senate Bill S6020

Amended

Authorizes the state board of parole to require a violent felony offender to serve his or her maximum term, if release would pose an imminent threat to society

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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

  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CODES
  • 08 / May / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.709
  • 09 / May / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 14 / May / 2012
    • AMENDED 6020A
  • 14 / May / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 22 / May / 2012
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 22 / May / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 22 / May / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CORRECTION

Summary

Authorizes the state board of parole to require a violent felony offender to serve his or her maximum term, if, by clear and convincing evidence, release would pose an imminent threat to society; authorizes the withholding of good behavior allowances of violent felony offenders by the state board of parole upon such a finding.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8915
Versions:
S6020
S6020A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Penal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §70.40, Pen L; amd §803, Cor L

Votes

9
1
9
Aye
1
Nay
5
aye with reservations
1
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Codes committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6020

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the penal law, in relation to denial of parole to certain
inmates who have been convicted of a violent felony offense when the
state board of parole finds, by convincing evidence, that the release of
such inmate would pose an imminent threat to society;
and to amend the correction law, in relation to making the earning
of good behavior allowances for violent felony offenders contingent
upon their not being an
imminent threat to society upon release

PURPOSE:
To authorize the State Board of Parole to require a violent
felony offender to serve his or her maximum term, if release would
pose an imminent threat to society.

EXISTING LAW:
Under existing law, conditional release is a statutory
type of release that the Board of Parole does not have discretion to
grant or deny. Under indeterminate sentencing guidelines, when there
is a minimum and maximum sentence imposed, the inmate must serve 2/3
of their maximum sentence with no loss of good time. Under
determinate sentencing guidelines, where there is a flat length of
time, the inmate must serve 6/7 of their sentence, and have no loss
of good time.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section One: Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 70.40 of the
penal law, as amended by section 127-d-1 of subpart B of part C of
chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to add (iii) which provides
the State Board of Parole the ability to deny the conditional early
release of a prisoner in the event that a finding is made that the
release of such prisoner would pose an imminent threat to society.

Section Two: Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 70.40 of the
penal law, as amended by section 127-e of subpart B of part C of
chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to provide the State Board
of Parole the ability to deny the conditional early release of a
prisoner in the event that a finding is made that the release of such
prisoner would pose an imminent threat to society.

Section Three: Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 803 of the
correction law, as amended by section 37 of subpart B of part C of
chapter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to provide that any time
allowance earned in prison by a violent felony offender shall be
withheld by the State Board of Parole upon a finding that such person
would pose an imminent threat to society if released from
incarceration.

Section Four: Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 803 as the
correction law, as amended by chapter 126 of the laws of 1987 and as
designated by chapter 738 of the laws of 2004, is amended to provide
that any time allowance earned in prison by a violent felony offender
shall be withheld by the State Board of Parole upon a finding that


such person would pose an imminent threat to society if released from
incarceration.

Section Five: Sets forth the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
The recent sexual assault and murder of a woman in Utica, NY by a
career rapist named Robert Blainey who had been released early from
prison due to merit time earned for good behavior has tragically
highlighted the need to change the policy of conditional releases of
violent felony offenders. In this egregious case, Blainey is actually
quoted in transcripts to the parole board stating "Society is safer
with me in prison. I can sit here and tell you people I'm not going
to do it, I'm not going to do it, but it's not going to make a bit of
difference." He concluded: "In your opinion and your eyes I am a
low-life rapist, which is true, and I'm not going anywhere." Well,
Blainey did go somewhere and that is right back out into society to
sexually assault another woman who this time he killed.

Under current state law, Blainey was only required to serve two-thirds
of his 1989 sentence of 12 1/2 to 25 years with the merit time he had
accumulated for good behavior while incarcerated.
The State Parole Board had no choice in the matter whether they
believed he was still a danger to society or not. As long as Blainey
signed the document agreeing to his conditional release terms he was
free to go.

