Judiciary Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5145

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE SENTENCING COMMISSION REGARDING THE CLASSIFICATION OF UNCLASSIFIED MISDEMEANORS.

Vote Date:

3/26/2012

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/5/2012

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Judiciary Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

The Connecticut Sentencing Commission recently completed its latest assessment of sentence guidelines for judges now provided for in the General Statutes. Numerous sentences and other punishments for several crimes have become outdated or due to errors or changes in law have penalties that do not match the severity of the crime.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Division of Criminal Justice: Supports: The division supports the bill for its elimination of obsolete provision while establishing a new class of misdemeanor, which more aptly fits the crimes to which it will apply. The division praised the consensus and collaboration of various criminal justice agencies in the formulation of new guidelines and other changes found in this bill and in S.B. 100.

Susan Storey, Chief Public Defender: Supports: Ms. Storey offered her full support for the bill and thanked the Sentencing Task Force for its work in providing recommendations. She noted that the bill classified unclassified misdemeanors and also provide for violations to be paid via mail, which could provide courts with more revenue. Ms. Storey also said the bill would provide greater consistency in the application of laws.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Attorney Robrt Farr, Member Classification Working Group of the CT Sentencing Commission: Mr. Farr noted that he working group was charged with classifying approximately 750 statutory misdemeanors, which were not classified under Connecticut's penal code. Mr. Farr noted that the changes would make easier the understanding of the crimes' severity; simplify the targeting of diversionary programs to less serious offenses and assignment of appropriate probation periods; and finally reducing some misdemeanors to violations, which more accurately reflects their seriousness.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None Submitted.

Reported by: Matthew Szafranski

Date: 3/28/2012