HBA-SEP H.J.R. 56 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.J.R. 56 By: Dutton Criminal Jurisprudence 4/1/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Since the United States Supreme Court decision to reinstate the death penalty in 1976, more than 240 prisoners have been executed in Texas, which is more than in any other state. Last year, Texas executed more prisoners than in any previous year. Concerns exist regarding the possible execution of innocent individuals as evidenced by recent initiatives on issues surrounding capital punishment, including the examination of the indigent defense system, postconviction DNA testing of defendants, and sentencing alternatives. Under current law, the governor does not have the authority to declare a moratorium on executions and only has the constitutional power to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons after a recommendation by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. As proposed, House Joint Resolution 56 requires the submission to the voters of a constitutional amendment establishing a moratorium on the execution of persons convicted of capital offenses. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this resolution does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Joint Resolution 56 amends the Texas Constitution to prohibit the Texas Department of Criminal Justice from performing executions until September 1, 2003. The bill provides that this provision expires September 2, 2003. FOR ELECTION This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at an election to be held November 6, 2001.