This legislation will help protect innocent citizens like the motel
owner Blainey targeted after hiding in an empty room until he
attacked her on the night of November 2nd, only 5 weeks after he had
stopped following the reporting requirements of his conditional
release as police were searching for his whereabouts.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately with certain provisions.

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

                                  6020

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 4, 2012
                               ___________

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

AN ACT to amend the penal law,  in  relation  to  denial  of  parole  to
  certain  inmates  who  have been convicted of a violent felony offense
  when the state board of parole finds, by convincing evidence, that the
  release of such inmate would pose an imminent threat to  society;  and
  to amend the correction law, in relation to making the earning of good
  behavior allowances for violent felony offenders contingent upon their
  not being an imminent threat to society upon release

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

  Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1  of  section  70.40  of  the
penal law, as amended by section 127-d-1 of subpart B of part C of chap-
ter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
  (b)  A  person  who  is  serving one or more than one indeterminate or
determinate sentence of imprisonment shall, if he or she so requests, be
conditionally released from the  institution  in  which  he  or  she  is
confined when the total good behavior time allowed to him or her, pursu-
ant  to  the  provisions of the correction law, is equal to the unserved
portion of his or her term, maximum  term  or  aggregate  maximum  term;
provided,  however,  that  (i) in no event shall a person serving one or
more indeterminate sentence of imprisonment and one or more  determinate
sentence   of  imprisonment  which  run  concurrently  be  conditionally
released until serving at least six-sevenths of the determinate term  of
imprisonment which has the longest unexpired time to run; and (ii) in no
event  shall  a  person  be  conditionally released prior to the date on
which such person is first eligible for  discretionary  parole  release;
AND  (III) IN THE EVENT THAT THE STATE BOARD OF PAROLE FINDS, IN WRITING
AND BY CONVINCING EVIDENCE, THAT THE RELEASE OF  A  PERSON  SERVING  ANY
SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT FOR THE CONVICTION OF A VIOLENT FELONY OFFENSE,
AS  DEFINED  IN  SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 70.02 OF THIS ARTICLE, WOULD
POSE AN IMMINENT THREAT TO SOCIETY, SUCH  PERSON  SHALL  NOT  BE  CONDI-
TIONALLY  RELEASED OR PAROLED AND SHALL REMAIN IMPRISONED FOR HIS OR HER

