Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

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seamusTX
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Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#1

Post by seamusTX » Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:19 pm

Texas constitutional amendment proposition 9 would give the governor the ability/authority to pardon a person who completed deferred adjudication.

As it stands now, deferred adjudication is in a gray area, and it's difficult for a person convicted with a DA resolution to get a pardon.

This issue is fairly controversial (which I had not expected). On one side you have people who don't think someone who just slapped his wife around a few times or grew an acre of pot should be forgiven. On the other side, you have the other side, I guess.

A pardon could make the difference whether or not someone is denied for life the right to own firearms, serve in the military, and many other rights and privileges of citizenship.

http://votexas.org/exp-statements-2011.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This is one of the few times when your vote actually matters. These amendments are decided by small voter turnout and sometimes narrow margins.

The other proposed amendments have no potential impact on the RKBA that I can see. Most concern funding or bond issues. You can make up your own mind in any case.

Early voting starts tomorrow (Oct. 24). The official voting day is Tues. Nov. 8.

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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#2

Post by ELB » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:43 am

I am naturally suspicious of anything Royce West has his finger prints on, but in this case I could make an exception. I tend the think the real problem is treating something less than a conviction (deferred adjudication) as a genuine conviction, as well as treating it as a conviction in some circumstances (CHL) but not others (pardong), but as long as that is the case, making it eligible for the pardon power seems reasonable.

Edited to add: And I notice that it still has to be recommended by a majority of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#3

Post by mr surveyor » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:48 am

In my opinion, the execution of Prop 9 will all boil down to "whose guy is Gov" at the time. I'm not sure I agree with one single person having that much discretionary authority. Still thinking on it.
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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#4

Post by ELB » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:59 am

mr surveyor wrote:In my opinion, the execution of Prop 9 will all boil down to "whose guy is Gov" at the time. I'm not sure I agree with one single person having that much discretionary authority. Still thinking on it.

The Governor cannot just pardon anyone -- with only two exceptions, any potential pardon has to make it through the Board of Pardons and Paroles with a majority vote. (This is one reason that the people who were trying to smear Perry for not pardoning certain death row inmates were full of it.)

The two exceptions that fall outside of the Board of Pardons and Paroles are treason (for which he has to get advice and consent of the Legislature), and impeachment (which it appears there is no pardon power at all).

The only thing the Govenor can do unilaterally is grant a single 30 day reprieve for executions, or revoke conditional pardons. That is not much discretionary authority.
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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#5

Post by ELB » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:33 am

The actual law with proposed amending language:

SECTION 1. Subsection (b), Section 11, Article IV, Texas
Constitution, is amended to read as follows:
(b) In all criminal cases, except treason and impeachment,
the Governor shall have power, after conviction or successful
completion of a term of deferred adjudication community
supervision,
on the written signed recommendation and advice of the
Board of Pardons and Paroles, or a majority thereof, to grant
reprieves and commutations of punishment and pardons; and under
such rules as the Legislature may prescribe, and upon the written
recommendation and advice of a majority of the Board of Pardons and
Paroles, he shall have the power to remit fines and forfeitures.
The Governor shall have the power to grant one reprieve in any
capital case for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days; and he
shall have power to revoke conditional pardons. With the advice and
consent of the Legislature, he may grant reprieves, commutations of
punishment and pardons in cases of treason.
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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#6

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:43 am

I'm very much in favor of the concept, but in the end I believe few people will benefit. There are tens of thousands of deferred adjudications each year throughout the State and the Board will not have time to consider them and make a recommendation to the Governor. I think the law should be changed such that all successfully completed deferred adjudications result in the defendant's record being expunged.

Chas.

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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#7

Post by cbunt1 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:55 am

On the surface, I see no reason ANY 'conviction' shouldn't be eligible for pardon. This is a completely separate issue from whether any individual should receive a pardon.

As Chas. says, few will actually benefit, but the availability should be there.

We all speak of "truth in sentencing." This is just one more facet of the concept.

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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#8

Post by comp73 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:12 am

What about a "Order of Non-Disclosure" ? I thought this could get your records sealed in cases of deferred adjudication with no follow up problems greater than a Class C misdemeanor.
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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#9

Post by Rex B » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:17 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote: I think the law should be changed such that all successfully completed deferred adjudications result in the defendant's record being expunged.
.
:iagree: with this
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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#10

Post by Rex B » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:23 am

Jim, not to hijack your thread, but while I'm there I intend to vote against this one:

Proposition Number 4 (HJR 63)
HJR 63 would amend the constitution to authorize the legislature to permit a county to issue bonds or notes to finance the development or redevelopment of an unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area within the county, and to pledge increases in ad valorem tax revenues imposed on property in the area by the county for repayment of such bonds or notes. The amendment does not provide independent authority for increasing ad valorem tax rates.

