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Minutes for SB7 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Extending terminal medical release to inmates in the custody of the department of corrections with a condition likely to cause death within 120 days.

Minutes Content for Tue, Jan 26, 2021

Jason Thompson gave the bill brief on SB7 explaining it changes current law for release of an inmate facing terminal illness from 30 days to 120 days. There is a provision for revocation if the person does not die. (Attachment 10)

Senator Haley asked if other states have similar compassionate leave laws. Legislative Research provided the attached information. Attachment 11), (Attachment 12)

Adam Proffitt submitted the fiscal note for SB7. (Attachment 13)

Scott Schultz submitted the prison bed space impact assessment for SB7.(Attachment 14)

Scott Schultz spoke in support of SB7 explaining that this is an expansion of existing law giving prisoners facing imminent death early release. He stated this bill increases the time frame from 30 days to 120 days because the review process eats up weeks or months of the prisoner's time.  Just because the person can apply 120 days in advance for this process, there are other safeguards in place to protect the public from offenders abusing this option. He stated there are certain types of prisoners that are not eligible for compassionate release and there is a provision for revocation if the prisoner does not die. (Attachment 15)

Kendall Seal spoke in support of SB3 explained that this is humane because people 120 days from death are not a threat. It can impact the aging populations of our prisons. He urged the state to adopt clear, commonsense, and objective criteria for elderly or serious medical condition release.  (Attachment 16)

Proponent, Written

There was discussion.

Opponent, Written

There was no neutral testimony. The hearing was closed.