2006 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B; Appropriations
By: Representative Smith (39th)
AN ACT TO CREATE THE ANTI-TERRORISM ACT OF 2006; TO CREATE THE CRIMINAL OFFENSES OF SOLICITING OR PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR AN ACT OF TERRORISM, MAKING A TERRORISTIC THREAT, TERRORISM AND HINDERING PROSECUTION OF TERRORISM; TO MAKE LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 47-7-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT PERSONS CONVICTED FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACT SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR PAROLE; TO AMEND SECTIONS 97-3-61 AND 97-3-63, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE CRIME OF POISONING; TO AMEND SECTIONS 97-37-21 AND 97-37-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE PENALTIES RELATING TO THE USE OF EXPLOSIVES AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION; TO AUTHORIZE COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES TO CONDUCT CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD CHECKS; TO CREATE THE CRIMINAL OFFENSE OF FAILURE TO SAFEGUARD TOXINS; TO PROHIBIT USING BLUEPRINTS FOR TERRORISTIC PURPOSES AND PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS; TO EXEMPT CERTAIN SECURITY RECORDS FROM THE PUBLIC RECORDS LAWS; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 45-1-2, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, FOR PURPOSES OF AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006.
SECTION 2. The devastating consequences of the recent barbaric attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon underscore the compelling need for legislation that is specifically designed to combat the evils of terrorism. Indeed, the bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, Pan Am Flight number 103 in Lockerbie in 1988, the 1997 shooting atop the Empire State Building, the 1994 murder of Ari Halberstam on the Brooklyn Bridge and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, will forever serve to remind us that terrorism is a serious and deadly problem that disrupts public order and threatens individual safety both at home and around the world. Terrorism is inconsistent with civilized society and cannot be tolerated.
Although certain federal laws seek to curb the incidence of terrorism, there are no corresponding state laws that facilitate the prosecution and punishment of terrorists in state courts. Inexplicably, there is also no criminal penalty in this state for a person who solicits or raises funds for, or provides other material support or resources to, those who commit or encourage the commission of horrific and cowardly acts of terrorism. Nor do our criminal laws proscribe the making of terrorist threats or punish with appropriate severity those who hinder the prosecution of terrorists.
A comprehensive state law is urgently needed to complement federal laws in the fight against terrorism and to better protect all citizens against terrorist acts. Accordingly, the Legislature finds that our laws must be strengthened to ensure that terrorists, as well as those who solicit or provide financial and other support to terrorists, are prosecuted and punished in state courts with appropriate severity.
SECTION 3. The following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed herein, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Act of terrorism" means an act or acts constituting a specified offense as defined in paragraph (c) of this section for which a person may be convicted in the criminal courts of this state, or an act or acts constituting an offense in any other jurisdiction within or outside the territorial boundaries of the United States which contains all of the essential elements of a specified offense, that is intended to:
(i) Intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) Influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) Affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping.
"Act of terrorism" also means activities that involve a violent act or acts dangerous to human life that are in violation of the criminal laws of the state and are intended to:
(i) Intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) Influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) Affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping.
(b) "Material support or resources" means currency or other financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials.
(c) "Specified offense" for purposes of this act means a felony offense, a violent felony offense, murder and manslaughter, and includes an attempt or conspiracy to commit any such offense.
(d) "Renders criminal assistance" means any person who, with intent to prevent, hinder or delay the discovery or apprehension of, or the lodging of a criminal charge against, a person who he knows or believes has committed a crime or is being sought by law enforcement officials for the commission of a crime, or with intent to assist a person in profiting or benefiting from the commission of a crime, he:
(i) Harbors or conceals such person; or
(ii) Warns such person of impending discovery or apprehension; or
(iii) Provides such person with money, transportation, weapon, disguise or other means of avoiding discovery or apprehension; or
(iv) Prevents or obstructs, by means of force, intimidation or deception, anyone from performing an act which might aid in the discovery or apprehension of such person or in the lodging of a criminal charge against him; or
(v) Suppresses, by any act of concealment, alteration or destruction, any physical evidence which might aid in the discovery or apprehension of such person or in the lodging of a criminal charge against him; or
(vi) Aids such person to protect or expeditiously profit from an advantage derived from such crime.
SECTION 4. A person commits soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree when, with intent that material support or resources will be used, in whole or in part, to plan, prepare, carry out or aid in either an act of terrorism or the concealment of, or an escape from, an act of terrorism, he or she raises, solicits, collects or provides material support or resources.
Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree is a felony punishable by not more than seven (7) years imprisonment in the State Penitentiary.
SECTION 5. A person commits soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree when he or she commits the crime of soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the second degree and the total value of material support or resources exceeds One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).
Soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism in the first degree is a felony punishable by not more than fifteen (15) years imprisonment in the State Penitentiary.
SECTION 6. (1) A person is guilty of making a terroristic threat when with intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping, he or she threatens to commit or cause to be committed a specified offense and thereby causes a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent commission of such offense.
(2) It shall be no defense to a prosecution pursuant to this section that the defendant did not have the intent or capability of committing the specified offense or that the threat was not made to a person who was a subject thereof.
Making a terroristic threat is a felony punishable by not more than ten (10) years imprisonment in the State Penitentiary.
SECTION 7. (1) A person is guilty of a crime of terrorism when, with intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping, he or she commits a specified offense.
(2) When a person is convicted of a crime of terrorism pursuant to this section, the crime of terrorism shall be deemed a violent felony offense and if loss of life does not occur, such person shall be punished by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for not more than twenty-five (25) years.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when a person is convicted of a crime of terrorism pursuant to this section, and the specified offense results in the loss of life, the sentence upon conviction of such offense shall be life imprisonment without parole; provided, however, that nothing herein shall preclude or prevent a sentence of death when the specified offense is capital murder.
SECTION 8. A person is guilty of hindering prosecution of terrorism in the second degree when he or she renders criminal assistance to a person who has committed an act of terrorism, knowing or believing that such person engaged in conduct constituting an act of terrorism.
Hindering prosecution of terrorism in the second degree is a felony punishable by not more than fifteen (15) years imprisonment in the State Penitentiary.
SECTION 9. A person is guilty of hindering prosecution of terrorism in the first degree when he or she renders criminal assistance to a person who has committed an act of terrorism that resulted in the death of a person other than one of the participants, knowing or believing that such person engaged in conduct constituting an act of terrorism.
Hindering prosecution of terrorism in the first degree is a felony punishable by not more than twenty-five (25) years imprisonment in the State Penitentiary.
SECTION 10. Section 47-7-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
47-7-3. (1) Every prisoner who has been convicted of any offense against the State of Mississippi, and is confined in the execution of a judgment of such conviction in the Mississippi Department of Corrections for a definite term or terms of one (1) year or over, or for the term of his or her natural life, whose record of conduct shows that such prisoner has observed the rules of the department, and who has served not less than one-fourth (1/4) of the total of such term or terms for which such prisoner was sentenced, or, if sentenced to serve a term or terms of thirty (30) years or more, or, if sentenced for the term of the natural life of such prisoner, has served not less than ten (10) years of such life sentence, may be released on parole as hereinafter provided, except that:
(a) No prisoner convicted as a confirmed and habitual criminal under the provisions of Sections 99-19-81 through 99-19-87 shall be eligible for parole;
(b) Any person who shall have been convicted of a sex crime shall not be released on parole except for a person under the age of nineteen (19) who has been convicted under Section 97-3-67;
(c) No one shall be eligible for parole until he shall have served one (1) year of his sentence, unless such person has accrued any meritorious earned time allowances, in which case he shall be eligible for parole if he has served (i) nine (9) months of his sentence or sentences, when his sentence or sentences is two (2) years or less; (ii) ten (10) months of his sentence or sentences when his sentence or sentences is more than two (2) years but no more than five (5) years; and (iii) one (1) year of his sentence or sentences when his sentence or sentences is more than five (5) years;
(d) (i) No person shall be eligible for parole who shall, on or after January 1, 1977, be convicted of robbery or attempted robbery through the display of a firearm until he shall have served ten (10) years if sentenced to a term or terms of more than ten (10) years or if sentenced for the term of the natural life of such person. If such person is sentenced to a term or terms of ten (10) years or less, then such person shall not be eligible for parole. The provisions of this paragraph (d) shall also apply to any person who shall commit robbery or attempted robbery on or after July 1, 1982, through the display of a deadly weapon. This subparagraph (d)(i) shall not apply to persons convicted after September 30, 1994;
(ii) No person shall be eligible for parole who shall, on or after October 1, 1994, be convicted of robbery, attempted robbery or carjacking as provided in Section 97-3-115 et seq., through the display of a firearm or drive-by shooting as provided in Section 97-3-109. The provisions of this subparagraph (d)(ii) shall also apply to any person who shall commit robbery, attempted robbery, carjacking or a drive-by shooting on or after October 1, 1994, through the display of a deadly weapon;
(e) No person shall be eligible for parole who, on or after July 1, 1994, is charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for parole under the provisions of Section 99-19-101;
(f) No person shall be eligible for parole who is charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment under the provisions of Section 99-19-101;
