SB 1743

84(R) - 2015
Senate Criminal Justice
Senate Criminal Justice
Criminal Procedure
Science and Technology

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive


Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa

Bill Caption

Relating to expanding the powers and duties of the Office of Capital Writs and renaming the Office of Capital Writs the office of Capital and Forensic Writs.

Fiscal Notes

Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB1743, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: an impact of $0 through the biennium ending August 31, 2017. The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill. 

Bill Analysis

SB 1743 would amend the statutes to reflect that “The Office of Capital Writs” would now be called “The Office of Capital and Forensic Writs”. This office would now have the expanded duties to represent a defendant in a federal habeas review that concerns any other post-conviction matter in a case that involves a forensic science issue. The office could consult with law school clinics or any other experts who could help investigate the facts of a particular case.

Vote Recommendation Notes

SB 1743 expanded duties pertains to the ability of the Office of Capital Writs to reflect that they are responsible for forensic related matters and not simply death penalty appeals. This expanded duty could possibly help with wrongful convictions which is a key component of an effective justice system. For this reason we support SB 1743 on the grounds of limited government and, for any wrongfully convicted people who this legislation benefits, individual liberty.