SENATE BILL NO. 434
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 2
AN ACT AMENDING CHAPTER 65, TITLE 11, DELAWARE CODE TO CREATE A SENTENCING ACCOUNTABILITY COMMISSION, AND TO ESTABLISH THE POWERS AND DUTIES THEREOF.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 65, Title 11, Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new Subchapter X, which said Subchapter shall read as follows:
"SUBCHAPTER X. SENTENCING ACCOUNTABILITY COMMISSION
§6580. Formulation and Purpose
(a) The Delaware Sentencing Accountability Commission (hereinafter referred to as the 'Commission') is hereby established. The Commission shall consist of eleven members, the body of which shall be comprised as follows:
Four members of the Judiciary appointed by the Chief Justice, two of whom shall be initially appointed for a two year term, and two of whom shall be appointed to a four year term, provided that each succeeding term for all four of such members shall be four years;
The Attorney General or his designee;
The Public Defender or his designee:
The Commissioner of Corrections or his designee;
Four other members-at-large, each of whom shall, by training or experience, possess a Imowledge of Delaware sentencing practices, two to be appointed by the Governor, one by the President Pro Tempore and one by the Speaker of the House. One of the members-at-large shall be appointed by the Governor for a two year term; the remaining members-at-large shall be appointed for four year terms, provided that each succeeding term following the initial term of all four members-at-large shall be four years.
The Chief Justice shall designate one of the members of the Judiciary serving on the Commission to serve as chairman of the committee.
(b) It shall be the overall purpose of this body to establish a system which emphasizes accountability of the offender to the criminal Justice system, and accountability of the criminal Justice system to the public.
For purposes of this subchapter, the grouping of punishments consistent with the guidelines developed by the Commission shall be known as 'accountability levels'.
(c) The Commission shall develop sentencing guidelines consistent with the overall goals of ensuring certainty and consistency of punishment commensurate with the seriousness of the offense and with due regard for resource availability and cost. In developing these guidelines, the Commission shall also consider the following additional goals in the priority in which they appear:
Incapacitation of the violence-prone offender;
Restoration of the victim as nearly as possible to his/her pre-offense status;
Rehabilitation of the offender.
§6581. Powers and Duties of the Commission
The Commission shall submit to the Supreme Court on or before March 1, 1985 sentencing guidelines developed in accordance with §6580(c) for adoption by Court Rule. Such guidelines shall have no force or effect unless so adopted, and shall not in any event authorize or be construed as authorizing the exercise of any power or duty exceeding or conflicting with those heretofore or hereafter granted by Act of the General Assembly or pursuant to Inherent authority granted under the Delaware Constitution.
The Commission on or before March 1, 1985 shall also recommend to the Governor and the General Assembly legislation necessary for the implementation of the sentencing guidelines.
(c) Consistent with the goals of this Act, the sentencing guidelines recommended by the Commission shall:
Formulate a series of sanctions ranging from nonincarcerative to incarcerative. These sanctions may include, but not be limited to fines, costs, restitution, unsupervised and/or supervised probation, community service, work release and community-based residential and nonresidential programs, work camps and electronic monitoring. These sanctions shall be placed in one or more accountability levels;
Establish detailed objective criteria to be utilized determining which offenders shall be assigned to each of the various accountability levels, such criteria to combine factors relating to the nature of the offense, the background and criminal history of the offender, and the availability of resources;
Define under what conditions of aggravation or mitigation and in what manner a sentencing judge may impose a sentence outside of the sentencing guidelines and recommend such mitigating and/or aggravating circumstances;
Define under what circumstances, by what process, and by whom offenders may be moved from one accountability level to another, subject to any law regulating such movement.
(d) The Commission shall estimate to what extent public and private resources are appropriate and available to meet the specifications and supervision standards necessitated by the population of offenders to be assigned to each level.
(e) The Commission shall define the roles of the various criminal justice agencies in the implementation of the proposed guidelines.
(f) The Commission shall recommend as appropriate mechanisms to insure that offenders are assessed a reasonable fee for their supervision and/or treatment.
(g) The Commission shall also recommend a procedure or a tribunal for appellate review by either the defendant or the state where sentences are imposed outside of the guidelines.
(h) The Commission shall have the authority to collect from any state or local governmental entity information, data, reports, statistics or such other material which is necessary to carry out the Commission's functions.
(i) The executive Department shall provide staff services for the Commission which shall, for administrative purposes, be placed within that office.
(j) The Commission shall carry out such other duties consistent with its mandate as the General Assembly or the Executive Department shall from time to time direct."
Section 2. This Act shall be effective from and after the date of its signature by the Governor.
Approved July 18, 1984.