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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: January 17, 2013 10:15 AM
From: Senator Lisa Baker
To: All Senate members
Subject: Baker/Crime Victims Testimony

I plan to re-introduce Senate Bill 459 from last session to amend the Crime Victims Act to permit a crime victim or a member of the victim’s family to testify directly before a member of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole when the victim’s offender is being considered for parole. Previous co-sponsors of the legislation were Senators Brewster, Erickson, Folmer, Fontana, Rafferty, Solobay, Tomlinson, Vance, Waugh, Yudichak, Ward, Browne and Dinniman.

Current law permits a crime victim to present written or oral comments for parole board consideration, as well as to testify before a hearing examiner, but does not allow for direct testimony before the board. Testifying directly to the decision makers is consistent with the overall rights provided to crime victims within the criminal justice system. It is my understanding the Office of Victim Advocate regularly hears from crime victims or a member of their family that testimony should be permitted to be personally presented to board members prior to a board decision.

Thank you.

Introduced as SB508