Senate Bill 585 – some helpful materials

I can see that my site is being pulled up by a lot of people researching Senate Bill 585.  So I thought I would link the materials provided by the Office of  the State Public Defender.

Here’s the bill

An outline of the bill

585 sentencing alternatives


persons convicted prior to July 1, 2014 may apply to the sentencing judge to recommend parole to the Parole Board if they have served 25% of their time.  But this is for non violent offenses only.  See page 111 (line 2751) of the bill linked to above.

Criminal statutes whose penalties have been amended:  As far as criminal statutes that have been amended to raise the minimum needed to make a felony, the new penalties would apply to persons whose cases are not final.   Here’s an AG opinion.  It cites the following statute:

§ 99-19-33. Where penalty modified milder penalty may be imposed
If any statute shall provide a punishment of the same character, but of milder type, for an offense which was a crime under pre-existing law, then such milder punishment may be imposed by the court but no conviction, otherwise valid, shall be set aside and new trial granted merely because of an error of the court in fixing punishment. Such error shall only entitle the party injured to vacate or reverse the judgment as to the punishment, and the legal punishment shall then be imposed by another sentence based on the original conviction or plea of guilty.

And here, from Peterson v. State, 963 So.2d 29,30 (Miss. App. 2007)

The Mississippi Supreme Court held in Daniels v. State, 742 So. 2d 1140, 1145 (P17) (Miss. 1999) that “when a statute is amended before sentencing and provides for a lesser penalty, the lesser penalty must be imposed.” Additionally, in Lampley v. State, 308 So. 2d 87, 90 (Miss. 1987), the   Mississippi Supreme Court held that, “[section 99-19-33] gives the trial judge the right to sentence one convicted of [a] crime after the law has been changed so as to permit a milder sentence before the conviction has become final. . . .”

Peterson’s conviction became final ten days after December 1, 2003, the date on which he was sentenced. The amended version of section 97-21-33 became effective July 1, 2003. 2003 Miss. Laws, Chapter 499, § 6. Therefore, Peterson was entitled to be sentenced under the amended version of section 97-21-33, inasmuch as it was amended before his conviction became final. However, as will be discussed later in this opinion, the sentence that Peterson received was allowable under the amended version of section 97-21-33. Thus, despite Peterson’s contentions to the contrary, his sentence is legal.

If I read this correctly, the amended statute would apply to anyone who was sentenced up to ten days before the amendment became effective.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s