CSAO: Judiciary Committee - March 15, 2017 - S.B. No. 980

TESTIMONY OF THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

S.B. No. 980 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING A VICTIM'S RIGHT TO BE REASONABLY PROTECTED FROM THE ACCUSED.

JOINT COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
March 15, 2017

The Division of Criminal Justice respectfully recommends the Committee’s JOINT FAVORABLE SUBSTITUTE Report for S.B. No. 980, An Act Concerning a Victim’s Right to Be Reasonably Protected From the Accused.

The Division does not oppose the concept behind this bill, but we cannot support the provisions on lines 65 through 67 that would shift the requirement for notifying crime victims when the defendant applies for accelerated pretrial rehabilitation to the Division of Criminal Justice.

The application for Accelerated Pretrial Rehabilitation is filed by the defendant with the court, not with the prosecutor. The decision whether to grant the application rests with the court, not the prosecutor. The prosecutor, like the victim, only learns of the application after it has been filed. As such, it makes no sense to place the burden for making notification of such applications with the prosecutor, who essentially is also only "notified" after the application is filed with the court.

The notification requirement should either remain where it is now, with the defendant who is seeking the benefits of the pretrial diversionary program, or be placed with a more appropriate entity such as the court that actually receives the application. We would also note that shifting the notification requirement from the defendant to either the prosecutor or the court would have an obvious fiscal impact.

In conclusion, the Division respectfully recommends that the Committee delete the language on lines 65 through 67 to place the notification requirement with the prosecutor. We thank the Committee for affording this opportunity to provide input on this matter and would be happy to provide any additional information the Committee might require or to answer any questions that you might have.



Content Last Modified on 3/15/2017 9:19:16 AM