2007 Regular Session

To: Judiciary B

By: Representative Jennings, Akins, Hamilton (6th), Mayhall

House Bill 524



     SECTION 1.  Section 7-1-29, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     7-1-29.  Whenever the Governor shall be of opinion that the public good requires it, he is authorized to offer, by proclamation or in such other manner as he may deem advisable, such reward as he may think the nature of the case requires * * * for the apprehension and arrest of any person who has committed any atrocious offense against the criminal laws, to be paid in no instance until the offender is delivered to the civil authority of the county where the offense was committed, and confined in jail or admitted to bail; or the reward may be conditioned to be paid only upon conviction.

     SECTION 2.  Section 47-5-147, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     47-5-147.  When an offender escapes from the custody of the department, the commissioner shall immediately notify the Governor who shall have exclusive power to authorize the payment of a reward, in his discretion, * * * out of any money available in the State Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the arrest and delivery of such offender to the proper authorities.

     SECTION 3.  Section 69-29-203, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     69-29-203.  When the theft of any livestock or poultry shall be reported to the sheriff of the county where the theft occurred, it shall be the duty of the sheriff to make prompt and diligent effort to arrest the thief or thieves.  At the same time, it shall be the duty of the president of the association to assist the sheriff in the capture of the thief or thieves by posting or publishing the standing reward offered by the association for information leading to arrest and conviction of the said thief or thieves, but in case of a theft of poultry no such reward shall be offered by the association where the value of the poultry stolen would amount to a misdemeanor only.  When additional assistance may be needed to bring those guilty of the theft of any livestock or poultry to justice, the president of the association, or in his absence or disability, three (3) or more directors of the association may, in their discretion, notify the Governor and request his assistance.  When the Governor shall receive such request it shall then be his duty to offer such reward as he may deem proper for arrest and conviction of the said thief or thieves, or for information leading to the arrest and conviction * * *.  In case it is impossible to break up livestock and poultry thefts without employment of detectives, then the Governor may, in his discretion, employ a reliable detective to assist the sheriff and the association in any county.  The reward to be offered by the Governor and the expense of detectives shall be paid out of the Governor's contingent fund.

     SECTION 4.  Section 83-1-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     83-1-35.  The Commissioner of Insurance is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to offer a reward * * * for information leading to the apprehension, indictment and conviction of any person, persons or organization of persons responsible for the willful destruction by fire or explosion of any real or personal property located within this state.

     The Commissioner of Insurance is further directed to have suitable reward notices printed and posted in conspicuous places, and to utilize such other news media or informational materials as necessary to encourage those with information to come forward.

     The reward monies paid, if any, as well as the cost of printing and distribution of reward notices and other news media or informational materials, shall be paid from premium taxes under Sections 27-15-103 and 27-15-109.  However, the Commissioner of Insurance shall keep a separate account of all monies disbursed under the provisions of this section and shall include the same in his annual report.

     SECTION 5.  Section 99-3-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     99-3-35.  A person who shall arrest anyone who kills another and is fleeing, or attempting to flee, before arrest, and shall deliver him up for trial, shall be entitled to a reward out of the treasury of the county in which the homicide occurred, upon the allowance of the circuit court and the board of supervisors of the county in the manner provided by law.

     SECTION 6.  Section 99-3-39, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     99-3-39.  (1)  Boards of supervisors of the various counties of this state and the governing authorities of the municipalities, may either separately or in conjunction with each other, within their discretion, offer monetary rewards, the amount of which shall be fixed by the aforesaid governing authorities, within their discretion, for information leading to the apprehension of any person subsequently convicted of any crime or misdemeanor committed within this state; information regarding the whereabouts of missing persons; the ascertaining or divulging of any information necessary or helpful for the governing or the tranquility of any municipality or county of this state or for any like purpose, * * * provided * * * that said reward shall not be paid to any law enforcement officer or any employee of the governing authority offering such reward or any member of the immediate family of either.

     (2)  The aforesaid rewards may be paid from the general fund of the respective counties or municipalities.

     SECTION 7.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.