2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Beckett
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-3-82, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE OFFENSE OF EXTORTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-3-82, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-3-82. (1) For the purposes of this section the following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed herein, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Obtain" means: (i) in relation to property, to bring about a transfer or purported transfer of a legal interest in or physical possession of the property, whether to the obtainer or another; or (ii) in relation to labor or service, to secure performance thereof; or attempt to do (i) or (ii).
(b) "Property" means anything of value, including, but not limited to, real estate, tangible and intangible personal property, contract rights, choses-in-action, reputation of a person and other interests in or claims to wealth, admission or transportation tickets, captured or domestic animals, food and drink, electric or other power.
(c) "Property of another" includes property in which any person other than the actor has an interest which the actor is not privileged to infringe, regardless of the fact that the actor also has an interest in the property and regardless of the fact that the other person might be precluded from civil recovery because the property was used in an unlawful transaction or was subject to forfeiture as contraband. Property in possession of the actor shall not be deemed property of another who has only a security interest therein, even if legal title is in the creditor pursuant to a conditional sales contract or other security agreement.
(d) "Public official" means any person elected or appointed to any office, position or employment whereby he or she is paid a fee and/or salary by the State of Mississippi and/or any political subdivision thereof and/or any agency or subdivision of the government of the United States, regardless of the source of the funds for such payment.
(2) A person is guilty of extortion if he purposely obtains or attempts to obtain property * * * of another or any other reward, favor or advantage of any kind by threatening to inflict bodily injury on any person or by committing or threatening to commit any other act not authorized by law including, but not limited to, violations of criminal or civil statutes and public or private revelation of information not previously in the public domain for the purpose of humiliating and/or embarrassing the offended party, whether or not such revelation constitutes a violation of a specific statute.
(3) (a) Any person, other than a public official, who commits the offense of extortion of property * * * of a value of less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed six (6) months.
(b) Any person, other than a public official, who commits the offense of extortion of property * * * of a value of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or more shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by commitment to the custody of the State Department of Corrections for a term not to exceed fifteen (15) years.
(c) Any public official who commits the offense of extortion of tangible property, regardless of the value of such property, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by commitment to the Department of Corrections for a term of not less than two (2) years nor more than twenty (20) years.
(d) Any person who commits the offense of extortion in order to obtain any intangible reward, favor and/or advantage to which no monetary value is normally given shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished as provided in subsection (3)(b) of this section if such person is not a public official or as provided in subsection (3)(c) of this section if such person is a public official.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.