REFERENCE TITLE: mandatory minimum sentences; judicial discretion





State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-fourth Legislature

First Regular Session





HB 2245


Introduced by

Representatives Rivero: Blackman, Bowers, Campbell, Cook, Dunn, Engel, Payne, Stringer, Toma, Senator Ugenti-Rita





amending title 13, chapter 7, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding section 13‑719; relating to sentencing.





Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Title 13, chapter 7, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 13-719, to read:

START_STATUTE13-719.  Mandatory prison sentence; judicial discretion; annual report; annual savings determination

A.  Notwithstanding any other law, when sentencing a defendant who is convicted of an offense that requires a mandatory prison sentence, the court may depart from the applicable mandatory prison sentence and impose a shorter prison sentence or suspend the sentence and impose a term of probation if the court finds that, in giving due regard to the nature of the offense and the defendant's history and character, both of the following apply:

1.  The imposition of the mandatory prison sentence would result in an injustice to the defendant.

2.  The mandatory prison sentence is not necessary for the protection of the public.

B.  This section does not apply to a conviction for any of the following:

1.  An offense involving death or serious physical injury to another person.

2.  An offense that is listed in chapter 14 of this title and that is committed by the defendant against a minor, other than an offense involving sexual conduct if the victim was fifteen, sixteen or seventeen years of age, the defendant was under nineteen years of age or attending high school and was not more than twenty‑four months older than the victim, and the conduct was consensual.

3.  An offense in which the defendant engages in a continuing criminal enterprise or organizes, leads, manages or supervises others in an offense.

C.  The court shall state on the record in each case in which the court departs from a mandatory prison sentence the reason for departing from the mandatory prison sentence.

D.  The administrative office of the courts shall submit an annual report to the Arizona criminal justice commission that contains the name of each case in which the court departed from a mandatory prison sentence.

E.  The Arizona criminal justice commission shall annually determine the cost savings realized as a result of mandatory prison sentence departures and shall notify the state treasurer of this amount. END_STATUTE

Sec. 2.  Short title

This act may be cited as the "Arizona Judicial Discretion Act".