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 REQUIRE DNA TESTING IN DEATH PENALTY CASES BASED ON THE AVAILABILITY OF EVIDENCE; TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING DNA SAMPLES; TO AMEND SECTION 47-5-183, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY; 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) The Mississippi Department of Corrections or law enforcement agency shall administer DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) tests to any person indicted or convicted of a crime punishable by death as provided by law. Any person currently serving a death sentence, and who has not previously submitted a biological sample under Section 47-5-183, may request a post-conviction DNA test be administered upon the discovery and availability of new evidence. The accused or convicted shall have a sample of his or her blood, an oral swab, or a sample obtained from a noninvasive procedure taken at the time of indictment or if such person is incarcerated in a state correctional facility, shall at the time of entering the prison system have the sample taken for purposes of DNA identification analysis. The DNA evidence shall be preserved by the department or the law enforcement agency in possession of such evidence. The DNA evidence shall be made available to the indicted or convicted person for use in any legal proceeding.
SECTION 2. Section 47-5-183, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-5-183. Except as provided in Section 99-17-20, the Mississippi Department of Corrections is authorized, subject to the availability of funds, to secure a biological sample for purposes of DNA identification analysis from every individual convicted of a felony or in its custody before release from or transfer to a state correctional facility or county jail or other detention facility.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.