2002 Regular Session
To: Judiciary En Banc
By: Representative Fleming
AN ACT TO ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY AND IMPOSE HARD LABOR; TO AMEND SECTIONS 97-3-21, 99-19-101 AND 99-35-135, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO, TO REPEAL SECTIONS 99-19-49, 99-19-51, 99-19-53, 99-19-55, 99-19-57, 99-19-103 AND 99-19-105, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDE FOR THE EXECUTION OF THE DEATH SENTENCE, INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THE DEATH PENALTY AND JUDICIAL REVIEW OF THE DEATH PENALTY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The death penalty is hereby abolished. Any person who is under penalty of death shall have that sentence reduced to life without parole with hard labor imposed.
SECTION 2. Section 97-3-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-3-21. Every person who shall be convicted of murder shall be sentenced by the court to imprisonment for life in the State Penitentiary.
Every person who shall be convicted of capital murder shall be sentenced (a) * * * to imprisonment for life in the State Penitentiary without parole with hard labor imposed; or (b) to imprisonment for life in the State Penitentiary with eligibility for parole as provided in Section 47-7-3(1)(f).
SECTION 3. Section 99-19-101, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-19-101. (1) Upon conviction or adjudication of guilt of a defendant of capital murder or other capital offense, the court shall conduct a separate sentencing proceeding to determine whether the defendant should be sentenced to * * * life imprisonment without eligibility for parole or life imprisonment. The proceeding shall be conducted by the trial judge before the trial jury as soon as practicable. If, through impossibility or inability, the trial jury is unable to reconvene for a hearing on the issue of penalty, having determined the guilt of the accused, the trial judge may summon a jury to determine the issue of the imposition of the penalty. If the trial jury has been waived, or if the defendant pleaded guilty, the sentencing proceeding shall be conducted before a jury impaneled for that purpose or may be conducted before the trial judge sitting without a jury if both the State of Mississippi and the defendant agree thereto in writing. In the proceeding, evidence may be presented as to any matter that the court deems relevant to sentence * * *. However, this subsection shall not be construed to authorize the introduction of any evidence secured in violation of the Constitution of the United States or of the State of Mississippi. * * *
* * *
SECTION 4. Section 99-35-135, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-35-135. * * * If the sentence be for confinement in the Penitentiary, and the defendant be not present, but in custody, the Clerk of the Supreme Court shall forthwith notify the legal authorities of the Penitentiary as in cases of conviction for Penitentiary offenses in the circuit court, who shall send for the convict as provided in such cases.
SECTION 5. Sections 99-19-49, 99-19-51, 99-19-53, 99-19-55 and 99-19-57, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provide for the execution of the death sentence, are repealed.
SECTION 6. Sections 99-19-103 and 99-19-105, Mississippi Code of 1972, which provide for instructions regarding the death penalty and judicial review of the death penalty, are repealed.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.