HB 152

85(R) - 2017
House Criminal Jurisprudence
House Criminal Jurisprudence
Criminal Procedure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Harold Dutton Jr.

Bill Caption

Relating to the restoration of certain rights to a criminal defendant. 

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

Under current law, an individual convicted of a federal offense or convicted under the laws of another nation, who has completed their sentence for a conviction not related to violence, drugs, and/or firearms may apply for the restoration of the civil rights they forfeited because of their crime. If it was a federal offense they must wait three years before submitting an application to restore their rights; if the offense is an offense under the laws of another country, they must wait two years before applying. The statute does not currently allow avenue for the restoration of civil rights after having been convicted under state law.

HB 152 would allow a petition for the restoration of rights for individuals who committed any offense under the laws of this state without the qualifiers in place for those convicted under federal law or the laws of another nation.

In addition, if this bill passes everyone who applies for the restoration of their rights would have to wait at least three years from the time their conviction occurred regardless of the jurisdiction under which they were convicted. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

We believe that many offenders deserve the restoration of their rights, however not all crimes are created equal. The handicaps that are accompanied with some offenses are often times necessary for the fulfillment of the criminal's personal responsibility. We strongly support a great deal of criminal justice reform legislation, however this bill would bill would infringe on our liberty principle of personal responsibility because it is overly broad.

We originally opposed this bill outright, however, we are updating to No; Amend. We would withdraw our objection if an amendment is adopted to add qualifiers to the types of convictions under state law for which a person may petition for civil rights restoration. An amendment harmonizing the qualifiers for state and federal offenses would suffice. This would give those convicted under state law the same right to petition for restoration of civil rights as those convicted under federal law while ensuring that those convicted for some of the worst offenses would still be prohibited from rights restoration.

April 20 Update: This legislation has been updated in a way that satisfies our original objection. For this reason we have withdrawn our objection.

Organizations Supporting

Christian Life Commission