Fort Worth used my tax money to pay Cabela's to build a store in the "blighted" Alliance Airport area.
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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#11

Post by puma guy » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:32 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:I'm very much in favor of the concept, but in the end I believe few people will benefit. There are tens of thousands of deferred adjudications each year throughout the State and the Board will not have time to consider them and make a recommendation to the Governor. I think the law should be changed such that all successfully completed deferred adjudications result in the defendant's record being expunged.

Chas.
:iagree: Charles has it right. This is meaningless legislation as the 17 members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles can't even review the TDCJ parole applicants effectively.
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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#12

Post by Jumping Frog » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:29 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:I'm very much in favor of the concept, but in the end I believe few people will benefit. There are tens of thousands of deferred adjudications each year throughout the State and the Board will not have time to consider them and make a recommendation to the Governor. I think the law should be changed such that all successfully completed deferred adjudications result in the defendant's record being expunged.
I am really not that familiar with deferred adjudications so I can't speak to the specifics, but in general, I would prefer having the record sealed instead of expunged. Allow the seal to be opened for certain defined circumstances such as: by LEO/prosecutor if the sealed conviction would have an affect on the nature or character of new charges being considered against the person; for background check for employment as peace officer or CO; if the sealed offense would be admissible in the trial for new charges; keep the DNA in the database if it is there.

I also think sealing should only be available for first-time offenders. If they committed multiple crimes at the same time, or within the same short time window, they could all be lumped together as "first-time".
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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#13

Post by Bullwhip » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:59 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:I think the law should be changed such that all successfully completed deferred adjudications result in the defendant's record being expunged.

Chas.
:iagree:

I thought that was the point in the first place... be good for a little while, and we toss it out like it didn't happen.

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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#14

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:08 am

Jumping Frog wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote:I'm very much in favor of the concept, but in the end I believe few people will benefit. There are tens of thousands of deferred adjudications each year throughout the State and the Board will not have time to consider them and make a recommendation to the Governor. I think the law should be changed such that all successfully completed deferred adjudications result in the defendant's record being expunged.
I am really not that familiar with deferred adjudications so I can't speak to the specifics, but in general, I would prefer having the record sealed instead of expunged. Allow the seal to be opened for certain defined circumstances such as: by LEO/prosecutor if the sealed conviction would have an affect on the nature or character of new charges being considered against the person; for background check for employment as peace officer or CO; if the sealed offense would be admissible in the trial for new charges; keep the DNA in the database if it is there.

I also think sealing should only be available for first-time offenders. If they committed multiple crimes at the same time, or within the same short time window, they could all be lumped together as "first-time".
The whole theory of deferred adjudication, and the lies that are told to defendants, is that successful completion of the probationary period means they don't have a conviction and they can go on with their lives. A large percentage of people accepting deferred adjudication are innocent and simply cannot afford a competent attorney, so don't think that everyone who "got deferred" are guilty and are getting off light.

Some crimes are not eligible for deferred adjudication so if society wants to be able to use deferred adjudications against some defendants, then the better policy would be to add that crime to the not eligible list.

Chas.


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Re: Texas constitutional amendment prop. 9-pardons

#15

Post by talltex » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:35 pm

Bullwhip wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote:I think the law should be changed such that all successfully completed deferred adjudications result in the defendant's record being expunged.

Chas.
:iagree:

I thought that was the point in the first place... be good for a little while, and we toss it out like it didn't happen.
:iagree: :iagree:

I wholeheartedly agree, and would add that it should apply to ALL offenses...not just felonies. I don't think alot of folks realize it, but effective, 1/1/84, a new class of "permanent record" offenses were created, alcohol related offenses, which not only stay on your record for LIFE, but always show as an arrest even though there was no "conviction" due to the deferred adjudication process. I received a DWI in January of 1984, was given 2 years probation, but was released from it after 12 months. Never been arrested for anything before or since. Fast forward 30 years, and I was going through the Texas Parent Taught Driver's Ed course with my son ( small rural school w/o driver's ed program). After a couple of months...about halfway through the curriculum...I noticed a paragraph I hadn't seen in the materials FAQ section, titled "Who may teach Driver's Ed"? It stated that any adult over the age of 21 was eligible with two exceptions. Only two categories of people are prohibited from acting as DE instructors: anyone who has been convicted of homicide and anyone who has ever been ARRESTED for an alcohol related offense. I thought that can't be right...surely there must be some time limitation, such as within 7 years or something. I stopped by the Sheriff's office (a friend from high school) and asked him about it. He said " oh that won't even show up now...hell it was 30 years ago." I asked him to pull my record up to double check...sure enough it shows on there. I called another high school buddy who is a Lieutenant with the DPS in Austin and asked if that prohibition was really accurate and in effect, and he said "yep...you're screwed...you could be an armed robber, burglar or rapist and you'd be fine, but that DWI is on there forever...just have your wife sign all the paperwork as instructor and send it in that way". I've always tried to teach my son to respect the laws, but he had a hard time accepting that one.
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