Chief Sponsor: Daniel W. Thatcher

House Sponsor: Craig Hall


8     General Description:
9          This bill provides that the Board of Pardons and Parole has the authority to pardon all
10     convictions except those for treason or impeachment.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     clarifies that the Board of Pardons and Parole has the authority to pardon any
14     conviction except for treason or impeachment.
15     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
16          None
17     Other Special Clauses:
18          This bill provides a special effective date.
19     Utah Code Sections Affected:
20     AMENDS:
21          77-27-5, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2017, Chapter 475
22          77-27-9, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 110

24     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
25          Section 1. Section 77-27-5 is amended to read:
26          77-27-5. Board of Pardons and Parole authority.
27          (1) (a) The Board of Pardons and Parole shall determine by majority decision when and
28     under what conditions any convictions, except for treason or impeachment, may be pardoned or
29     commuted, subject to this chapter and other laws of the state.

30          [(1) (a)] (b) The Board of Pardons and Parole shall determine by majority decision
31     when and under what conditions, subject to this chapter and other laws of the state, persons
32     committed to serve sentences [in class A misdemeanor cases] at penal or correctional facilities
33     [which] that are under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections, [and all felony cases]
34     except treason or impeachment convictions or as otherwise limited by law, may be released
35     upon parole, [pardoned,] ordered to pay restitution, or have their fines, forfeitures, or restitution
36     remitted, or their sentences [commuted or] terminated.
37          [(b)] (c) The board may sit together or in panels to conduct hearings. The chair shall
38     appoint members to the panels in any combination and in accordance with rules promulgated
39     by the board[, except in hearings involving commutation and pardons]. The chair may
40     participate on any panel and when doing so is chair of the panel. The chair of the board may
41     designate the chair for any other panel.
42          [(c)] (d) No restitution may be ordered, no fine, forfeiture, or restitution remitted, no
43     parole, pardon, or commutation granted or sentence terminated, except after a full hearing
44     before the board or the board's appointed examiner in open session. Any action taken under this
45     subsection other than by a majority of the board shall be affirmed by a majority of the board.
46          [(d)] (e) A commutation or pardon may be granted only after a full hearing before the
47     board.
48          [(e)] (f) The board may determine restitution as provided in Section 77-27-6 and
49     Subsection 77-38a-302(5)(d)(iii)(A).
50          (2) (a) In the case of original parole grant hearings, rehearings, and parole revocation
51     hearings, timely prior notice of the time and location of the hearing shall be given to the
52     defendant, the county or district attorney's office responsible for prosecution of the case, the
53     sentencing court, law enforcement officials responsible for the defendant's arrest and
54     conviction, and whenever possible, the victim or the victim's family.
55          (b) Notice to the victim, the victim's representative, or the victim's family shall include
56     information provided in Section 77-27-9.5, and any related rules made by the board under that
57     section. This information shall be provided in terms that are reasonable for the lay person to

58     understand.
59          (3) Decisions of the board in cases involving paroles, pardons, commutations or
60     terminations of sentence, restitution, or remission of fines or forfeitures are final and are not
61     subject to judicial review. Nothing in this section prevents the obtaining or enforcement of a
62     civil judgment, including restitution as provided in Section 77-27-6.
63          (4) This chapter may not be construed as a denial of or limitation of the governor's
64     power to grant respite or reprieves in all cases of convictions for offenses against the state,
65     except treason or conviction on impeachment. However, respites or reprieves may not extend
66     beyond the next session of the Board of Pardons and Parole and the board, at that session, shall
67     continue or terminate the respite or reprieve, or it may commute the punishment, or pardon the
68     offense as provided. In the case of conviction for treason, the governor may suspend execution
69     of the sentence until the case is reported to the Legislature at its next session. The Legislature
70     shall then either pardon or commute the sentence, or direct its execution.
71          (5) In determining when, where, and under what conditions offenders serving sentences
72     may be paroled, pardoned, have restitution ordered, or have their fines or forfeitures remitted,
73     or their sentences commuted or terminated, the board shall:
74          (a) consider whether the persons have made or are prepared to make restitution as
75     ascertained in accordance with the standards and procedures of Section 77-38a-302, as a
76     condition of any parole, pardon, remission of fines or forfeitures, or commutation or
77     termination of sentence; and
78          (b) develop and use a list of criteria for making determinations under this Subsection
79     (5).
80          (6) In determining whether parole may be terminated, the board shall consider the
81     offense committed by the parolee, the parole period as provided in Section 76-3-202, and in
82     accordance with Section 77-27-13.
83          Section 2. Section 77-27-9 is amended to read:
84          77-27-9. Parole proceedings.
85          (1) (a) The Board of Pardons and Parole may [pardon or] parole any offender or

