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S_JUD_2017A 02/22/2017 Committee Summary

Final

STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING



SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

Date: 02/22/2017
ATTENDANCE
Time: 01:31 PM to 04:44 PM
Coram
X
Fields
X
Place: SCR 352
Kagan
X
Cooke
X
This Meeting was called to order by
Gardner
X
Senator Gardner
This Report was prepared by
Conrad Imel
X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call
Bills Addressed: Action Taken:
SB17-087

SB17-141
Postponed Indefinitely

Postponed Indefinitely





01:31 PM -- SB17-087



Senator Gardner, chair, called the committee to order and explained the procedures that would be used for witness testimony during the meeting. Senator Aguilar, prime sponsor, presented Senate Bill 17-087, concerning granting judicial discretion to sentence a defendant to an intermediate or determinate sentence for a sexual offense, and, in connection therewith, requiring the criteria and basis for the sentencing decision to be articulated on the public record. Senator Aguilar distributed information to the committee (Attachment A). Senator Aguilar discussed a recent court decision concerning sentencing a sex offender, and existing law concerning sentencing. She explained the bill's provisions, and responded to questions about the bill and court sentencing decisions.



17SenateJud0222AttachA.pdf17SenateJud0222AttachA.pdf



01:41 PM --
Ms. Maureen Cain, representing the State Public Defender's Office and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. She explained the bill's provisions. Ms. Cain responded to a question concerning sentencing under the bill.



01:50 PM --
Mr. Chris Lobanov-Rostovsky, program manager of the Colorado Sex Offender Manager Board (SOMB), testified on the bill from a neutral position. He discussed the process of assessing a sex offender's risk under current procedures and how the bill may affect risk assessment. Mr. Lobanov-Rostovsky discussed commitment methods in other states. He responded to questions concerning risk assessment and the effect of prior legislation. Senator Kagan commented.





















02:01 PM



Mr. Lobanov-Rostovsky responded to a question concerning the impact of SB 17-087 on the SOMB. He also discussed, in response to questions, the treatment of sex offenders, generally.



02:06 PM --
Ms. Lisa Scanga, representing the First Judicial District Attorney's Office and the Colorado District Attorneys' Council (CDAC), testified in opposition to the bill. She discussed sentencing of sex offenders under existing law, and decisions concerning the treatment of offenders. She discussed the legal concerns surrounding the bill. Ms. Scanga responded to questions concerning legal questions she claims are raised by the bill, including constitutional issues related to fact-finding by judges.



02:17 PM --
Ms. Katharina Booth, representing the Twentieth Judicial District Attorney's Office, CDAC, and the Colorado Attorney General's Office, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Booth spoke favorably of Ms. Scanga's testimony, and stated that she believes the effect of the bill will be to require determinate sentencing. She responded to questions concerning recent court decisions about sentencing in sex assault cases.



02:23 PM --
Ms. Allison Boyd, representing the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, testified in opposition to the bill. She discussed the effect of sexual assaults and sentencing on victims. Ms. Boyd discussed the benefits of the existing sentencing scheme.



02:27 PM --
Dr. Pamela Yates, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. She discussed studies concerning sentencing. Dr. Yates responded to questions concerning when, in the judicial and corrections process, it is most beneficial to perform a risk assessment, and sentencing of sex offenders, generally.





02:37 PM



Dr. Yates continued to respond to questions. She discussed her experience, and the risk of reoffending posed by sex offenders. Dr. Yates responded to a question concerning the Canadian legal system. She submitted her c.v. to the committee (Attachment B).



17SenateJud0222AttachB.pdf17SenateJud0222AttachB.pdf



02:43 PM --
Ms. Dena McClung, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She discussed the backlog for offenders to receive treatment, and the costs of treatment. Ms. McClung responded to a question regarding assessments made by courts, and treatment backlogs.



02:48 PM --
Mr. John Svec, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. He discussed a situation concerning his friend who is incarcerated and receiving treatment.



02:50 PM --
Mr. Wayne Boring, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. He discussed a situation concerning his son who received an indeterminate sentence and is receiving treatment. Mr. Boring responded to questions concerning his son's situation.

















02:53 PM --
Ms. Janet Hunsaker, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Hunsaker discussed the benefits of giving judges more sentencing options in cases involving sex crimes.



02:54 PM --
Ms. Susan Walker, representing the Coalition for Sexual Offense Restoration (CSOR), testified in support of the bill. She discussed shortcomings of sentencing under existing law, and different approaches to sentencing. Ms. Walker discussed the costs of sentencing all sexual offenders to indeterminate sentencing. She also discussed her son's situation, having received an indeterminate sentence. She responded to questions concerning sentencing of sex offenders as punishment for a crime, and the work of CSOR.



03:03 PM --
Ms. Laurie Rose Kepros, representing the State Public Defender's Office and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. She discussed charges and sentencing under existing law, the Colorado Lifetime Supervision Act of 1998. Ms. Kepros responded to questions concerning the timing of risk assessments and the accuracy of risk classifications. She responded to earlier testimony concerning the constitutionality of the bill. Ms. Kepros continued to respond to questions concerning the relationship between risk and the crimes committed.



03:14 PM --
Ms. Beverly Casey, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She discussed her son's situation being sentenced for sexual assault.



03:18 PM --
Ms. Marie Carrico, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She discussed her husband's situation being sentenced for sexual assault. She explained how SB 17-087 could have changed her husband's sentence. She responded to questions.





03:21 PM



Senator Aguilar made closing remarks on the bill and asked for the committee's support. Senator Kagan and Senator Fields explained their positions on the bill.

