1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A; Appropriations
By: Representative Perry
House Bill 925
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-31-10, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT CRIMINAL INVESTIGATORS EMPLOYED BY DISTRICT ATTORNEYS MAY BE CONSTITUTED PEACE OFFICERS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; TO AMEND SECTIONS 45-6-3 AND 97-3-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-31-10, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-31-10. (1) Any district attorney may appoint a full-time criminal investigator.
(2) The district attorneys of the Third, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Seventeenth and Twentieth Circuit Court Districts may appoint one (1) additional full-time criminal investigator for a total of two (2) full-time criminal investigators.
(3) The district attorneys of the First, Second, Fourth and Seventh Circuit Court Districts may appoint two (2) additional full-time criminal investigators for a total of three (3) full-time criminal investigators.
(4) No district attorney or assistant district attorney shall accept any private employment, civil or criminal, in any matter investigated by such criminal investigators.
(5) The full and complete compensation for all public duties rendered by said criminal investigators shall be not less than Seventeen Thousand Dollars ($17,000.00) per annum, nor more than Thirty-five Thousand Dollars ($35,000.00) per annum, to be determined at the discretion of the district attorney based upon the qualifications, education and experience of the criminal investigator, plus necessary travel and other expenses, to be paid in accordance with Section 25-31-8.
(6) In carrying out the duties of his office, any criminal investigator may be designated by the district attorney as a peace officer with full and complete authority to enforce the laws of the State of Mississippi and to perform arrests and all other duties necessary to that authority. Any criminal investigator so designated on or before December 31, 1997, shall be exempt from complying with the requirements of the law enforcement officers training program as set forth in Section 45-6-1 et seq. and shall become a duly constituted peace officer of the State of Mississippi upon being sworn as a peace officer. However, no criminal investigator shall be so designated after December 31, 1997, unless he has first satisfied the minimum qualifications set forth in Section 45-6-11 and received a certificate from the Board of Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training.
SECTION 2. Section 45-6-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-6-3. For the purposes of this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings ascribed herein, unless the context shall otherwise require:
(a) "Commission" means the Criminal Justice Planning Commission.
(b) "Board" means the Board on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Training.
(c) "Law enforcement officer" means any person appointed or employed full time by the state or any political subdivision thereof, who is duly sworn and vested with authority to bear arms and make arrests, and whose primary responsibility is the prevention and detection of crime, the apprehension of criminals and the enforcement of the criminal and traffic laws of this state and/or the ordinances of any political subdivision thereof. The term "law enforcement officer" also includes employees of the Department of Corrections who are designated as law enforcement officers by the Commissioner of Corrections pursuant to Section 47-5-54 and criminal investigators who are employees of a district attorney and designated as peace officers pursuant to Section 25-31-10. However, the term "law enforcement officer" shall not mean or include any elected official or any person employed as an assistant to or as an investigator who is not designated as a peace officer for a district attorney in this state, or compliance agents of the State Board of Pharmacy. As used in this paragraph "appointed or employed full time" means any person who is receiving gross compensation for his duties as a law enforcement officer of One Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($125.00) or more per week or Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or more per month.
SECTION 3. Section 97-3-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-3-19. (1) The killing of a human being without the authority of law by any means or in any manner shall be murder in the following cases:
(a) When done with deliberate design to effect the death of the person killed, or of any human being;
(b) When done in the commission of an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved heart, regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual;
(c) When done without any design to effect death by any person engaged in the commission of any felony other than rape, kidnapping, burglary, arson, robbery, sexual battery, unnatural intercourse with any child under the age of twelve (12), or nonconsensual unnatural intercourse with mankind, or felonious abuse and/or battery of a child in violation of subsection (2) of Section 97-5-39, or in any attempt to commit such felonies.
(2) The killing of a human being without the authority of law by any means or in any manner shall be capital murder in the following cases:
(a) Murder which is perpetrated by killing a peace officer or fireman while such officer or fireman is acting in his official capacity or by reason of an act performed in his official capacity, and with knowledge that the victim was a peace officer or fireman. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "peace officer" means any state or federal law enforcement officer including but not limited to a federal park ranger, the sheriff of or police officer of a city or town, a game warden, a parole officer, a judge, prosecuting attorney or any other court official, an agent of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the State Tax Commission, an agent of the Bureau of Narcotics, personnel of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, and the employees of the Department of Corrections who are designated as peace officers by the Commissioner of Corrections pursuant to Section 47-5-54, * * * the superintendent and his deputies, guards, officers and other employees of the Mississippi State Penitentiary and the criminal investigators who are designated as peace officers by the district attorney employing such an investigator;
(b) Murder which is perpetrated by a person who is under sentence of life imprisonment;
(c) Murder which is perpetrated by use or detonation of a bomb or explosive device;
(d) Murder which is perpetrated by any person who has been offered or has received anything of value for committing the murder, and all parties to such a murder, are guilty as principals;
(e) When done with or without any design to effect death, by any person engaged in the commission of the crime of rape, burglary, kidnapping, arson, robbery, sexual battery, unnatural intercourse with any child under the age of twelve (12), or nonconsensual unnatural intercourse with mankind, or in any attempt to commit such felonies;
(f) When done with or without any design to effect death, by any person engaged in the commission of the crime of felonious abuse and/or battery of a child in violation of subsection (2) of Section 97-5-39, or in any attempt to commit such felony;
(g) Murder which is perpetrated by the killing of any elected official of a county, municipal, state or federal government with knowledge that the victim was such public official.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.