(g) No person shall be eligible for parole who is convicted or whose suspended sentence is revoked after June 30, 1995, except that a first offender convicted of a nonviolent crime after January 1, 2000, may be eligible for parole if the offender meets the requirements in subsection (1) and this paragraph. In addition to other requirements, if a first offender is convicted of a drug or driving under the influence felony, the offender must complete a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program prior to parole or the offender may be required to complete a post-release drug and alcohol program as a condition of parole. For purposes of this paragraph, "nonviolent crime" means a felony other than homicide, robbery, manslaughter, sex crimes, arson, burglary of an occupied dwelling, aggravated assault, kidnapping, felonious abuse of vulnerable adults, felonies with enhanced penalties, the sale or manufacture of a controlled substance under the Uniform Controlled Substances Law, felony child abuse, or any crime under Section 97-5-33 or Section 97-5-39(2) or a violation of Section 63-11-30(5) resulting in death, or serious bodily injury resulting in the loss of a limb or dismemberment, loss of eyesight, a coma, permanent dysfunction of any vital organ, paralysis or resulting in an individual's permanent bedridden state. For purposes of this paragraph, "first offender" means a person who at the time of sentencing has not been convicted of a felony on a previous occasion in any court or courts of the United States or in any state or territory thereof. In addition, a first time offender incarcerated for committing the crime of possession of a controlled substance under the Uniform Controlled Substances Law after July 1, 1995, shall be eligible for parole as provided for such offenders in this paragraph after July 1, 2000;
(h) No person shall be eligible for parole who is convicted of a crime which is an act of terrorism as provided in Sections 1 through 9 of House Bill No. 711, 2006 Regular Session.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an inmate shall not be eligible to receive earned time, good time or any other administrative reduction of time which shall reduce the time necessary to be served for parole eligibility as provided in subsection (1) of this section; however, this subsection shall not apply to the advancement of parole eligibility dates pursuant to the Prison Overcrowding Emergency Powers Act. Moreover, meritorious earned time allowances may be used to reduce the time necessary to be served for parole eligibility as provided in paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section.
(3) (a) The State Parole Board shall by rules and regulations establish a method of determining a tentative parole hearing date for each eligible offender taken into the custody of the Department of Corrections. The tentative parole hearing date shall be determined within ninety (90) days after the department has assumed custody of the offender. Such tentative parole hearing date shall be calculated by a formula taking into account the offender's age upon first commitment, number of prior incarcerations, prior probation or parole failures, the severity and the violence of the offense committed, employment history and other criteria which in the opinion of the board tend to validly and reliably predict the length of incarceration necessary before the offender can be successfully paroled.
(4) Any inmate within twenty-four (24) months of his parole eligibility date and who meets the criteria established by the classification board shall receive priority for placement in any educational development and job training programs. Any inmate refusing to participate in an educational development or job training program may be ineligible for parole.
SECTION 11. Section 97-3-61, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-3-61. Every person who shall mingle any poison, bacterium, radioactive material, virus or chemical compound with any food, drink, or medicine with intent to kill or injure any human being, or who shall willfully poison or introduce, add or mingle any bacterium, radioactive material, virus or chemical compound into any well, spring, or reservoir of water, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the Penitentiary not exceeding twenty (20) years, * * * or by fine not exceeding Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or both.
SECTION 12. Section 97-3-63, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-3-63. Every person who shall be convicted of having administered, or having caused or procured to be administered, any poison, bacterium, radioactive material, virus or chemical compound to any human being with intent to kill such human being, whereof death shall not ensue, shall be punished by imprisonment in the Penitentiary for a term not less than ten (10) years.
SECTION 13. Section 97-37-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-37-21. It shall be unlawful for any person to report to another by any means, including telephone, mail, e-mail, mobile phone, fax or any means of communication, that a bomb or other explosive or chemical, biological or other weapons of mass destruction, including any hoax bomb, has been, or is to be, placed or secreted in any public or private place, knowing that such report is false. Any person who shall be convicted of a violation of this section shall be fined not more than Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00) or shall be committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than twenty (20) years, or both.
SECTION 14. Section 97-37-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-37-25. It shall be unlawful for any person at any time to bomb, or to plant or place any bomb, or other explosive matter or chemical, biological or other weapons of mass destruction or thing or hoax bomb in, upon or near any building, residence, ship, vessel, boat, railroad station, railroad car or coach, bus station, or depot, bus, truck, aircraft, or other vehicle, gas and oil stations and pipelines, radio station or radio equipment or other means of communication, warehouse or any electric plant or water plant, telephone exchange or any of the lines belonging thereto, wherein a person or persons are located or being transported, or where there is being manufactured, stored, assembled or shipped or in the preparation of shipment any goods, wares, merchandise or anything of value, with the felonious intent to hurt or harm any person or property, and upon conviction thereof shall be imprisoned for life in the State Penitentiary if the penalty is so fixed by the jury; and in cases where the jury fails to fix the penalty at imprisonment for life in the State Penitentiary the court shall fix the penalty at imprisonment in the State Penitentiary for any term as the court, in its discretion, may determine, but not to be less than ten (10) years.
