House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence - 86th R.S. (2019)
Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 86th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
- HB 1325, which relates to the production and transportation of hemp. Examine current procedures and resources used to determine the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol in a substance and prosecutorial impediments to ensuring existing state law can be enforced.
- Study current practices and enforcement of criminal laws for non-violent Class C Misdemeanors. Examine the benefits of citations in lieu of arrests and fine-only offenses, the nexus between recidivism and "debtors' prisons," and all programs within the criminal justice system that levy fines, fees, and related penalties.
- Review the overall state of indigent defense and delivery of services to indigent defendants in Texas under the Fair Defense Act and other applicable laws. Examine the procedures for the appointment of counsel, including public defender options for rural communities, the monitoring of workloads and performance of attorneys, and the funding of those services. Examine counsel options for indigent defendants during magistrate proceedings and the administration and funding of county indigent defense systems. (Joint charge with the House Committee on County Affairs)
- Review trial court procedures in capital sentencing, and implementation of applicable law in direct appeal and writ proceedings in capital cases, for compliance with constitutional protections and conflict of interest rules.
- Monitor the State Auditor's review of agencies and programs under the Committee's jurisdiction. The Chair shall seek input and periodic briefings on completed audits for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years and bring forth pertinent issues for full committee consideration.
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