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2020 Legislative Agenda

Feb 6, 2020 | by RIHD
 When you believe in something, fight for it. When you       see Injustice, fight harder than you ever fought before.
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2020 GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM BILLS
As of 01/20/2020

SENATE BILL NO, 793 (SB 793) (FISHBACK)
Parole; exception to limitation on the application of parole statutes.
Introduced by: Jennifer L. McClellan
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Parole; exception to limitation on the application of parole statutes. Provides that an incarcerated person is eligible for parole if (i) such person was sentenced by a jury prior to the date of the Supreme Court of Virginia decision in Fishback v. Commonwealth, 260 Va. 104 (June 9, 2000), in which the Court held that a jury should be instructed on the fact that parole has been abolished, for a noncapital felony committed on or after the abolition of parole went into effect (on January 1, 1995) and (ii) the jury was not instructed on the abolition of parole in the Commonwealth.

HOUSE BILL 996 (HB 996) (FISHBACK)
Parole; exception to limitation on the application of parole statutes.
Introduced by: Joseph C. Lindsey
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Parole; exception to limitation on the application of parole statutes. Provides that an incarcerated person is eligible for parole if (i) such person was sentenced by a jury prior to the date of the Supreme Court of Virginia decision in Fishback v. Commonwealth, 260 Va. 104 (June 9, 2000), in which the Court held that a jury should be instructed on the fact that parole has been abolished, for a noncapital felony committed on or after the abolition of parole went into effect (on January 1, 1995) and (ii) the jury was not instructed on the abolition of parole in the Commonwealth.
HOUSE BILL 33 (HB 33) (FISHBACK)
Parole; exception to limitation on the application of parole statutes.
Introduced by: Joseph C. Lindsey
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Parole; exception to limitation on the application of parole statutes. Provides that a person is entitled to parole if (i) such person was sentenced by a jury prior to the date of the Supreme Court of Virginia decision in Fishback v. Commonwealth, 260 Va. 104 (June 9, 2000), in which the Court held that a jury should be instructed on the fact that parole has been abolished, for a noncapital felony committed on or after the abolition of parole going into effect (on January 1, 1995) and (ii) the jury was not instructed on the abolition of parole.
​You can start emailing (online petition) your legislators and ask them to support the below Parole Eligibility (FISHBACK):
SB793, SB821, HB33, HB996
Https://actionnetwork.org/letters/stop-the-unfair-sentencing-trap-in-va
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SENATE BILL NO. 91 (SB91)
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 3 of Chapter 4 of Title 53.1 a section numbered 53.1-165.2 and to repeal § 53.1-165.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the application of parole statutes.
Introduced by: John S Edwards
Referred to Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Service
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 3 of Chapter 4 of
Title 53.1 a section numbered 53.1-165.2 as follows:
§ 53.1-165.2. Procedures for consideration of parole for persons previously ineligible.
The Parole Board shall establish procedures for consideration of parole for persons who were previously ineligible for parole pursuant to the former § 53.1-165.1 in a manner consistent with the provisions of § 53.1-154 to allow for an extension of time for reasonable cause.
2. That § 53.1-165.1 of the Code of Virginia is repealed.
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?201+ful+SB91

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​HOUSE BILL 35 (HB 35)
 Juvenile offenders; eligibility for parole.
Introduced by: Joseph C. Lindsey
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Juvenile offenders; parole. Provides that any person sentenced to a term of life imprisonment for a single felony offense or multiple felony offenses committed while that person was a juvenile and who has served at least 25 years of such sentence and any person who has active sentences that total more than 25 years for a single felony offense or multiple felony offenses committed while that person was a juvenile and who has served at least 25 years of such sentences shall be eligible for parole.
SENATE BILL 103 (SB 103)
 Juvenile offenders; parole.
Introduced by: David W. Marsden
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Juvenile offenders; parole. Provides that any person sentenced to a term of life imprisonment for a single felony offense or multiple felony offenses committed while that person was a juvenile and who has served at least 20 years of such sentence, and any person who has active sentences that total more than 20 years for a single felony offense or multiple felony offenses committed while that person was a juvenile and who has served at least 20 years of such sentences, shall be eligible for parole.
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HOUSE BILL (HB 85)
 Death penalty; abolishes penalty, including those persons currently under a death sentence.
Introduced by: Lee J. Carter
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Abolition of the death penalty. Abolishes the death penalty, including for those persons currently under a death sentence.
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SENATE BILL (SB 116)
Death penalty; severe mental illness.
Introduced by: Barbara A. Favola
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Death penalty; severe mental illness. Provides that a defendant in a capital case who had a severe mental illness, as defined in the bill, at the time of the offense is not eligible for the death penalty. The bill establishes procedures for determining whether a defendant had a severe mental illness at the time of the offense and provides for the appointment of expert evaluators. The bill provides that when the defendant’s severe mental illness is at issue, a determination will be made by the jury or by the judge in a bench trial as part of the sentencing proceeding, and the defendant bears the burden of proving his severe mental illness by a preponderance of the evidence. The bill also provides that in the event the defendant fails to provide notice that he will offer testimony by an expert witness at such sentencing proceeding, the court may either allow the Commonwealth a continuance or, where the defendant is unable to show good cause for untimely notice, bar the defendant from presenting such evidence.
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HOUSE BILL (HB 101)
Grand larceny; increases threshold amount.
Introduced by: Joseph C. Lindsey
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Grand larceny; threshold. Increases from $500 to $750 the threshold amount of money taken or value of goods or chattel taken at which the crime rises from petit larceny to grand larceny. The bill increases the threshold by the same amount for the classification of certain property crimes.
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SENATE BILL (SB. 2)
Marijuana; decriminalization of simple possession, civil penalty.
Introduced by: Adam P. Ebbin
SUMMARY AS INTRODUCED:
Marijuana; decriminalization of simple marijuana possession; penalty. Decriminalizes simple marijuana possession and provides a civil penalty of no more than $50. Current law imposes a maximum fine of $500 and a maximum 30-day jail sentence for a first offense, and subsequent offenses are a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill provides that the suspended sentence and substance abuse screening provisions and driver’s license suspension provisions apply only to criminal violations or to civil violations by a juvenile. The bill defines marijuana to include hashish oil. The bill raises the threshold amount of marijuana subject to the offense of distribution or possession with intent to distribute from one-half ounce to one ounce. The bill also allows a person to petition for expungement of convictions and deferred disposition dismissals for marijuana possession when all court costs and fines and orders of restitution have been paid. The bill contains technical amendments
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CITIZEN HELP PAGE: 
VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY 
Pocahontas Building
900 E. Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
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