|Posted:||September 16, 2016 12:54 PM|
|From:||Representative Mark B. Cohen|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Postconviction Review for Veterans with PTSD or TBI|
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would allow inappropriately sentenced veterans with the ability to apply for post-conviction review of their sentence. Eligible veterans would include those suffering from PTSD or TBI incurred while serving their country in a combat zone.
I developed this legislation at the request of one of my constituents, Mr. Larry Holman, who is the past President, PA State Council, Vietnam Veterans of America; past Commander, Department of Pennsylvania, Jewish War Veterans; past President, Pennsylvania War Veterans Council; and past member of the Pennsylvania State Veterans Commission. Mr. Holman also serves on the Veterans Advisory Council and the Veterans Affairs Voluntary Services Committee at the VA Medical Center, Philadelphia. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Veterans Justice Project (PVJP) of the Veterans Legal Foundation, which is the organization advocating for change leading to this legislation.
My bill proposes to establish a process for post-conviction relief for veterans incurring PTSD or TBI while serving their country in the military. Currently, a veteran may present these as mitigating factors during the sentencing for a crime. The PVJP is advocating for change that would allow incarcerated veterans diagnosed after imprisonment to apply to the court for relief putting forward their diagnosis of PTSD or TBI as a mitigating factor in the crime for which they were charged. Students from Penn Law working with the PVJP developed a report entitled “The Pennsylvania Justice for Veterans Project, Legal Research Report,” dated Spring 2013, which found:
If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Seidl of my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 7-4117.
Introduced as HB2406