1997 Regular Session
By: Representative Simpson (By Request)
House Concurrent Resolution 62
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 31, MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890, TO PROVIDE THAT TEN OR MORE JURORS MAY AGREE ON A VERDICT IN CRIMINAL CASES, EXCEPT CAPITAL OFFENSES, AND RETURN IT AS THE VERDICT OF THE JURY.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That the following amendment to the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 is proposed to the qualified electors of the state:
Amend Section 31, Mississippi Constitution of 1890, to read as follows:
"Section 31. (1) The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, but the Legislature may, by enactment, provide:
(a) That in all civil suits tried in the circuit and chancery court, nine (9) or more jurors may agree on the verdict and return it as the verdict of the jury; and
(b) That in the trial of criminal offenses in the circuit and county courts, except capital offenses, ten (10) or more jurors may agree on the verdict and return it as the verdict of the jury.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) only, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Criminal offenses" means:
(i) Any offense specifically classified as a felony in the statute creating the offense or its punishment; or
(ii) Any offense in which the maximum punishment authorized by the Legislature is:
1. Imprisonment in the State Penitentiary or in the custody of the Department of Corrections for a period of one (1) year or more or for life; or
2. Death, and in the prosecution of which the death penalty is not being sought by the state; or
(iii) Any misdemeanor offense which is tried in circuit or county court on indictment for such offense or as a lesser offense of an offense defined in subsections (2)(a)(i) or (ii) of this section.
(b) "Capital offenses" means any criminal offense for which the maximum punishment authorized by the Legislature is death, and in the prosecution of which the death penalty is actually being sought by the state."
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this proposed amendment shall be submitted by the Secretary of State to the qualified electors at an election to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November 1997, as provided by Section 273 of the Constitution and by general law.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the explanation of this proposed amendment for the ballot shall read as follows: "This proposed constitutional amendment will provide that ten (10) or more jurors may render a verdict in criminal cases except capital offenses."