HBA-AMW H.B. 2351 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2351 By: Hinojosa Criminal Jurisprudence 7/19/2001 Enrolled BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE A 1999 drug bust in Tulia, Texas led to the arrest of about 10 percent of the town's African-American residents based on the testimony of one undercover officer. Since the bust, concerns have been raised regarding the undercover investigation and the handling of the case. The charges against one of the defendants arrested in the drug bust have been dismissed and the undercover officer is under investigation by the United States Department of Justice. Prior to the 77th Legislature, state law did not require the testimony of a person who is acting covertly on behalf of a law enforcement agency or under the color of law enforcement used to convict a defendant to be corroborated by other evidence. House Bill 2351 provides that a conviction cannot be had on the testimony of a person acting covertly on behalf of a law enforcement agency or under the color of law enforcement unless there is appropriate corroborating evidence. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 2351 amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to prohibit a defendant from being convicted of a controlled substance offense on the testimony of a person who is not a licensed peace officer or a special investigator but who is acting covertly on behalf of a law enforcement agency or under the color of law enforcement unless the testimony is corroborated by other evidence tending to connect the defendant with the offense committed and to provide that the corroboration is not sufficient if the corroboration only shows the commission of the offense. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.