Parole; exception to limitation on the application of parole statutes. (HB33)

Introduced By

Del. Joe Lindsey (D-Norfolk) with support from co-patrons Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church), and Del. Ibraheem Samirah (D-Herndon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Parole; exception to limitation on the application of parole statutes. Provides that a person is eligible to be considered for parole if (i) such person was sentenced by a jury prior to the date of the Supreme Court of Virginia decision in Fishback v. Commonwealth, 260 Va. 104 (June 9, 2000), in which the Court held that a jury should be instructed on the fact that parole has been abolished, for a noncapital felony committed on or after the abolition of parole going into effect (on January 1, 1995); (ii) the person remained incarcerated for the offense on July 1, 2020; and (iii) the offense was not one of the following: (a) a Class 1 felony; (b) if the victim was a minor, rape, forcible sodomy, object sexual penetration, or aggravated sexual battery or an attempt to commit such act; or (c) carnal knowledge. The bill requires the Parole Board to provide at least 60 days' notice to the attorney for the Commonwealth in the jurisdiction where the offense occurred and where the person resided prior to conviction that such person is being considered for parole prior to any review and parole decision on such person. The bill requires the Parole Board to establish procedures regarding extension of time within which to review and decide a case for reasonable cause. Read the Bill »


02/17/2020: Passed the Senate


11/19/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20100800D
11/19/2019Referred to Committee on Public Safety
01/16/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB33)
01/17/2020House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
01/17/2020Reported from Public Safety with substitute (13-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
01/17/2020Committee substitute printed 20105311D-H1
01/21/2020Read first time
01/22/2020House committee, floor amendments and substitutes offered
01/22/2020Passed by for the day
01/23/2020Read second time
01/23/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20105311D-H1
01/23/2020Amendments by Delegate Lindsey agreed to
01/23/2020Delegate Bell's amendments out of order due to adoption of Delegate Lindsey's amendments
01/23/2020Motion to pass by amendment #2 by Delegate Bell agreed to (54-Y 45-N)
01/23/2020Motion to pass by amendment #3 by Delegate Bell agreed to (54-Y 45-N)
01/23/2020VOTE: Pass By (54-Y 45-N) (see vote tally)
01/23/2020Engrossed by House - committee substitute with amendments (55-Y 45-N) HB33EH1
01/23/2020VOTE: Engrossment (55-Y 45-N) (see vote tally)
01/23/2020Printed as engrossed 20105311D-EH1
01/24/2020Read third time and passed House (52-Y 45-N)
01/24/2020VOTE: Passage (52-Y 45-N) (see vote tally)
01/27/2020Constitutional reading dispensed
01/27/2020Referred to Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services
02/07/2020Rereferred from Rehabilitation and Social Services (11-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2020Rereferred to Judiciary
02/09/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB33EH1)
02/12/2020Reported from Judiciary with substitute (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/12/2020Committee substitute printed 20108206D-S1
02/13/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB33S1)
02/14/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2020Read third time
02/17/2020Reading of substitute waived
02/17/2020Committee substitute agreed to 20108206D-S1
02/17/2020Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute HB33S1
02/17/2020Passed Senate with substitute (36-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2020Placed on Calendar
02/19/2020Senate substitute rejected by House 20108206D-S1 (0-Y 100-N)
02/19/2020VOTE: Adoption (0-Y 100-N) (see vote tally)


Phyllis Ward writes:

Would like to hear from someone about the bill on Fishback

Phyllis Ward writes:

About the Fishback issue

P Jackson writes:

This bill needs to be passed! It's not like everyone is going to get out on parole. They will just be given a chance to go up for parole due to the injustice in their sentencing. People need to realize it's just correcting a wrong. Were they convicted by a jury... yes, are they serving time, yes...was sentencing fair....NO! Also, just because they were convicted doesn't mean all of them are guilty. I know someone that has been sitting in prison for OVER 22yrs for something they DID NOT DO and this is their ONLY hope. Did some make mistakes...YES....but majority of the Fishback inmates have been in prison for more than 20yrs. We have got to believe that some of these inmates are rehabilitated, truly sorry for whatever occurred & ready to return to society to be a productive citizen. Imagine if it was your son, daughter that made a mistake no matter how bad it was...Would you not want them to at least have a chance at parole? We don't know everyone's whole story or circumstances! Those that prove themselves to be rehabilitated should have a chance and the parole board will make that decision. I support this bill 100% & hope that it passes. #fixfishback

Kim Collins writes:

This bill needs to be passed immediately! The jurors were not not given all the information which resulted in some jurors admitting to if they had known there was no parole at the time the sentencing would have been looked at differently.

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