BILL: SB17-087
TIME: 03:29:27 PM
MOVED: Kagan
MOTION: Refer Senate Bill 17-087 to the Committee of the Whole. The motion failed on a vote of 1-4.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Coram
No
Fields
No
Kagan
Yes
Cooke
No
Gardner
No
YES: 1 NO: 4 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: FAIL












BILL: SB17-087
TIME: 03:30:21 PM
MOVED: Coram
MOTION: Postpone Senate Bill 17-087 indefinitely using a reversal of the previous roll call. There was no objection to the use of the reverse roll call, therefore, the bill was postponed indefinitely.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Coram
Fields
Kagan
Cooke
Gardner
Final YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection





03:30 PM -- SB17-141



Senator Aguilar, prime sponsor, presented Senate Bill 17-141, concerning allowing for low-risk offenders to receive required sex offender treatment in a community-based program. She explained the bill and discussed its need. Senator Kagan distributed amendments L.001 (Attachment C) and L.002 (Attachment D).



17SenateJud0222AttachC.pdf17SenateJud0222AttachC.pdf 17SenateJud0222AttachD.pdf17SenateJud0222AttachD.pdf



03:35 PM --
Ms. Maureen Cain, representing the State Public Defender's Office and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. She explained the bill's provisions. Ms. Cain responded to questions concerning parole eligibility.



03:42 PM --
Ms. Lisa Scanga, representing the First Judicial District Attorney's Office and the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in opposition to the bill. She explained that the bill did not fix issues that exist, and discussed additional concerns with the bill. Ms. Scanga responded to a question by stating that whether an offender is low-risk should not be any more of a consideration than it is under existing practice.



03:48 PM --
Mr. Leonard Woodson, representing the Sex Offender Treatment and Monitoring Program in the Department of Corrections, testified in opposition to the bill. He stated that the bill does not appropriately define low-risk offenders, and commented on prior discussion concerning cost. In response to questions, Mr. Woodson clarified an earlier portion of his testimony concerning the availability of treatment, the current waitlist for treatment, and treatment of certain offenders.



03:54 PM --
Ms. Allison Boyd, representing the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance, testified in opposition to the bill. She stated that the County Sheriffs of Colorado opposes the bill. She also discussed a specific case involving a low-risk assessment, and risk assessment generally. In response to a question, Ms. Boyd discussed parole decisions under the bill, and and the availability of community-based programs for offenders.













04:03 PM --
Mr. Chris Lobanov-Rostovsky, program manager of the Colorado Sex Offender Manager Board (SOMB), testified on the bill from a neutral position. Mr. Lobanov-Rostovsky discussed the issue of underreporting of sex crimes, and the effect of that on recidivism rates; explained risk assessments; and discussed the consideration of victims when making sentencing decisions. He provided information on the availability of community-based programs. In response to a question, Mr. Lobanov-Rostovsky further commented on treatment programs.



04:08 PM --
Dr. Pamela Yates, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. Dr. Yates discussed the principles of sentencing necessary to avoid recidivism. She provided risk and recidivism data to the committee, and discussed sentencing. In response to a question, Dr. Yates discussed how to best support the safety of the public in situations involving sex offenders.



04:18 PM --
Ms. Dena McClung, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. McClung provided information on offenders who are receiving treatment.



04:22 PM --
Ms. Janet Hunsaker, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She discussed the bill's provisions, and information from a recent state audit.



04:23 PM --
Mr. Roger Kincade, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the effect of permitting certain offenders to receive treatment on parole.



04:25 PM --
Ms. Susan Walker, representing the Coalition for Sexual Offense Restoration (CSOR), testified in support of the bill. Ms. Walker discussed treatment outside of Colorado and the impact of the existing sentencing scheme on offenders. She explained concerns regarding in-prison treatment, including cost and space issues.



04:28 PM --
Ms. Carolyn Turner, representing Advocates for Change, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Turner discussed the genesis of the Colorado Lifetime Supervision Act of 1998, and subsequent legislation concerning sentencing and treatment of sex offenders.



04:31 PM --
Ms. Laurie Rose Kepros, representing the State Public Defender's Office and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Kepros discussed the treatment of sex offenders and instances of release without treatment. She also discussed availability of treatment statewide, and the discretion of the Parole Board. She commented on prior testimony. Ms. Kepros responded to a question concerning victim participation in the parole determination process.



04:37 PM --
Ms. Dale Jenkins, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She discussed a recent state audit of the costs of incarcerating certain offenders.





































04:39 PM



Senator Aguilar discussed amendments L.001 and L.002, and provided closing remarks on the bill.

BILL: SB17-141
TIME: 04:42:47 PM
MOVED: Fields
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.001 (Attachment C). The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Coram
Fields
Kagan
Cooke
Gardner
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection


BILL: SB17-141
TIME: 04:43:23 PM
MOVED: Fields
MOTION: Adopt amendment L.002 (Attachment D). The motion passed without objection.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Coram
Fields
Kagan
Cooke
Gardner
YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection




























BILL: SB17-141
TIME: 04:43:39 PM
MOVED: Fields
MOTION: Refer Senate Bill 17-141, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole. The motion failed on a vote of 2-3.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Coram
No
Fields
Yes
Kagan
Yes
Cooke
No
Gardner
No
YES: 2 NO: 3 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: FAIL


BILL: SB17-141
TIME: 04:44:07 PM
MOVED: Coram
MOTION: Postpone Senate Bill 17-141 indefinitely using a reversal of the previous roll call. There was no objection to the use of the reverse roll call, therefore, the bill was postponed indefinitely.
SECONDED:
VOTE
Coram
Fields
Kagan
Cooke
Gardner
Final YES: 0 NO: 0 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: Pass Without Objection





04:44 PM



The committee adjourned.