Public Comments for 02/07/2022 Courts of Justice - Subcommittee #1
HB108 - Felony homicide; certain drug offenses, penalties.
Last Name: Johnson Locality: James City County

I do not support any bills that criminalize folks

HB345 - Robbery; conforms certain provisions of the Code of Virginia to the degrees of robbery offenses.
No Comments Available
HB404 - Sexual assault nurse & forensic examiners; testimony by two-way video conferencing.
No Comments Available
HB422 - Writ of actual innocence; previously unknown or unavailable nonbiological evidence, etc.
Last Name: Johnson Locality: James City County

I do not support any bills that criminalize folks

HB423 - Writ of actual innocence; previously unknown or unavailable nonbiological evidence.
Last Name: Johnson Locality: James City County

I do not support any bills that criminalize folks

HB660 - Search warrants; removes certain provisions in regard to execution of warrants.
Last Name: Segal Organization: Hanover County Sheriff's Office Locality: Hanover County

House Bills 660 and 736 These bills are supported and are less limiting for law enforcement when serving search warrants. Unless certain elements exist under the present law, the fruits of criminal behavior are safely kept by offenders. There should not be "time out" zones for perpetrators to harbor guns, drugs and paraphernalia.

Last Name: Johnson Locality: James City County

I do not support any bills that criminalize folks

Last Name: DeBoard Organization: Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) Locality: Herndon, VA

Regarding HB 736 and HB 660, the VACP supports amendments to the current search warrant bill regarding the hours when search warrants are permissible. We are not calling for a wholesale repeal of the current statute, but are urging consideration to change the service hours to 6 am-10 pm. This change would bring the state's search warrant statute in alignment with Federal guidelines for when search warrants may be served without a judge or magistrate's approval. The Federal rule is listed below for reference. The impact of the current statute is creating operational challenges regarding the investigation of certain types of crimes such as Internet Crimes Against Children. Legal issues have also recently surfaced regarding the conflict for local and state detectives serving on federal task forces when warrants are executed. An extension of the hours is also in line with when the majority of people are still awake but would provide law enforcement more flexibility in conducting effective investigations and serving warrants when they deem it is safer to do so. Federal Rule 41. Search and Seizure (2) Definitions. The following definitions apply under this rule: (A) “Property” includes documents, books, papers, any other tangible objects, and information. (B) “Daytime” means the hours between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. according to local time. (C) “Federal law enforcement officer” means a government agent (other than an attorney for the government) who is engaged in enforcing the criminal laws and is within any category of officers authorized by the Attorney General to request a search warrant.

HB736 - Search warrants; execution.
Last Name: Segal Organization: Hanover County Sheriff's Office Locality: Hanover County

House Bills 660 and 736 These bills are supported and are less limiting for law enforcement when serving search warrants. Unless certain elements exist under the present law, the fruits of criminal behavior are safely kept by offenders. There should not be "time out" zones for perpetrators to harbor guns, drugs and paraphernalia.

Last Name: DeBoard Organization: Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) Locality: Herndon, VA

Regarding HB 736 and HB 660, the VACP supports amendments to the current search warrant bill regarding the hours when search warrants are permissible. We are not calling for a wholesale repeal of the current statute, but are urging consideration to change the service hours to 6 am-10 pm. This change would bring the state's search warrant statute in alignment with Federal guidelines for when search warrants may be served without a judge or magistrate's approval. The Federal rule is listed below for reference. The impact of the current statute is creating operational challenges regarding the investigation of certain types of crimes such as Internet Crimes Against Children. Legal issues have also recently surfaced regarding the conflict for local and state detectives serving on federal task forces when warrants are executed. An extension of the hours is also in line with when the majority of people are still awake but would provide law enforcement more flexibility in conducting effective investigations and serving warrants when they deem it is safer to do so. Federal Rule 41. Search and Seizure (2) Definitions. The following definitions apply under this rule: (A) “Property” includes documents, books, papers, any other tangible objects, and information. (B) “Daytime” means the hours between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. according to local time. (C) “Federal law enforcement officer” means a government agent (other than an attorney for the government) who is engaged in enforcing the criminal laws and is within any category of officers authorized by the Attorney General to request a search warrant.