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13711-03-2

S. 6020                             2

TERM, MAXIMUM TERM OR AGGREGATE MAXIMUM TERM, WHICHEVER SHALL BE  GREAT-
EST.   The conditions of release, including those governing post-release
supervision, shall be such as may be  imposed  by  the  state  board  of
parole in accordance with the provisions of the executive law.
  Every  person  so released shall be under the supervision of the state
department of corrections and community supervision for a  period  equal
to  the  unserved  portion  of the term, maximum term, aggregate maximum
term, or period of post-release supervision.
  S 2. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 70.40 of the penal law,
as amended by section 127-e of subpart B of part C of chapter 62 of  the
laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
  (b)  A  person  who  is  serving  one  or  more than one indeterminate
sentence of imprisonment shall, if he or  she  so  requests,  be  condi-
tionally  released  from  the institution in which he or she is confined
when the total good behavior time allowed to him or her, pursuant to the
provisions of the correction law, is equal to the  unserved  portion  of
his or her maximum or aggregate maximum term; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IN
THE  EVENT  THAT  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF  PAROLE FINDS, IN WRITING AND BY
CONVINCING EVIDENCE, THAT THE RELEASE OF A PERSON SERVING  ANY  SENTENCE
OF  IMPRISONMENT  FOR  THE  CONVICTION  OF  A VIOLENT FELONY OFFENSE, AS
DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 70.02 OF THIS ARTICLE, WOULD  POSE
AN  IMMINENT  THREAT  TO SOCIETY, SUCH PERSON SHALL NOT BE CONDITIONALLY
RELEASED OR PAROLED AND SHALL REMAIN IMPRISONED FOR HIS OR  HER  MAXIMUM
TERM  OR  AGGREGATE MAXIMUM TERM, WHICHEVER SHALL BE GREATER. The condi-
tions of release, including those  governing  post-release  supervision,
shall  be such as may be imposed by the state board of parole in accord-
ance with the provisions of the executive law.
  Every person so released shall be under the supervision of the depart-
ment of corrections and community supervision for a period equal to  the
unserved  portion  of  the maximum, aggregate maximum term, or period of
post-release supervision.
  S 3. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 803 of  the  correction
law,  as  amended  by section 37 of subpart B of part C of chapter 62 of
the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
  (a) Every person confined in an institution of  the  department  or  a
facility in the department of mental hygiene serving an indeterminate or
determinate sentence of imprisonment, except a person serving a sentence
with  a  maximum  term  of life imprisonment, may receive time allowance
against the term or maximum term of his or her sentence imposed  by  the
court.  Such  allowances  may be granted for good behavior and efficient
and willing performance of duties assigned or progress  and  achievement
in  an  assigned  treatment  program,  and may be withheld, forfeited or
canceled in whole or in part for bad  behavior,  violation  of  institu-
tional  rules  or  failure  to perform properly in the duties or program
assigned.  PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT ANY TIME ALLOWANCE EARNED PURSUANT TO
THIS SECTION BY A PERSON SERVING A SENTENCE FOR CONVICTION OF A  VIOLENT
FELONY  OFFENSE DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 70.02 OF THE PENAL
LAW SHALL BE WITHHELD BY THE STATE BOARD OF PAROLE UPON  A  FINDING,  IN
WRITING AND BY CONVINCING EVIDENCE, THAT SUCH PERSON WOULD POSE AN IMMI-
NENT THREAT TO SOCIETY IF RELEASED FROM INCARCERATION.
  S  4.  Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 803 of the correction
law, as amended by chapter 126 of the laws of 1987 and as designated  by
chapter 738 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows:
  (a)  Every  person  confined  in an institution of the department or a
facility in the department of mental hygiene  serving  an  indeterminate
sentence  of  imprisonment,  except  a  person serving a sentence with a

S. 6020                             3

maximum term of life imprisonment, may receive  time  allowance  against
the  maximum  term or period of his sentence not to exceed in the aggre-
gate one-third of the term or period imposed by the court.  Such  allow-
ances  may  be  granted  for  good  behavior  and  efficient and willing
performance of  duties  assigned  or  progress  and  achievement  in  an
assigned  treatment  program, and may be withheld, forfeited or canceled
in whole or in part for bad behavior, violation of  institutional  rules
or  failure  to  perform  properly  in  the  duties or program assigned.
PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT ANY  TIME  ALLOWANCE  EARNED  PURSUANT  TO  THIS
SECTION BY A PERSON SERVING A SENTENCE FOR CONVICTION OF A VIOLENT FELO-
NY  OFFENSE DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 70.02 OF THE PENAL LAW
SHALL BE WITHHELD BY THE STATE BOARD OF PAROLE UPON A FINDING, IN  WRIT-
ING  AND BY CONVINCING EVIDENCE, THAT SUCH PERSON WOULD POSE AN IMMINENT
THREAT TO SOCIETY IF RELEASED FROM INCARCERATION.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that the  amend-
ments  to  paragraph  (b) of subdivision 1 of section 70.40 of the penal
law made by section one of this act shall be subject to  the  expiration
and  reversion of such paragraph pursuant to subdivision d of section 74
of chapter 3 of the laws of 1995, as amended, when upon  such  date  the
provisions  of  section two of this act shall take effect; and provided,
further that the amendments to section 803 of the correction  law,  made
by  section  three  of  this act, shall be subject to the expiration and
reversion of such section pursuant to subdivision d  of  section  74  of
chapter  3  of  the  laws  of  1995, as amended, when upon such date the
provisions of section four of this act shall take effect.

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