PRINTER'S NO. 1304
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
942
Session of
2017
INTRODUCED BY STREET, LEACH AND MENSCH, OCTOBER 31, 2017
REFERRED TO JUDICIARY, OCTOBER 31, 2017
AN ACT
Amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses), 42 (Judiciary and
Judicial Procedure) and 61 (Prisons and Parole) of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in authorized disposition
of offenders, further providing for sentence of persons under
the age of 18 for murder, murder of an unborn child and
murder of a law enforcement officer; in sentencing, further
providing for sentences for second and subsequent offenses;
and, in probation and parole, further providing for parole
power.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 1102.1(a) and (d) of Title 18 of the
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes are amended to read:
§ 1102.1. Sentence of persons under the age of 18 for murder,
murder of an unborn child and murder of a law
enforcement officer.
(a) First degree murder.--A person who has been convicted
after June 24, 2012, of a murder of the first degree, first
degree murder of an unborn child or murder of a law enforcement
officer of the first degree and who was under the age of 18 at
the time of the commission of the offense shall be sentenced as
follows:
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(1) A person who at the time of the commission of the
offense was 15 years of age or older shall be sentenced to a
term of life imprisonment [without parole], or a term of
imprisonment, the minimum of which shall be at least 35 years
to life.
(2) A person who at the time of the commission of the
offense was under 15 years of age shall be sentenced to a
term of life imprisonment [without parole], or a term of
imprisonment, the minimum of which shall be at least 25 years
to life.
* * *
(d) Findings.--In determining whether to impose a sentence
of life [without parole] under subsection (a), the court shall
consider and make findings on the record regarding the
following:
(1) The impact of the offense on each victim, including
oral and written victim impact statements made or submitted
by family members of the victim detailing the physical,
psychological and economic effects of the crime on the victim
and the victim's family. A victim impact statement may
include comment on the sentence of the defendant.
(2) The impact of the offense on the community.
(3) The threat to the safety of the public or any
individual posed by the defendant.
(4) The nature and circumstances of the offense
committed by the defendant.
(5) The degree of the defendant's culpability.
(6) Guidelines for sentencing and resentencing adopted
by the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.
(7) Age-related characteristics of the defendant,
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including:
(i) Age.
(ii) Mental capacity.
(iii) Maturity.
(iv) The degree of criminal sophistication exhibited
by the defendant.
(v) The nature and extent of any prior delinquent or
criminal history, including the success or failure of any
previous attempts by the court to rehabilitate the
defendant.
(vi) Probation or institutional reports.
(vii) Other relevant factors.
* * *
Section 2. Section 9714(a)(2) of Title 42 is amended to
read:
§ 9714. Sentences for second and subsequent offenses.
(a) Mandatory sentence.--
* * *
(2) Where the person had at the time of the commission
of the current offense previously been convicted of two or
more such crimes of violence arising from separate criminal
transactions, the person shall be sentenced to a minimum
sentence of at least 25 years of total confinement,
notwithstanding any other provision of this title or other
statute to the contrary. Proof that the offender received
notice of or otherwise knew or should have known of the
penalties under this paragraph shall not be required. Upon
conviction for a third or subsequent crime of violence the
court may, if it determines that 25 years of total
confinement is insufficient to protect the public safety,
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sentence the offender to life imprisonment [without parole].
* * *
Section 3. Section 6137(a)(1) and (3) of Title 61 are
amended to read:
§ 6137. Parole power.
(a) General criteria for parole.--
(1) The board may parole subject to consideration of
guidelines established under 42 Pa.C.S. § 2154.5 (relating to
adoption of guidelines for parole) and may release on parole
any inmate to whom the power to parole is granted to the
board by this chapter, except an inmate condemned to death
[or serving life imprisonment], whenever in its opinion:
(i) The best interests of the inmate justify or
require that the inmate be paroled.
(ii) It does not appear that the interests of the
Commonwealth will be injured by the inmate's parole.
* * *
(3) The power to parole granted under this section to
the board may not be exercised in the board's discretion at
any time before, but only after[,]:
(i) the expiration of the minimum term of
imprisonment fixed by the court in its sentence or by the
Board of Pardons in a sentence which has been reduced by
commutation[.]; or
(ii) fifteen years, in the case of an inmate
sentenced to life imprisonment. Notwithstanding the date
of conviction and notwithstanding any other provision of
this title or other statute, any person serving a life
sentence under the laws of this Commonwealth may be
eligible for parole review after serving 15 years of
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imprisonment.
* * *
Section 4. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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