1997 Regular Session
To: Apportionment and Elections
By: Representative Moore
House Bill 440
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-5-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ANY PUBLIC OFFICER IN THIS STATE WHO IS CONVICTED OF ANY FELONY UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS STATE, ANOTHER STATE OR IN ANY FEDERAL COURT SHALL BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE AND SHALL NOT BE QUALIFIED TO HOLD ANY OFFICE OF HONOR, PROFIT OR TRUST IN THIS STATE EXCEPT AFTER RECEIVING A FULL PARDON FOR THE DISQUALIFYING OFFENSE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-5-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-5-1. (1) If any public officer, state, district, county or municipal, is convicted in any court of this state * * * of any felony, * * * the court in which the officer is convicted, in addition to any other punishment as may be prescribed, shall adjudge the defendant removed from office; * * * the office of the defendant shall * * * become vacant, and that person shall not be qualified to hold or offer himself as a candidate for the office or any other elected or appointed office of honor, profit or trust in this state, except after receiving a full pardon for the disqualifying offense. If any * * * officer be found by inquest to be of unsound mind during the term for which he was elected or appointed, or shall be removed from office by the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction or otherwise lawfully, his office shall * * * be vacated; and in any such case the vacancy shall be filled as provided by law.
(2) When any * * * officer described in subsection (1) of this section is found guilty in a court of any other state or in any federal court of any offense which is a felony under the laws of the * * * jurisdiction in which the conviction occurred, the Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall promptly enter a motion for removal from office in the Circuit Court of Hinds County in the case of a state officer, and in the circuit court of the county of residence in the case of a district, county or municipal officer. The court, or the judge in vacation, shall, upon notice and a proper hearing, issue an order removing such person from office and such person shall not be qualified to hold or offer himself as a candidate for the office or any other elected or appointed office of honor, profit or trust in this state except after receiving a full pardon for the disqualifying offense. In any such case the vacancy shall be filled as provided by law.
(3) The prohibition from holding office as stated in this section shall not apply to any conviction that is reversed on appeal.
SECTION 2. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.