senate Bill S751

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Permits at the discretion of the court certain members of the victim's family to read statements in court during the sentencing of a defendant

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to codes
Jan 05, 2011 referred to codes

Co-Sponsors

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S751 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Criminal Procedure Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง380.50, CP L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S3408

S751 - Bill Texts

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Permits at the discretion of the court certain members of the deceased victim's family to read statements in court during the sentencing of a defendant, rather than allowing only a single member of the victim's family to read a statement in court, upon consultation with counsel for the defendant and the people.

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BILL NUMBER:S751

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to permitting at the
discretion of the court certain family members
of a victim who is deceased to read statements in court during the
sentencing of a defendant

PURPOSE:
To correct (unintended) flaw in the statute that effectively
prohibits any discretion of the judge to allow for more than one
of the victims' family members to address the court.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This bill amends 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, to
allow a presiding judge the discretion to allow statements on behalf
of a victim by an immediate family member or up to two members, on
consultation with counsels for the defense and the people.

JUSTIFICATION:
When violent criminal acts kill or maim any person,
friends and family are often victims due to the pain and trauma they
must endure. In our civilized society, families of victims must
exercise restraint and bear the pain of their loss while the wheels
of justice turn and hopefully lead to the conviction of the
perpetrator of the crime. For the murdered victims, surviving close
relatives such as a spouse, mother, father, or children, can often
find some closure at the end of the trail through use of the
opportunity to address their loss to the court, and make a statement
on behalf of the victim who can no longer speak for him/her(self).
While current law provides this opportunity by allowing only "a
member" of the victim's family to make a statement, it effectively
restricts the judge's discretion. Current law prohibits the judge
from considering the appropriateness of more than one member
addressing the court, even if the victim is survived by close
relatives, such as a spouse and parents.

Certainly, good public policy would deem it appropriate to leave it to
the discretion of the judge to determine if both the spouse and a
parent should speak. The judge should not be forced to choose between
the wife and mother of a victim as it occurred in the recent case of
police officer Anthony Sanchez.

This bill, if enacted, will correct the apparently unintended
restriction, and give the discretion to the court where it
appropriately belongs.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-2010: S.3408/A.3525 - Referred to Codes
2007-2008: S.389/A.3973 - Passed Senate
2006: S.6276/A.3803 - Passed Senate
2005: S.6276/A.3803 - Referred to Codes
2003-2004: A.5073-A - Referred to Codes


2001: A.6193/S.3375-A - Passed Senate
2002: A.6193/S.3375-A - Referred to Codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
No known fiscal impact.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                   751

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  YOUNG,  BONACIC,  DeFRANCISCO,  JOHNSON, MAZIARZ,
  RANZENHOFER -- 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 permitting at
  the  discretion of the court certain family members of a victim who is
  deceased to read statements  in  court  during  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. 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 of the family of such victim,  EXCEPT  THAT  WHERE
SUCH  VICTIM  IS  DECEASED AND SURVIVED BY BOTH A SPOUSE AND A PARENT OR
PARENTS, THE COURT IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION MAY ALLOW A SPOUSE  OR  PARENT
OR,  UPON  CONSULTATION  WITH  COUNSEL FOR THE DEFENDANT AND THE PEOPLE,
ALLOW BOTH TO MAKE A STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF SUCH VICTIM,  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 OR PERSONS to make a statement  on  behalf
of the victim.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02707-01-1

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