Legislature(1993 - 1994)
02/26/1993 12:00 PM JUD
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 100 - PROSECUTION OF JUVENILE FELONS Number 675 MS. HORETSKI explained that a draft committee substitute for HB 100 had been prepared for the members' discussion. She went over changes that had been made to the original bill, which set up a scheme to transfer juveniles into adult court for certain offenses, but allowed for juveniles to transfer back to the juvenile system if the juvenile could show that she or he was "amenable to treatment." She noted that under HB 100, the burden of proof of treatability was on the juvenile. MS. HORETSKI commented that the proposed committee substitute contained an "automatic" waiver. If a juvenile aged 16 or older were charged with an unclassified or class A felony, he or she would be moved into adult court, she said. MS. HORETSKI mentioned a similar bill, SB 54, which had been reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She noted that the present version of SB 54 was not identical to either HB 100 or the proposed committee substitute. However, she noted, it was closer in content to HB 100. Number 710 CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that SB 54 had, when introduced, looked just like the proposed committee substitute for HB 100. The chairman noted that the idea behind HB 100 was to have juveniles of a certain age who were charged with serious offenses treated like adults. He said it was hoped that HB 100 would serve as a deterrent to some degree. CHAIRMAN PORTER noted that two approaches could be taken to accomplish the goal of HB 100. One approach, set out in the proposed committee substitute, would be to automatically waive certain juvenile offenders to adult court. Under another approach, set out in the original HB 100, juveniles would be automatically waived into adult court, but could petition to have their cases moved back to juvenile court. Number 770 REP. PHILLIPS asked the chairman if he had discussed the approach taken in the proposed committee substitute with the sponsor of HB 100. Number 771 CHAIRMAN PORTER indicated that HB 100's sponsor would not object to the adoption of the committee substitute. He speculated that the Senate bill had been amended the way that it was to gain enough support for the committee to report it out. Number 785 MS. HORETSKI stated that, as originally drafted, HB 100 applied to 15- 16- and 17-year-olds who had been charged with murder or attempted murder, or who had committed an unclassified or class A felony and had been previously adjudicated for a felony, or who had been charged with a felony and had been previously adjudicated as an adult for a felony. If any of those situations were true, she said, a minor would be treated as an adult. However, a juvenile could petition to be returned to juvenile court. TAPE 93-24, SIDE B Number 000 REP. PHILLIPS asked Ms. Horetski to clarify some of the provisions of the proposed committee substitute. Number 009 MS. HORETSKI responded that the proposed committee substitute contained an automatic waiver for 16- and 17- year-olds, whereas the original bill had an automatic waiver for 15-, 16-and 17-year-olds. The original bill applied to all unclassified and class A felonies, she said. The proposed committee substitute provided that 16- and 17-year- olds charged with murder would be waived into adult court, where they would stay. Number 033 REP. KOTT asked about allowing a juvenile to petition the court to be tried in juvenile court, due to mitigating circumstances. Number 045 MS. HORETSKI said that the screening and charging of adult offenders was performed by the Department of Law (DOL). The screening and charging of juvenile offenders was conducted by the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), she added. She said that DHSS, in consultation with DOL, determined the offense with which the juvenile offender would be charged. But, she said, if a juvenile was not charged with either an unclassified or a class A felony, HB 100 would not apply. She noted that mitigating circumstances would be taken into consideration during the screening and charging process. HB 100 would not affect that process, she said. Number 094 REP. NORDLUND noted that all of the facts of a case might not be known until a trial occurred. However, he said, by that time, a juvenile would already have been transferred into the adult justice system. Number 118 MS. HORETSKI commented that an investigation was conducted in all criminal cases. She said that no charges would be filed prior to an investigation. Number 131 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked at what stage of the proceedings an attorney was assigned to a juvenile defendant. Number 136 MS. HORETSKI said that an attorney would be assigned at the juvenile court's equivalent of an arraignment. Number 143 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked, When during the process would the decision be made to charge a juvenile with an offense? He said that it was his assumption that law enforcement officers would treat a juvenile as a juvenile until a decision was made to charge the individual with an adult offense. MS. HORETSKI stated that the chairman's assumption was correct. Number 190 CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that the automatic waiver procedure would not go into effect until the decision to charge a juvenile offender with an adult offense had been made. Number 197 REP. KOTT commented that often criminal charges were brought in an expeditious manner. Number 200 REP. NORDLUND said that he had to leave the meeting, but noted that he would be more comfortable with HB 100 if he knew how thoroughly DHSS initially investigated crimes. Number 206 RANDALL HINES, YOUTH CORRECTIONS SPECIALIST with the DHSS, appeared before the committee to answer questions. Number 209 CHAIRMAN PORTER asked if juveniles would be treated as juveniles until they were formally charged with an adult offense. Number 218 MR. HINES replied that when a juvenile was referred to DHSS by law enforcement officials, a police report normally accompanied the referral. He stated that intake personnel screened the report and determined what information still needed to be gathered. Once the information was complete, he said, DHSS and DOL officials met to decide what crime the juvenile should be charged with. MR. HINES noted that if a juvenile was incarcerated, charges had to be filed within 48 hours. If the juvenile was not incarcerated, he said, there was more time to determine the appropriate charges. Number 247 REP. NORDLUND reiterated his contention that only during a trial did all the facts of a case come out. He said that DHSS' investigation was limited in scope. He noted that a limited investigation could result in a juvenile being improperly placed into the adult system. By the time all of the facts were known, he said, it was too late: the juvenile was already in the adult system. Number 265 JENNY MURRAY, LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT TO REP. CON BUNDE, noted that the sponsor favored passage of the original version of HB 100. She said that he was concerned about the high fiscal impact of the proposed committee substitute. MS. MURRAY noted that there was a "reverse waiver" procedure in the original HB 100; juveniles who committed certain crimes would automatically go into the adult justice system, but could petition to be transferred back into juvenile court. She noted that the role of the judge was an important factor in the process of moving juveniles into and out of adult court. MS. MURRAY gave an example of a child, who had been abused for years, murdering his stepfather. She said that under the provisions of the committee substitute for HB 100, the child would probably be automatically waived into adult court. Under the original HB 100, she said, if the defense could prove during a hearing that the juvenile were amenable to treatment, the juvenile could be transferred back to the juvenile system. She noted that the original HB 100 contained a "catch" provision, which was not included in the committee substitute. Number 329 CHAIRMAN PORTER commented that the original HB 100 would probably require that more hearings be held than were required under the committee substitute. In that light, he asked Ms. Murray why it was felt that the committee substitute would result in a higher cost to the state. Number 340 MS. MURRAY noted that the committee substitute was very similar to the original SB 54. She said that fiscal notes accompanying the original SB 54 were much higher than the fiscal notes for HB 100. Number 366 CHAIRMAN PORTER stated that sometimes the philosophies of the Public Defender Agency and the Office of Public Advocacy were reflected in their fiscal notes. He asked Ms. Murray if it would be fair to say that the original HB 100 would result in a heavier workload for the court system than would the committee substitute. MS. MURRAY said that she did not know the answer to the chairman's question. CHAIRMAN PORTER announced that HB 100 would be held in committee, and another hearing would be scheduled for a time when Rep. Bunde could be present. ADJOURNMENT CHAIRMAN PORTER adjourned the meeting at 1:24 p.m.