senate Bill S4092

Expands the definition of victim for purposes of making statements at sentencing to allow more than one relative to speak

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 17 / Mar / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 10 / May / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.561
  • 11 / May / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 16 / May / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • DIED IN ASSEMBLY
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 31 / Jan / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.160
  • 06 / Feb / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 07 / Feb / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 13 / Feb / 2012
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 13 / Feb / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 13 / Feb / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CODES

Summary

Expands the definition of "victim" for purposes of making statements at sentencing of defendant to allow more than one family member to speak; provides that members of a victims family includes parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, aunts and uncles.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1713
Versions:
S4092
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Assembly Codes
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง380.50, CP L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: S4282, A7254
2007-2008: A3766A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4092

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to expanding the
number of a victim's family members who may
speak at the sentencing of a defendant

PURPOSE:
This bill would permit additional members of a victim's family to
speak at the sentencing phase of a criminal proceeding.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Provides that this act shall be known as the "Victims'
Voices for Justice Act".

Section 2: Amends Section 380.50 of the Criminal Procedure Law to
permit more than one member of a victim's family the opportunity to
make a statement at the sentencing phase of a criminal proceeding in
the event the victim is deceased, physically or mentally
incapacitated, or otherwise unable to express himself or herself
before the court. "Domestic partner" shall be included in the
definition of "spouse," and are therefore permitted to speak on
behalf of the victim.

Section 3: Sets forth an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Current law permits a member of a victim's family to make a statement
at sentencing if the victim is unable to speak or is deceased.
However, courts have interpreted this provision as prohibiting more
than one member of the victim's family from speaking, thus preventing
parents, grandparents and children from addressing the court prior to
sentencing.

The need for this legislation is highlighted by the following case.
Early in 1999 the parents of murdered police officer Anthony Sanchez
were prohibited from making a victim impact
statement during the sentencing phase of the trial of Scott
Schneiderman, a debt-ridden stockbroker, who shot and killed Officer
Sanchez while fleeing a robbery.

According to the court, the law only allows a single victim impact
statement, which in this case was made by the victim's widow,
Elizabeth. This bill removes this limitation and permits the family
of a victim to testify on how the criminal's act affected their life
and the life of the victim. In the Sanchez murder case, the popular
11-year veteran police officer and father was repeatedly fired upon
and lay dying alone. Unfortunately the parents and his brothers and
sisters were not permitted to tell the judge and the convicted
murderer how his death had shattered their lives. This bill will
remedy this injustice.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:


2009-2010: S.4282 (Valesky)- Referred to Codes
2007-2008: S.2369 (Volker) - Passed Senate
2005-2006: S.1524A (Volker) - Passed Senate
2003-2004: S.243 (Volker) - Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4092

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 17, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SALAND -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes

AN ACT to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to expanding the
  number of a victim's family members who may speak at the sentencing of
  a defendant

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  This act shall be known and may be cited as the "victims'
voices for justice act".
  S 2. Subparagraph 2 of paragraph  (a)  of  subdivision  2  of  section
380.50  of the criminal procedure law, as separately amended by chapters
173 and 198 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows:
  (2) if such victim is  unable  or  unwilling  to  express  himself  or
herself  before the court or a person so mentally or physically disabled
as to make it impracticable to appear in court in person or  the  victim
is  deceased,  [a  member]  THEN  MEMBERS  of  the family of such victim
INCLUDING THE SPOUSE, PARENTS,  GRANDPARENTS,  CHILDREN,  GRANDCHILDREN,
SIBLINGS,  AUNTS  AND UNCLES, or the legal guardian or representative of
the legal guardian of the victim where such guardian  or  representative
has personal knowledge of and a relationship with the victim, unless the
court  finds  that  it  would be inappropriate for such person to make a
statement on behalf of the victim.  FOR THE PURPOSES  OF  THIS  SUBPARA-
GRAPH,  THE  TERM  "SPOUSE"  SHALL ALSO INCLUDE A DOMESTIC PARTNER.  THE
TERM "DOMESTIC PARTNER" MEANS A PERSON WHO RESIDED WITH THE  VICTIM  AND
WHO  CAN  PROVE  EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL COMMITMENT, AND INTERDEPENDENCE
BETWEEN SUCH PERSON AND THE VICTIM.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.


 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04113-01-1

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