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HOUSE BILL NO. 16
INTRODUCED BY PAVLOVICH B
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT APPROPRIATING $1.5 MILLION TO THE BOARD OF CRIME CONTROL FOR A GRANT TO COMPENSATE LESLIE LEROY YOTHER FOR BEING WRONGFULLY INCARCERATED BY THE STATE OF MONTANA; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
WHEREAS, in March of 1973, Leslie Leroy Yother allegedly pleaded guilty in Justice's Court to breach of the peace as a result of a bar altercation and was allegedly sentenced to 100 days in jail; and
WHEREAS, shortly after he began serving the jail sentence for breach of the peace, Leslie Leroy Yother was subsequently charged and was convicted in District Court of assault for claims arising from the original bar altercation; and
WHEREAS, a petition for writ of habeas corpus, filed by Leslie Leroy Yother, was denied by the District Court, which ruled that Mr. Yother could be arraigned on the assault charges because the Justice's Court proceedings had never been disposed of; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Yother subsequently pleaded guilty in District Court and was sentenced to 10 years in the Montana State Prison; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Yother subsequently served 3 1/2 years of the 10-year sentence in the Montana State Prison and 6 1/2 years under state supervision; and
WHEREAS, Mr. Yother filed a petition in District Court for postconviction relief, alleging that he had been placed twice in jeopardy by his prosecution on assault charges and that his guilty plea had not been completely voluntary and the District Court failed to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the plea as it was required to do; and
WHEREAS, on appeal, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that because Mr. Yother's breach of the peace conviction essentially required no proof beyond that required for conviction of the subsequent assault charge, it was a lesser included offense of the greater offense of assault and the prohibition of double jeopardy prohibited an assault conviction in District Court after Mr. Yother had been convicted of breach of the peace in Justice's Court; and
WHEREAS, on July 3, 1979, the Montana Supreme Court instructed the District Court to dismiss the assault charge and to dismiss Mr. Yother from any custody or supervision directly attributable to the assault conviction; and
WHEREAS, prior to the Montana Supreme Court ruling directing releasing him from custody, Mr. Yother had lost substantial liberty and property while wrongfully incarcerated; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of the State of Montana to compensate victims of unlawful acts.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Appropriation. There is appropriated $1.5 million from the general fund to the board of crime control to be used for a grant to compensate Mr. Leslie Leroy Yother for being wrongful incarcerated by the State of Montana.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
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Latest Version of HB 16 (HB0016.01)
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