Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 483 – Death sentence, intent to seek
HOUSE BILL NO. 483
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H0483................................by JUDICIARY, RULES AND ADMINISTRATION
DEATH SENTENCE - Amends and adds to existing law to provide that a sentence
of death shall not be imposed for first degree murder unless the
prosecuting attorney has filed written notice of intent to seek the death
penalty no later than thirty days after entry of a plea.
01/20 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/21 Rpt prt - to Jud
02/10 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/11 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/16 3rd rdg - PASSED - 60-8-2
AYES -- Alltus, Barraclough, Bell, Bieter, Bivens, Black(15),
Black(23), Boe, Bruneel, Callister, Campbell, Chase, Clark, Crane,
Crow, Cuddy, Deal, Denney, Ellsworth, Field(13), Field(20), Gould,
Hadley, Hansen, Henbest, Hornbeck, Jaquet, Jones(9), Jones(22), Judd,
Kellogg, Kempton, Kendell, Kjellander, Kunz, Lake, Linford, Mader,
Marley, McKague, Meyer, Miller, Mortensen, Newcomb, Pischner,
Pomeroy, Reynolds, Richman, Ridinger, Robison, Stevenson, Stoicheff,
Stubbs, Taylor, Tilman, Trail, Watson, Wheeler, Zimmermann,
NAYS -- Gagner, Geddes, Jones(20), Loertscher, Sali, Schaefer,
Absent and excused -- Barrett, Stone
Floor Sponsor - Clark
Title apvd - to Senate
02/17 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to Jud
02/26 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/27 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/16 3rd rdg - PASSED - 34-1-0
AYES--Andreason, Boatright, Branch, Bunderson, Burtenshaw, Cameron,
Crow, Danielson, Darrington, Deide, Dunklin, Frasure, Hansen,
Hawkins, Ingram, Ipsen, Keough, King, Lee, McLaughlin, Noh, Parry,
Richardson, Riggs, Risch, Sandy, Schroeder, Sorensen, Stennett,
Sweeney, Thorne, Twiggs, Wheeler, Whitworth
Absent and excused--None
Floor Sponsors - Boatright, Dunklin
Title apvd - to House
03/17 To enrol
03/17 Rpt enrol - Sp signed
03/18 Pres signed - to Governor
03/19 Governor signed
Session Law Chapter 96
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-fourth Legislature Second Regular Session - 1998
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 483
BY JUDICIARY, RULES AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO PUNISHMENT FOR FIRST-DEGREE MURDER; AMENDING SECTION 18-4004,
3 IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE THAT A SENTENCE OF DEATH SHALL NOT BE IMPOSED FOR
4 FIRST-DEGREE MURDER UNLESS THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY FILED WRITTEN NOTICE
5 OF INTENT TO SEEK THE DEATH PENALTY AND TO MAKE A TECHNICAL CORRECTION;
6 AMENDING CHAPTER 40, TITLE 18, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SEC-
7 TION 18-4004A, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE FOR A NOTICE OF INTENT TO SEEK THE
8 DEATH PENALTY, TO PROVIDE THE FILING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE NOTICE AND TO
9 PROVIDE FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE NOTICE; AND AMENDING SECTION 19-2515, IDAHO
10 CODE, TO PROVIDE THAT A SENTENCE OF DEATH SHALL NOT BE IMPOSED FOR A CAPI-
11 TAL OFFENSE UNLESS A NOTICE OF INTENT TO SEEK THE DEATH PENALTY WAS FILED
12 AND SERVED AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 18-4004A, IDAHO CODE.
13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
14 SECTION 1. That Section 18-4004, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
15 amended to read as follows:
16 18-4004. PUNISHMENT FOR MURDER. Subject to the provisions of sec-
17 tion 19-2515, Idaho Code, every person guilty of murder of the first
18 degree shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for life, provided that
19 a sentence of death shall not be imposed unless the prosecuting attorney
20 filed written notice of intent to seek the death penalty as required under the
21 provisions of section 18-4004A, Idaho Code, and provided further that
22 whenever the court shall impose a sentence of life imprisonment, the court
23 shall set forth in its judgment and sentence a minimum period of confinement
24 of not less than ten (10) years during which period of confinement the
25 offender shall not be eligible for parole or discharge or credit or reduction
26 of sentence for good conduct, except for meritorious service. Every person
27 guilty of murder of the second degree is punishable by imprisonment not less
28 than ten (10) years and the imprisonment may extend to life.
29 SECTION 2. That Chapter 40, Title 18, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
30 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION , to be
31 known and designated as Section 18-4004A, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
32 18-4004A. NOTICE OF INTENT TO SEEK DEATH PENALTY. A sentence of death
33 shall not be imposed unless the prosecuting attorney filed written notice of
34 intent to seek the death penalty with the court and served the notice upon the
35 defendant or his attorney of record no later than thirty (30) days after entry
36 of a plea. A notice of intent to seek the death penalty may be withdrawn at
37 any time prior to the imposition of sentence.
38 SECTION 3. That Section 19-2515, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
39 amended to read as follows:
1 19-2515. INQUIRY INTO MITIGATING OR AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES -- SENTENCE
2 IN CAPITAL CASES -- STATUTORY AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES -- JUDICIAL FINDINGS.
3 (a) After a plea or verdict of guilty the court shall convene a hearing to
4 receive evidence and argument in aggravation and mitigation of the punishment.