SECTION 15. (1) For the purpose of Sections 97-37-21, 97-37-25 and this section "hoax bomb" means any device or object that by its design, construction, content or characteristics appears to be, or to contain, or is represented to be or to contain, a destructive device or explosive, but is, in fact, an inoperative facsimile or imitation of such a destructive device or explosive, or contains no destructive device or explosive as was represented.
(2) This act does not apply to any law enforcement officer, fire fighter, person or member of the Armed Forces of the United States while engaged in training or other lawful activity within the scope of his or her employment, or to any person properly authorized to test a security system, or to any security personnel, while operating within the scope of their employment including, but not limited to, security personnel in airports and other controlled access areas.
(3) In addition to any other penalty provided by law with respect to any person who is convicted of a violation of this act that resulted in the mobilization or action of any law enforcement officer or any state or local agency, a person convicted of a violation of this section may be required by the court to pay restitution for all of the costs and damages arising from the criminal conduct.
SECTION 16. A county or municipality may require, by ordinance, employment screening for any position of employment or appointment which the governing body finds is critical to security or public safety, or for any private contractor, employee of a private contractor, vendor, repair person, or delivery person who has access to any public facility or publicly operated facility that the governing body finds is critical to security or public safety. The ordinance must require each person applying for, or continuing employment in, any such position or having access to any such facility to be fingerprinted. The fingerprints shall be submitted to the Department of Public Safety for a state criminal history record check and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check. The information obtained from the criminal history record checks conducted pursuant to the ordinance may be used by the county or municipality to determine an applicant's eligibility for employment or appointment and to determine an employee's eligibility for continued employment. This section is not intended to preempt or prevent any other background screening including, but not limited to, criminal history record checks, which a county or municipality may lawfully undertake.
SECTION 17. Any manufacturer, distributor, transferor, possessor or user of any toxic chemical, biological agent, toxin or vector, or radioactive material that is related to a lawful industrial, agricultural, research, medical, pharmaceutical or other activity, who recklessly allows an unauthorized individual to obtain access to the toxic chemical or biological agent, toxin or vector or radioactive material, commits a felony and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, shall be subject to a fine of up to Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000.00) for each violation.
SECTION 18. (1) A person shall not obtain or possess a blueprint, an architectural or engineering diagram, security plan, or other similar information of a vulnerable target, with the intent to commit an offense prohibited under this act.
(2) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years or a fine of not more than Twenty Thousand Dollars ($20,000.00), or both.
SECTION 19. Records or information of measures designed to protect the security or safety of persons or property, whether public or private including, but not limited to, building, public works, and public water supply designs to the extent that those designs relate to the ongoing security measures of a public body, capabilities and plans for responding to a violation of this act, emergency response plans, risk planning documents, threat assessments and domestic preparedness strategies are exempt from the provisions of Section 25-61-1 et seq.
SECTION 20. Section 45-1-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
45-1-2. (1) The Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety shall be the Commissioner of Public Safety.
(2) The Commissioner of Public Safety shall establish the organizational structure of the Department of Public Safety, which shall include the creation of any units necessary to implement the duties assigned to the department and consistent with specific requirements of law including, but not limited to:
(a) Office of Public Safety Planning;
(b) Office of Medical Examiner;
(c) Office of Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol;
(d) Office of Crime Laboratories;
(e) Office of Law Enforcement Officers' Training Academy;
(f) Office of Support Services;
(g) Office of Narcotics, which shall be known as the Bureau of Narcotics; and
(h) Office of Homeland Security.
(3) The department shall be headed by a commissioner, who shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The appointment of the commissioner shall be made with the advice and consent of the Senate. The commissioner may assign to the appropriate offices such powers and duties as deemed appropriate to carry out the department's lawful functions.
(4) The commissioner of the department shall appoint heads of offices, who shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner. The commissioner shall have the authority to organize the offices established by subsection (2) of this section as deemed appropriate to carry out the responsibilities of the department. The organization charts of the department shall be presented annually with the budget request of the Governor for review by the Legislature.
(5) The commissioner of the department shall appoint, from within the Department of Public Safety, a statewide safety training officer who shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner and whose duty it shall be to perform public training for both law enforcement and private persons throughout the state concerning proper emergency response to the mentally ill, terroristic threats or acts, domestic conflict, other conflict resolution, and such other matters as the commissioner may direct.
SECTION 21. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2006.