2006 Regular Session
To: Judiciary En Banc
By: Representative Brown, Mayo, Whittington
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 99-17-20, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THE USE OF DNA EVIDENCE IN CAPITAL CASES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 99-17-20, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-17-20. (1) No person shall be tried for capital murder, or any other crime punishable by death as provided by law, unless such offense was specifically cited in the indictment returned against the accused by setting forth the section and subsection number of the code defining the offense alleged to have been committed by the accused. The judge, in cases where the offense cited in the indictment is punishable by death, may grant an instruction for the state or the defendant which instructs the jury as to their discretion to convict the accused of the commission of an offense not specifically set forth in the indictment returned against the accused. Any conviction of the accused for an offense punishable by death shall not be valid unless the offense for which the accused is convicted shall have been set forth in the indictment by section and subsection number of the code which defined the offense allegedly committed by the accused.
(2) If biological evidence is available, the state shall notify a defendant in a capital case of the existence of such evidence. The state shall administer a DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) fingerprint test of such biological evidence and shall provide the results of such test to the defendant. If the results of such test prove guilt, the defendant may request independent testing of such evidence at the state's expense. DNA fingerprint is defined as an individual's unique sequence of DNA base pairs, determined by exposure of a sample of the person's DNA to molecular probes.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.