing for mental health treatment for the potentially dangerous person, while preserving the fundamental rights of the Second Amendment and ensuring due process.
10. Examine current statutes designed to protect minors from accessing firearms without proper supervision and make recommendations to ensure responsible and safe firearm storage, including enhancing the penalty to a felony when unauthorized access results in death or bodily injury.
Committee: Joint Criminal Defendant's Competency, Task Force
Title: Interim Report
Library Catalog Title: SB 553 / prepared for the 78th Legislature by the SB 553 Task Force in accordance with Senate Bill 553, 77th Legislature, 2001.
Subjects: Capital punishment of mentally disabled inmates | Competency to stand trial | Mentally disabled inmates | Mentally disabled persons |
Library Call Number: L1836.77 C867d
Session: 77th R.S. (2001)
Online version: View report [12 pages  File size: 65 kb]
Charges: This report should address the charges below.
1. A task force is established to review the methods and procedures used to evaluate a criminal defendant's competency to stand trial anduse of the insanity defense and to submit a report to the 78th Legislature. The task force serves in an advisory capacity.
2. In conducting its review of the methods and procedures used to evaluate a criminal defendant's competency to stand trial and use of the insanity defense, the task force shall: (1) examine the process by which the examination of a defendant is initiated and administered, including the required and actual use of forms and other documentation; (2) review the manner in which a person is appointed to conduct an examination; (3) evaluate the adequacy of the qualifications and training of persons who may be appointed to conduct an examination; (4) consider alternative means to: (A) increase cost effectiveness in the examination process; and (B) maximize third-party payment of the costs of examinations; and (5) assess the potential use and benefits of telepsychiatry.

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