1998 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Burton
Senate Bill 2079
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 13-5-77, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO LIMIT TO DEATH PENALTY CASES THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH A SPECIAL VENIRE SHALL BE CALLED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 13-5-77, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
13-5-77. When any person charged with a * * * crime * * * for which the death penalty may be imposed shall have been arraigned and the plea of not guilty entered, the accused or the district attorney in any such case shall, upon demand, be entitled to a special venire. If at a term of court a special venire has been demanded for any case or cases, it shall be the duty of the court to cause to be drawn, in open court, from the jury box as many names as the judge in his discretion may direct, not to be less than forty (40) for each special venire as the judge in his discretion may direct to be called; and it shall be the duty of the clerk to issue a special venire facias commanding the sheriff to summon the persons whose names are so drawn to attend the court on a particular day to be named in the writ. It shall not be necessary that a separate special venire be drawn for each case in which a special venire is demanded. Those persons summoned pursuant to the issuance of a special venire facias shall attend the court on the day named in the writ and shall serve as the court may direct on any case for which a special venire has been demanded; provided, however, no juror summoned as a special venireman shall be impaneled or serve on more than one (1) case. In the event a special venire be exhausted in a case without a jury being impaneled from those summoned and in attendance, the court shall proceed to make up the jury for the trial of the case from the regular panel and tales jurors who may have been summoned for the day. If, after exhausting the regular panel and tales jurors, a competent jury be not obtained, the court shall direct the sheriff to summon forthwith as many tales jurors as shall be sufficient to complete the jury.
In the event that there should be no such box, or the same should be mislaid or the names therein have been exhausted, then the court may order a special venire facias to be issued by the clerk directing the sheriff to summon as many jurors as may be necessary, not less than forty (40) for each special venire as the judge in his discretion may direct to be called and, after exhausting a special venire in any case, to impanel the jury as hereinbefore directed. The slips containing the names of all jurors drawn or summoned on a special venire, and not impaneled on a jury, shall be returned to the box from which they were drawn immediately after a jury shall be impaneled. If a special venire be not demanded, the jury in each case shall be composed of the regular venire for the week and as many talesmen and bystanders as may be required, to be summoned under the order of the court.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.