5 (b) Where a person is sentenced to serve a term in the penitentiary,
6 after conviction of a crime which falls within the provisions of section
7 20-223, Idaho Code, except in cases where the court retains jurisdiction, the
8 comments and arguments of the counsel for the state and the defendant relative
9 to the sentencing and the comments of the judge relative to the sentencing
10 shall be recorded. If the comments are recorded electronically, they need not
11 be transcribed. Otherwise, they shall be transcribed by the court reporter.
12 (c) Where a person is convicted of an offense which may be punishable by
13 death, a sentence of death shall not be imposed unless a notice of
14 intent to seek the death penalty was filed and served as provided in section
15 18-4004A, Idaho Code, and the court finds at least one (1) statutory
16 aggravating circumstance. Where the court finds a statutory aggravating cir-
17 cumstance the court shall sentence the defendant to death unless the court
18 finds that mitigating circumstances which may be presented are sufficiently
19 compelling that the death penalty would be unjust.
20 (d) One convicted of murder in the first degree shall be liable to impo-
21 sition of the penalty of death if such person killed, intended a killing, or
22 acted with reckless indifference to human life, irrespective of whether such
23 person directly committed the acts that caused death.
24 (e) In all cases in which the death penalty may be imposed, the court
25 shall, after conviction, order a presentence investigation to be conducted
26 according to such procedures as are prescribed by law and shall thereafter
27 convene a sentencing hearing for the purpose of hearing all relevant evidence
28 and arguments of counsel in aggravation and mitigation of the offense. At such
29 hearing, the state and the defendant shall be entitled to present all relevant
30 evidence in aggravation and mitigation. Should any party present aggravating
31 or mitigating evidence which has not previously been disclosed to the opposing
32 party or parties, the court shall, upon request, adjourn the hearing until the
33 party desiring to do so has had a reasonable opportunity to respond to such
34 evidence. Evidence admitted at trial shall be considered and need not be
35 repeated at the sentencing hearing. Evidence offered at trial but not admitted
36 may be repeated or amplified if necessary to complete the record.
37 (f) Upon the conclusion of the evidence and arguments in mitigation and
38 aggravation the court shall make written findings setting forth any statutory
39 aggravating circumstance found. Further, the court shall set forth in writing
40 any mitigating factors considered and, if the court finds that mitigating cir-
41 cumstances are sufficiently compelling that the death penalty would be unjust,
42 the court shall detail in writing its reasons for so finding.
43 (g) Upon making the prescribed findings, the court shall impose sentence
44 within the limits fixed by law.
45 (h) The following are statutory aggravating circumstances, at least one
46 (1) of which must be found to exist beyond a reasonable doubt before a sen-
47 tence of death can be imposed:
48 (1) The defendant was previously convicted of another murder.
49 (2) At the time the murder was committed the defendant also committed
50 another murder.
51 (3) The defendant knowingly created a great risk of death to many per-
53 (4) The murder was committed for remuneration or the promise of remunera-
54 tion or the defendant employed another to commit the murder for remunera-
55 tion or the promise of remuneration.
1 (5) The murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting
2 exceptional depravity.
3 (6) By the murder, or circumstances surrounding its commission, the
4 defendant exhibited utter disregard for human life.
5 (7) The murder was committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpe-
6 trate, arson, rape, robbery, burglary, kidnapping or mayhem and the
7 defendant killed, intended a killing, or acted with reckless indifference
8 to human life.
9 (8) The defendant, by prior conduct or conduct in the commission of the
10 murder at hand, has exhibited a propensity to commit murder which will
11 probably constitute a continuing threat to society.
12 (9) The murder was committed against a former or present peace officer,
13 executive officer, officer of the court, judicial officer or prosecuting
14 attorney because of the exercise of official duty.
15 (10) The murder was committed against a witness or potential witness in a
16 criminal or civil legal proceeding because of such proceeding.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation is recommended by the Legislative Council Interim Committee on the Criminal
Justice Process. The legislation provides that a sentence of death may not be imposed unless the
prosecutor files a notice of intent to seek the death penalty.
Currently, in first degree murder cases, there is no requirement for a specific notice by the
prosecutor that a sentence of death will be requested at sentencing. As a result, in many judicial districts
throughout the state, the courts are requiring that a first degree murder case be tried as a capital case
even though the prosecutor ultimately may not request consideration of the death penalty. In some
judicial districts judges will not allow the prosecutor to waive the death penalty before trial and will insist
that the matter be tried as a capital case, requiring that the defendant have two capital-qualified
attorneys and that the trial be conducted in anticipation of federal appeals and federal habeas corpus
proceedings. This results in substantially higher costs to the counties to prosecute the case and to
provide for the defense if the defendant is indigent.
This legislation requires that a notice of intent to seek the death penalty be filed by the
prosecution no later than 30 days after the defendant has entered a plea. The notice must have been
filed within this period of time or the death penalty cannot be imposed. However, the notice may be
withdrawn at any time prior to the imposition of sentence. The requirement of early notice will allow the
courts, as well as the prosecution and the defense, to know before the trial of a case whether the
additional safeguards applicable in capital cases will be necessary, resulting in cost savings to all
participants in the process.
This legislation would have no fiscal impact on the general fund.
CONTACT: Susan Mather
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE
Bill No. H 48 3