HB 3977

84(R) - 2015
House Criminal Jurisprudence
House Criminal Jurisprudence

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Dawnna Dukes

Bill Caption

Relating to increasing the penalty for causing injury to a child; changing the eligibility for community supervision.

Fiscal Notes


The probable fiscal impact of implementing the bill is indeterminate due to the unavailability of reliable data or information related to the age of victims of the offense of injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual.

Local Government

There is no significant fiscal implication.

Bill Analysis

HB 3977 would amend the Penal Code to establish that the first degree felony offense of injury to a child is punishable by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice of at least ten years up to ninety-nine years. The bill would make a defendant convicted of a first degree felony injury to a child offense ineligible for jury recommended community supervision.


Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill abridges the principle of limited government. While this mandatory minimum addresses a serious crime, there are already serious consequences. By adding mandatory minimums the law would not allow for adequate judicial discretion. Additionally, there are studies that show that the potential to have a sentence reduced for good behavior helps to incentivize rehabilitation and reduces recidivism.

Furthermore, the statute in question for which we would be sending people to prison for a mandatory minimum of ten years includes nonserious bodily injury and crimes of omission. For these reasons we oppose HB 3977 as a example of mandatory minimum sentencing that in some cases would likely be disproportionate to the crime.