Introduced by Representatives Grad of Moretown, Green of Berlin, Hosford of Waitsfield, Larson of Burlington, Pillsbury of Brattleboro and Pugh of S. Burlington
Subject: Crimes; crime victims
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to establish a study committee to review and address the rights of victims for the purpose of making findings and recommendations regarding the enforcement of victims’ rights under current law and to specifically address: 1) scheduling and continuances of court hearings; 2) the victim’s input with plea agreements and sentencing recommendations; 3) victim notification by the department of corrections and parole board; and 4) the role of the victim at parole board hearings.
AN ACT RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A VICTIMS’ RIGHTS STUDY COMMITTEE
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. STUDY
(a) A study committee is hereby established for the purpose of reviewing and addressing the rights of victims under current law to facilitate better enforcement of such rights and to specially consider the following issues:
(1) scheduling and continuances of court hearings as they relate to victims;
(2) the victim’s input with plea-agreements and sentencing recommendations;
(3) victim notification by the department of corrections and parole board; and
(4) the role of the victim at parole board hearings.
(b) The committee shall consist of the following 15 members:
(1) the executive director of the Vermont center for crime victim services, or his or her designee;
(2) the coordinator of the network against domestic and sexual violence, or his or her designee;
(3) two victims/survivors of crime who are members of the Vermont victim/survivor of crime council;
(4) the chair of the senate committee on judiciary;
(5) the chair of the house committee on judiciary;
(6) the governor’s legal counsel;
(7) the attorney general, or his or her designee;
(8) the executive director of the department of state’s attorneys and sheriffs, or his or her designee;
(9) the court administrator, or his or her designee;
(10) the defender general, or his or her designee;
(11) the commissioner of public safety, or his or her designee;
(12) the commissioner of the department of corrections, or his or her designee;
(13) the chair of the Vermont parole board; and
(14) an attorney appointed by the Vermont bar association.
(c) In its deliberations, the committee shall consult with the governor’s criminal justice cabinet, as needed.
(d) The committee shall have the assistance and cooperation of all state and local agencies and departments. The center for crime victim services shall provide professional and administrative support for the committee.
(e) Legislative members of the committee shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses in accordance with 2 V.S.A. § 406. The at-large members and victims/survivors of crime shall be entitled to per diem compensation and reimbursement for expenses in the same manner as legislative members, provided they are not state employees, through the center for crime victim services.
(f) The committee shall meet no more than five times.
(g) The committee shall present its findings and recommendations, including proposals for legislative action, to the general assembly no later than January 15, 2007.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street