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Legislative News

House Bill 1689 was introduced by House Representative Tarik Khan. This bill would address a one-size-fits-all approach to sentencing by simply requiring courts to consider an adolescent’s mental capacity, maturity, and ongoing brain development at the time of a crime committed at age 24 and below. According to the co-sponsorship memo, research shows that the brain continues to develop and grow well into a person’s 20s, and adolescence ends after age 24. Neuroscience shows that developing brains function at a different level than fully developed adult brains, and the part of the brain that is responsible for planning, considering consequences, and making decisions is not matured until a person has completed late adolescence. (Sep. 21, 2023)

House Bill 689 was reported from the Senate Judiciary Committee as amended. This bill amends Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in criminal history record information, by further providing for definitions, for general regulations, for expungement, for petition for limited access, for clean slate limited access, for exceptions, for effects of expunged records and records subject to limited access and for employer immunity from liability. (Sep. 19, 2023).

Meetings: The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing is scheduled to meet September 25 to select a new executive director. The special public meeting is scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m.