OFFICE OF FISCAL ANALYSIS

Legislative Office Building, Room 5200

Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 240-0200

http: //www.cga.ct.gov/ofa

sSB-280

AN ACT REVISING THE PENALTY FOR CAPITAL FELONIES.

AMENDMENT

LCO No.: 3065

File Copy No.: 111

Senate Calendar No.: 113

OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

Pub. Defender Serv. Com.

GF - Potential Impact

Criminal Justice, Div.

GF - Potential Savings

Judicial Dept.

GF - Potential Savings

Note: GF=General Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The amendment places certain restrictions on habeas corpus petitions including requiring the court to find good cause to proceed to trial and creating a five-year post appellate review period in which habeas petitions must be made. While it is anticipated these restrictions may result in savings, there is also a potential initial cost to the Public Defender Services Commission (PDS) as a result of an increase in habeas petitions.

The amendment requires the court to find good cause to proceed to trial on a habeas petition. By adding this restriction, the bill could result in savings to the Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) and to the Judicial Department by eliminating the potential for frivolous or non-merit petitions going to trial.

The net impact of the amendment on the PDS in FY 13 is uncertain because it is unclear whether the number of habeas petitions would increase or decrease. There is a potential of:

1) An increase in Habeas Unit costs due to an influx of petitions resulting from the reduction in time to file,

2) A reduction in petitions due to the requirement that the court find good cause for the petition to go forward. Currently the PDS receives approximately 350 new cases each year, some of which may not receive a good cause finding.

It is unclear at this time which provision would have a greater impact on the number of habeas petitions handled by the PDS.

The amendment results in significant out year savings, beginning in FY 14, to the PDS, the DCJ, and the Judicial Department by reducing the number of non-merit cases that must be litigated.

The preceding Fiscal Impact statement is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for the purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.