Extraordinary Vote Policies

It is important to understand who votes on your loved one’s parole case and what offenses require all seven Texas Parole Board members to vote to help ensure your loved one has the best chance of being granted parole. Below, we detail the Extraordinary Vote policy, which is the process by which the Board may grant your loved one parole if incarcerated for certain serious offenses.

How Does an Extraordinary Vote Work?

For an Extraordinary Vote, all 7 appointed Texas Parole Board members will hear your loved one’s case. Additionally, the Board members must reach a two-thirds consensus, or 5 out of 7 Board members, to decide the parole outcome. This process differs from typical parole proceedings for less serious offenses, which are decided by a three-person parole panel. Learn more about the typical parole voting process in Texas here.

Further, there are two different types of Extraordinary Votes, one defined under Senate Bill 45 the other under House Bill 1914. The two major distinctions between these bills are the offenses to which they apply and the maximum amount of time your loved one can be set-off before re-consideration after being denied the privilege of parole.

What Sentences Require an Extraordinary Vote?

Senate Bill 45

Anyone with one of the following sentences will be considered for an Extraordinary Vote under Senate Bill 45:

  • Persons convicted of or serving a sentence for a capital felony (other than a life sentence); 
  • An offense under Section 20A.03 [Continuous Trafficking of Persons];
  • Section 21.02 [Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children];
  • Section 21.11(a)(1) [Indecency with a Child] of the Penal Code;
  • Or persons required under Texas Government Code Section 508.145(c) to serve 35 calendar years before becoming eligible for release on parole.

House Bill 1914

Anyone with one of the following sentences will be considered for an Extraordinary Vote under House Bill 1914:

  • Persons convicted of a capital offense with a life sentence, who is eligible for parole;
  • Or for an offense under Section 22.021, Aggravated Sexual Assault.

The Voting Options

For an Extraordinary Vote, the Board has a limited number of voting options. The options under Senate Bill 45 and House Bill 1914 differ regarding the length of setoffs if parole is denied. Under Senate Bill 45, individuals can be denied parole with no subsequent reviews for up to 5 years; however, due to the nature of being sentenced to a more egregious crime, individuals can be set-off for a maximum of 10 years under House Bill 1914.

Senate Bill 45

Under Senate Bill 45, the members of the Parole Board can vote in the any of the following 6 ways.

  1. FI-1: Release the offender when eligible. All conditions attached therewith apply.
  2. FI-4R (month/year): Transfer to a TDCJ rehabilitation program. Release to parole only after program completion and not earlier than four months from specified date. Such TDCJ program shall be the Sex Offender Education Program (SOEP)
  3. FI-9R (month/year): Transfer to a TDCJ rehabilitation program. Release to parole only after program completion and not earlier than nine months from specified date. Such TDCJ program shall be the Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP-9); or
  4. FI-18R (month/year): Transfer to a TDCJ rehabilitation treatment program. Release to parole only after program completion and no earlier than eighteen months from the specified date. Such TDCJ program may include the Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP-18), or the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI). In no event shall the specified date be set more than three years from the current panel decision date.
  5. N/R: Deny release and set the next review date for 36 or 60 months following the panel decision date.
  6. S/A: “serve-all,” a decision to deny parole with no regular subsequent reviews, in the event the minimum or maximum expiration date is less than 60 months away.

House Bill 1914

In contrast, under House Bill 1914, the members of the Parole Board have the following voting options.

  1. FI-1: Release the offender when eligible. All conditions attached therewith apply.
  2. FI-4R (month/year): Transfer to a TDCJ rehabilitation program. Release to parole only after program completion and not earlier than four months from specified date. Such TDCJ program shall be the Sex Offender Education Program (SOEP)
  3. FI-9R (month/year): Transfer to a TDCJ rehabilitation program. Release to parole only after program completion and not earlier than nine months from specified date. Such TDCJ program shall be the Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP-9); or
  4. FI-18R (month/year): Transfer to a TDCJ rehabilitation treatment program. Release to parole only after program completion and no earlier than eighteen months from the specified date. Such TDCJ program may include the Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP-18), or the InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI). In no event shall the specified date be set more than three years from the current panel decision date.
  5. N/R: Deny release and set the next review date for 36, 60, 84 or 120 months following the panel decision date.
  6. S/A: “serve-all,” a decision to deny parole with no regular subsequent reviews, in the event the minimum or maximum expiration date is less than 60 months away.

Additionally, under both Bills, the Board may impose special conditions of parole and mandatory supervision. Further, the Board has the discretion to decide when and for how long the special conditions will impact your loved one. 

Our Representation Services

At the Cox Law Firm, our attorneys are experienced in representing clients facing an Extraordinary Vote. We understand the ins and outs of this process and can help increase your loved one’s chances of a successful parole outcome. Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in our parole representation services. 

Reference: Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles BPP-POL 145.200 and Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles BPP-POLL 145.207

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