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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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S.245

Introduced by   Senator Sears of Bennington District

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Criminal procedure; crime victims

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to enact the recommendations of the victims’ rights study committee.  The bill proposes to:  (1) permit the court to delay sentencing of an offender if the victim of the crime has not been provided the required notice; (2) require the parole board to keep the victim’s testimony and statements confidential if the victim so requests; and (3) require the parole board, when an offender is being considered for parole for a listed crime, to permit testimony by victims of other listed crimes committed by the offender.

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIME VICTIMS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 5321 is amended to read:

§ 5321.  APPEARANCE BY VICTIM

* * *

(b)  Sentencing shall not may be delayed or voided by reason of the failure to give the victim the required notice or the failure of the victim to appear.

* * *

Sec. 2.  13 V.S.A. § 5305 is amended to read:

§ 5305.  INFORMATION CONCERNING RELEASE FROM

              CONFINEMENT

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(c)  If requested by a victim of a listed crime, the department of corrections shall:

(1)  at least 30 days before a parole board hearing concerning the defendant, inform the victim of the hearing and of the victim's right to testify before the parole board or to submit a written statement, which shall be kept confidential if so requested by the victim, for the parole board to consider; and

(2)  promptly inform the victim of the decision of the parole board, including providing to the victim any conditions attached to the defendant's release on parole.

Sec. 3.  28 V.S.A. § 507 is amended to read:

§ 507.  NOTIFICATION TO VICTIM AND OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY

(a)  At least 30 days prior to a parole eligibility hearing, the victim of a listed crime as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7), shall be notified as to the time and location of the hearing.  Such notification may be waived by the victim in writing.

(b)  At a parole eligibility hearing, unless waived by the victim of a listed crime as defined in 13 V.S.A. § 5301(7), the inmate shall not be present when the victim testifies before the parole board.

(c)  Parole board proceedings shall be subject to the Vermont open meeting law.

(d)  As used in this subsection, “victim” means:

(1)  a victim of the listed crime for which the parole board is determining the inmate’s eligibility for parole; and

(2)  a victim of a listed crime of which the inmate was convicted other than the listed crime for which the parole board is determining the inmate’s eligibility for parole.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us