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A07715 Summary:

Amd §220.10, CP L
Allows predicate felony offenders to be sentenced as first felony offenders with the consent of the district attorney and the court if they are of the opinion that the plea is in the interests of justice.
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A07715 Actions:

05/20/2021referred to codes
05/25/2021reported referred to rules
01/05/2022referred to codes
03/03/2022advanced to third reading cal.454
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A07715 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the criminal procedure law, in relation to allowing predicate felony offenders to be sentenced as first felony offenders with the consent of the district attorney and the court This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of the Chief Administrative Judge upon the recommendation of his Advisory Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure. Mandatory minimum sentences for predicate offenders (those defendants convicted of a felony within the previous ten years) often results in seemingly arbitrary excessive sentences, leading to injustices, prison crowding, and high costs for taxpayers without a clear contribution toward promoting public safety or preventing recidivism. For example, Penal Law § 70.06, does not differentiate between defendants who were released from incarceration one week before a new arrest and those where the rearrest occurs a month short of the ten-year mark. Under such circumstances, mandatory minimums for predicate felony offenders repre- sent an unwarranted intrusion into the discretion of judges. There is presently no judicial "safety valve" to allow a court after reviewing the totality of the circumstances-with the agreement of the prosecutor- to impose a lesser sentence that would have been available but for the defendant's predicate status. One example of the quintessential injus- tice that this reform seeks to empower courts to address is the offender rearrested for possessing with the intent to sell a small quantity of a narcotic drug, violating Penal Law § 220.16(1), just before the ten-year timeframe expires after his/her release for a violent felony offense. This Class B drug felony would carry a mandatory minimum sentence of six years under Penal Law § 70.70, and the court is now powerless to consid- er any mitigating circumstances. This measure would give judges and prosecutors the ability to impose and recommend appropriate sentences below the mandatory minimums in cases where it is in the interest of justice to do so after examining on the record the nature of the crime, and the history and characteristics of the defendant, and the available evidence. The measure requires that the People concur in this assessment and join in this application. When such a lesser sentence is appropriate, the court may then impose a sentence as if the offender were not a predicate. Notwithstanding, the prose- cution is explicitly permitted to condition such a plea on the defendant being adjudicated as a second felony, second felony drug, or second violent felony offender, as appropriate, to allow for more serious penalties to be imposed were such a defendant to subsequently reoffend despite being offered this leniency. This measure would take effect immediately.   2021-22 LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None. New Proposal.
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