86     [commute or] terminate the sentence of any offender committed to a penal or correctional
87     facility under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections [for a felony or class A
88     misdemeanor] except as provided in Subsection (2).
89          (b) The board may not release any offender before the minimum term has been served
90     unless the board finds mitigating circumstances which justify the release and unless the board
91     has granted a full hearing, in open session, after previous notice of the time and location of the
92     hearing, and recorded the proceedings and decisions of the board.
93          (c) The board may not [pardon or] parole any offender [or commute] or terminate the
94     sentence of any offender unless the board has granted a full hearing, in open session, after
95     previous notice of the time and location of the hearing, and recorded the proceedings and
96     decisions of the board.
97          (d) The release of an offender shall be at the initiative of the board, which shall
98     consider each case as the offender becomes eligible. However, a prisoner may submit the
99     prisoner's own application, subject to the rules of the board promulgated in accordance with
100     Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act.
101          (2) (a) A person sentenced to prison prior to April 29, 1996, for a first degree felony
102     involving child kidnapping, a violation of Section 76-5-301.1; aggravated kidnapping, a
103     violation of Section 76-5-302; rape of a child, a violation of Section 76-5-402.1; object rape of
104     a child, a violation of Section 76-5-402.3; sodomy upon a child, a violation of Section
105     76-5-403.1; aggravated sexual abuse of a child, a violation of Subsection 76-5-404.1(4);
106     aggravated sexual assault, a violation of Section 76-5-405; or a prior offense as described in
107     Section 76-3-407, may not be eligible for release on parole by the Board of Pardons and Parole
108     until the offender has fully completed serving the minimum mandatory sentence imposed by
109     the court. This Subsection (2)(a) supersedes any other provision of law.
110          (b) The board may not parole any offender or commute or terminate the sentence of
111     any offender before the offender has served the minimum term for the offense, if the offender
112     was sentenced prior to April 29, 1996, and if:
113          (i) the offender was convicted of forcible sexual abuse, forcible sodomy, rape,

114     aggravated assault, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, or aggravated sexual assault as defined
115     in Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the Person; and
116          (ii) the victim of the offense was under 18 years of age at the time the offense was
117     committed.
118          (c) For a crime committed on or after April 29, 1996, the board may parole any
119     offender under Subsections (2)(b)(i) and (ii) for lifetime parole as provided in this section.
120          (d) The board may not pardon or parole any offender or commute or terminate the
121     sentence of any offender who is sentenced to life in prison without parole except as provided in
122     Subsection (6).
123          (e) On or after April 27, 1992, the board may commute a sentence of death only to a
124     sentence of life in prison without parole.
125          (f) The restrictions imposed in Subsections (2)(d) and (e) apply to all cases that come
126     before the Board of Pardons and Parole on or after April 27, 1992.
127          (3) (a) The board may issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the
128     production of evidence, to administer oaths, and to take testimony for the purpose of any
129     investigation by the board or any of its members or by a designated hearing examiner in the
130     performance of its duties.
131          (b) A person who willfully disobeys a properly served subpoena issued by the board is
132     guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
133          (4) (a) The board may adopt rules consistent with law for its government, meetings and
134     hearings, the conduct of proceedings before it, the parole and pardon of offenders, the
135     commutation and termination of sentences, and the general conditions under which parole may
136     be granted and revoked.
137          (b) The rules shall ensure an adequate opportunity for victims to participate at hearings
138     held under this chapter, as provided in Section 77-27-9.5.
139          (c) The rules may allow the board to establish reasonable and equitable time limits on
140     the presentations by all participants in hearings held under this chapter.
141          (5) The board does not provide counseling or therapy for victims as a part of their

142     participation in any hearing under this chapter.
143          (6) The board may parole a person sentenced to life in prison without parole if the
144     board finds by clear and convincing evidence that the person is permanently incapable of being
145     a threat to the safety of society.
146          Section 3. Effective date.
147          If approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, this bill takes effect
148     upon approval by the governor, or the day following the constitutional time limit of Utah
149     Constitution, Article VII, Section 8, without the governor's signature, or in the case of a veto,
150     the date of veto override.