HB1248 - Juveniles; adjudication of delinquency.
Last Name: Johnson Locality: James City County

I do not support any bills that criminalize folks

Last Name: McConnell Organization: University of RIchmond Law Professor Locality: CIty of Richmond

I have been a prosecutor as well as a defense attorney. I have worked in juvenile justice for more than 25 years. I am writing to support HB1248 which establishes a minimum age of 11 years old for delinquency adjudication. I would say that a higher age floor would best serve the goals of juvenile justice as well as public safety goals, but some codification is certainly better than none. This is a common public policy seeing as 19 other states set a minimum age of at least 10 years old. Some of the most notable ones include Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Nebraska. DJJ data shows the vast majority (61.4%) of petitioned intake cases for youth under 11, were for misdemeanors. FY 2019-2021 shows 78.5% of all cases for children under 12 were dismissed or Nolle Prosequied and 5.4% of children were found not guilty of their offenses. IN FY19, one childunder 11 was foudn guilty. Adjudication for children 11 can take a long time since frequently they are too young to form criminal intent; the costs of all the services associated compound quickly. Virginia spent nearly $250 million on juvenile justice services in 2020, nearly entirely on its own rather than federal funding sources. The overall cost amounts to much more than the value of the message sent by beginning delinquency proceedings, seeing as the vast majority do not result in any charges. It would greatly improve judicial efficiency by allowing resources to flow where they are more needed, namely for high-level offenders. The best way to redirect these young children is to expose them to the best rehabilitative evidence-based intervention we can. And we can do this through the CHINS process without a delinquency. It is also clear that if a child under 12 is criminally offending, there are likely many mitigating factors at play. Circumstances such as poverty, food insecurity, grief without grief counseling, insufficient academic support, and many more factors are likely to be the root cause of harmful behavior. Our resources are much better spent alleviating these burdens on a child and allowing them the opportunity to perform appropriately under better conditions. It is for the foregoing reasons that I strongly and respectfully urge that you vote in support of HB1248. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last Name: Abrams Locality: Los Angeles, CA

Comments Document

Please see attached letter in support of HB 1248

Last Name: Barnert Locality: Los Angeles, California

Dear Committee, I am a pediatrician and researcher on youth justice. I provide clinical care in juvenile justice facilities. I strongly urge support of HB 1248. Human rights, ethics, developmental science, and racial justice all indicate that a minimum age of prosecution is needed. Six child health professional societies – American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, American Council for School Social Work, American Psychological Association, Clinical Social Work Association, National Association of Social Workers, and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine – recently endorsed a statement calling for a minimum age of least 12. The full statement can be found here: https://www.aap.org/en/advocacy/juvenile-justice/health-groups-call-for-minimum-age-of-jurisdiction/ An excerpt reads: On behalf of child and adolescent health professional organizations, we collectively endorse action to institute a minimum age of at least 12 years for juvenile justice system jurisdiction. Children and young adolescents who come in contact with the juvenile justice system need access to developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed, supportive health and social services, not inappropriate punishment. What is the rationale? They cite the lack of a minimum age in most U.S. states and note the advances in neuroscience that indicate childhood as a crucial time of brain development – a time at which children’s brains are developing, have normal immaturity, and are unlikely to benefit from or understand processing in the U.S. criminal legal system. They argue that “the juvenile justice system, as it functions today, does not align with a contemporary understanding of brain science…. When viewed through the lens of brain development, it is clear that society’s response to such behavior should be to provide children and young adolescents with developmentally appropriate health and social services and not to punish them by involving them with the juvenile justice system.” The health professional organizations further note the pipeline of recidivism and long-term adverse health effects that childhood justice involvement can bring. Traumatic police involvement can shape shape young people's future thinking and wellbeing. Instead, the health professionals call for addressing the root causes of children’s distress through health and social service agencies. Doing so can set kids on better trajectories and is more just. Restitution – holding kids accountable for their actions – can occur outside of court systems. As the Annie E. Casey Foundation coined, a courthouse is “no place for kids.” Additionally, the health professionals note the racial injustice. The youngest children in the system are even more disproportionately of color. Thus, health professionals conclude that a minimum age of jurisdiction of at least 12 “is an important step toward a more developmentally appropriate justice system for young people and a healthier society for all” – and toward a goal of racial justice and health equity. I urge you to lead Maryland in taking this important step of setting a minimum age of prosecution. I have done extensive research on the topic and would be glad to answer any questions from the committee. Sincerely, Elizabeth Barnert, MD, MPH, MS Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA ebarnert@mednet.ucla.edu

Last Name: Clements Organization: National Juvenile Justice Network Locality: Washington DC

Comments Document

The National Juvenile Justice Network testimony in support of HB 1248 in support of raising the minimum age of jurisdiction.

Last Name: Tolley Locality: Henrico

Please support this bill! This bill will bring continuity to the way we address the behavior of youth in Virginia by ensuring we do not bring children under the age of 11 before the court on delinquency charges.

End of Comments