HBA-SEP H.B. 2515 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2515 By: Garcia Criminal Jurisprudence 4/12/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Under current law, a juror in a capital case is not authorized to question a testifying witness. Given that the jury in such a trial has the power to impose a sentence of death on the defendant, it may be beneficial for jurors to have access to all facts and circumstances and to have the opportunity to ask questions of the witnesses. House Bill 2515 authorizes a juror in a capital case to ask a testifying witness a question by submitting the question in writing to the bailiff. 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 2515 amends the Code of Criminal Procedure to authorize a juror in a capital case to ask a testifying witness a question by submitting the question in writing to the bailiff. The bailiff is required to give the question to the judge who is required to ask the witness the juror's question. A question asked by a juror is required to be treated in the same manner as a question asked by the prosecutor or defense attorney. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.