10:00 AM, Friday, May 23, 2008
University of Houston Hilton Hotel
Senator Jeff Wentworth
The Senate Jurisprudence Committee will hold a public meeting on Friday,
May 23, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. at the University of Houston Hilton Hotel,
Flamingo Room, 4800 Calhoun Street, Houston, Texas  77204.  
The Committee will discuss the following interim charges:
(Charge 1)  Study the laws governing suits affecting the parent-child  
relationship involving non-parents, including suits for possession of or
access to a child by a grandparent, and make recommendations for providing
the best care and protection for the children involved.  Provide an
assessment of the constitutional issues involved with these suits.
(Charge 4)  Identify and study best practices for representation of    
children in child abuse and neglect cases and determine whether to
implement further training, oversight, or other requirements for judges,  
attorneys, and others responsible for child abuse and neglect cases,
including child sexual abuse cases.  Develop and implement tools for
children's advocacy centers (CACs) and prosecutors to successfully
investigate and prosecute child abusers.  Include the following:
     - Explore changes to the rules of evidence that could facilitate the
       presentation of child testimony in court;
     - Explore making prior extraneous sex offenses admissible during
       determination of guilt, as has been adopted in the federal court
       system; and
     - Explore possible expansion of the rules regarding how cases are  
       consolidated and punishments are stacked in a single trial
       involving a crime committed against a child.