2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Fleming, Reynolds
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 99-19-351 AND 99-19-355, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO INCLUDE DISABLED PERSONS IN THE LAW WHICH PROVIDES FOR ENHANCED PENALTIES WHEN CRIMES ARE COMMITTED AGAINST SUCH PERSONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 99-19-351, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-19-351. The penalty for any felony or misdemeanor which is a crime of violence or the crime of burglary or breaking and entering the dwelling of another or fraudulent telephone solicitation shall be subject to enhancement as provided in Sections 99-19-351 through 99-19-357 if the felony or misdemeanor was committed against any victim who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older or who is disabled as described in 42 USCS 12102.
SECTION 2. Section 99-19-355, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
99-19-355. (1) Upon conviction or adjudication of guilt of a defendant where notice has been duly given that an enhanced penalty will be sought as provided in Sections 99-19-351 through 99-19-357, the court shall conduct a separate sentencing proceeding to determine the sentence. The proceeding shall be conducted by the trial judge before the trial jury as soon as practicable. If, through impossibility or inability, the trial jury is unable to reconvene for a hearing on the issue of penalty, having determined the guilt of the accused, the trial judge shall summon a jury to determine whether an enhanced penalty should be imposed. If trial by jury has been waived, or if the defendant pleaded guilty, the sentencing proceeding shall be conducted before a jury impaneled for that purpose. If the defendant enters a plea of guilty and waives trial by jury for the sentencing proceeding, the sentencing proceeding shall be conducted before the trial judge sitting without a jury. In the proceeding, evidence may be presented as to any matter that the court deems relevant to sentence. This subsection shall not be construed to authorize the introduction of any evidence secured in violation of the Constitution of the United States or of the State of Mississippi. The state and the defendant, or his counsel, or both defendant and counsel, shall be permitted to present arguments for or against any sentence sought.
(2) In order to impose an enhanced penalty under the provisions of Sections 99-19-351 through 99-19-357, the jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt:
(a) That the defendant perceived, knew, or had reasonable grounds to know or perceive that the victim was within the class delineated; and
(b) That the defendant maliciously and with specific intent committed the offense to any victim who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older or who is disabled as described in 42 USCS 12102.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.