2004 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Huggins
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-3-19, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF PEACE OFFICER TO INCLUDE SPECIAL AND SENIOR STATUS JUDGES WITH THE RESULT THAT MURDER OF SUCH PERSON ACTING IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY OR BY REASON OF AN ACT PERFORMED IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY WILL CONSTITUTE A CAPITAL OFFENSE AND TO SPECIFY THAT MANSLAUGHTER SHALL BE A LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSE OF MURDER AND CAPITAL MURDER; TO AMEND SECTIONS 99-7-37 AND 99-19-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. 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 conservation officer, a parole officer, a judge, senior status judge, special judge, district attorney, legal assistant to a district attorney, county 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, and the superintendent and his deputies, guards, officers and other employees of the Mississippi State Penitentiary;
(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 on educational property as defined in Section 97-37-17;
(h) 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.
(3) An indictment for murder or capital murder shall serve as notice to the defendant that the indictment may include any and all lesser included offenses thereof, including, but not limited to, manslaughter.
SECTION 2. Section 99-7-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-7-37. (1) In an indictment for homicide it shall not be necessary to set forth the manner in which or the means by which the death of the deceased was caused, but it shall be sufficient to charge in an indictment for murder, that the defendant did feloniously, willfully, and of his malice aforethought, kill and murder the deceased. * * * It shall be sufficient, in an indictment for manslaughter, to charge that the defendant did feloniously kill and slay the deceased, concluding in all cases as required by the Constitution of this state.
(2) An indictment for murder or capital murder shall be sufficient to also charge the lesser offense of manslaughter without a specific allegation of such lesser crime and without any necessity for an additional count charging such lesser crime.
SECTION 3. Section 99-19-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-19-5. (1) On an indictment for any offense the jury may find the defendant guilty of the offense as charged, or of any attempt to commit the same offense, or may find him guilty of an inferior offense, or other offense, the commission of which is necessarily included in the offense with which he is charged in the indictment, whether the same be a felony or misdemeanor, without any additional count in the indictment for that purpose.
(2) For purposes of this section, manslaughter shall be considered a lesser included offense of murder and capital murder, and the jury may be properly instructed thereon, upon request by either party or upon the court's own motion, in any case in which the giving of such instruction would be justified by the proof, consistent with the wording of the applicable manslaughter statute.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.