Friday, July 12, 2013

Texas Reforms Minors' Capital Sentences

The Texas 83rd Legislatures Second Special Session passed SB 2, a bill that changes how courts address persons under 18 years of age found guilty of capital offenses.

SB 2 has passed both houses of the Texas Legislature. During the process, the bill had some minor changes and will likely see a reconciliation vote in the Senate. The bill is not likely to see any harsh opposition and will likely be presented to the Governor for signature soon. Read the bill in its current (revised) version, as returned to the Senate.

SB 2 fulfills one of the three designated considerations for the special session. The highway funding legislation and abortion regulation reform bills are the only remaining.

Progress on Abortion Bills

The Senate is set to consider HB 2, the controversial abortion regulation reform bill. HB 2 has completed its consideration by the respective Senate committees. It is scheduled for its second reading on Friday, July 12, 2013. After the second reading, the debate and amendment process will begin.

Read the full, current, revised text of the bill as it will be read to the Senate. The bill may be amended and changed before its final passage or failure.

Several who formerly opposed the bill altered their views after reading the bill and its actual history. The bill, however, has drawn several concerns even from those who support its spirit. Once such concern is the vague wording regarding children with extreme birth defects and deformities that may not be detected within the first 20 weeks of gestation. The bill does allow for exceptions in those cases, but is vague in enumerating or defining qualifying conditions.

Others believe the bill does not go far enough in regulating the minimum capabilities and equipment required to protect the women undergoing this surgical procedure. As with any surgery, there are risks and possible life-threatening medical complications.