Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1100 – Sentencing, capital case
SENATE BILL NO. 1100
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S1100................................................by JUDICIARY AND RULES
SENTENCING - Amends existing law relating to sentencing in capital cases to
revise language applicable to statutory aggravating circumstances related
to a defendant's conduct.
02/08 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/09 Rpt prt - to Jud
02/24 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/25 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/28 3rd rdg - PASSED - 34-0-1
AYES -- Andreason, Brandt, Broadsword, Bunderson, Burkett,
Burtenshaw, Cameron, Coiner, Compton, Corder, Darrington, Davis,
Gannon, Geddes, Goedde, Hill, Jorgenson, Kelly, Keough, Langhorst,
Little, Lodge, Malepeai, Marley, McGee, McKenzie, Pearce, Richardson,
Schroeder, Stegner, Stennett, Sweet, Werk, Williams
NAYS -- None
Absent and excused -- Noble
Floor Sponsor - Darrington
Title apvd - to House
03/01 House intro - 1st rdg - to Jud
03/08 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/09 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/15 3rd rdg - PASSED - 67-0-3
AYES -- Anderson, Andrus, Barraclough, Barrett, Bastian, Bayer,
Bedke, Bell, Bilbao, Black, Block, Boe, Bolz, Bradford, Cannon,
Chadderdon, Clark, Collins, Deal, Denney, Edmunson, Ellsworth,
Eskridge, Field(18), Field(23), Garrett, Hart(Jacobson), Harwood,
Henbest, Henderson, Jaquet, Jones, Kemp, Lake, LeFavour, Loertscher,
Martinez, Mathews, McGeachin, McKague, Miller, Mitchell, Nielsen,
Nonini, Pasley-Stuart, Pence, Raybould, Ring, Ringo, Roberts, Rusche,
Rydalch, Sali, Sayler, Shepherd(2), Shepherd(8), Shirley, Skippen,
Smith(30), Smith(24), Smylie, Snodgrass, Stevenson, Trail, Wills,
Wood, Mr. Speaker
NAYS -- None
Absent and excused -- Crow, Moyle, Schaefer
Floor Sponsor - Wills
Title apvd - to Senate
03/16 To enrol
03/17 Rpt enrol - Pres signed
03/18 Sp signed
03/21 To Governor
03/25 Governor signed
Session Law Chapter 152
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-eighth Legislature First Regular Session - 2005
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1100
BY JUDICIARY AND RULES COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO SENTENCING IN CAPITAL CASES; AMENDING SECTION 19-2515, IDAHO CODE,
3 TO REVISE LANGUAGE APPLICABLE TO STATUTORY AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES
4 RELATED TO A DEFENDANT'S CONDUCT.
5 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
6 SECTION 1. That Section 19-2515, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
7 amended to read as follows:
8 19-2515. SENTENCE IN CAPITAL CASES -- SPECIAL SENTENCING PROCEEDING --
9 STATUTORY AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCES -- SPECIAL VERDICT OR WRITTEN FINDINGS.
10 (1) Except as provided in section 19-2515A, Idaho Code, a person convicted of
11 murder in the first degree shall be liable for the imposition of the penalty
12 of death if such person killed, intended a killing, or acted with reckless
13 indifference to human life, irrespective of whether such person directly com-
14 mitted the acts that caused death.
15 (2) Where a person is sentenced to serve a term in the penitentiary,
16 after conviction of a crime which falls within the provisions of section
17 20-223, Idaho Code, except in cases where the court retains jurisdiction, the
18 comments and arguments of the counsel for the state and the defendant relative
19 to the sentencing and the comments of the judge relative to the sentencing
20 shall be recorded. If the comments are recorded electronically, they need not
21 be transcribed. Otherwise, they shall be transcribed by the court reporter.
22 (3) Where a person is convicted of an offense which may be punishable by
23 death, a sentence of death shall not be imposed unless:
24 (a) A notice of intent to seek the death penalty was filed and served as
25 provided in section 18-4004A, Idaho Code; and
26 (b) The jury, or the court if a jury is waived, finds beyond a reasonable
27 doubt at least one (1) statutory aggravating circumstance. Where a statu-
28 tory aggravating circumstance is found, the defendant shall be sentenced
29 to death unless mitigating circumstances which may be presented are found
30 to be sufficiently compelling that the death penalty would be unjust. The
31 jury shall not direct imposition of a sentence of death unless it unani-
32 mously finds at least one (1) statutory aggravating circumstance and unan-
33 imously determines that the penalty of death should be imposed.
34 (4) Notwithstanding any court rule to the contrary, when a defendant is
35 adjudicated guilty of murder in the first degree, whether by acceptance of a
36 plea of guilty, by verdict of a jury, or by decision of the trial court sit-
37 ting without a jury, no presentence investigation shall be conducted; provided
38 however, that if a special sentencing proceeding is not held or if a special
39 sentencing proceeding is held but no statutory aggravating circumstance has
40 been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the court may order that a presentence
41 investigation be conducted.
42 (5) (a) If a person is adjudicated guilty of murder in the first degree,
43 whether by acceptance of a plea of guilty, by verdict of a jury, or by
1 decision of the trial court sitting without a jury, and a notice of intent
2 to seek the death penalty was filed and served as provided in section
3 18-4004A, Idaho Code, a special sentencing proceeding shall be held
4 promptly for the purpose of hearing all relevant evidence and arguments of
5 counsel in aggravation and mitigation of the offense. Information concern-
6 ing the victim and the impact that the death of the victim has had on the
7 victim's family is relevant and admissible. Such information shall be
8 designed to demonstrate the victim's uniqueness as an individual human
9 being and the resultant loss to the community by the victim's death.
10 Characterizations and opinions about the crime, the defendant and the
11 appropriate sentence shall not be permitted as part of any victim impact
12 information. The special sentencing proceeding shall be conducted before a
13 jury unless a jury is waived by the defendant with the consent of the
14 prosecuting attorney.
15 (b) If the defendant's guilt was determined by a jury verdict, the same
16 jury shall hear the special sentencing proceeding; provided however, that
17 if it is impracticable to reconvene the same jury to hear the special sen-
18 tencing proceeding due to an insufficient number of jurors, the trial
19 court may dismiss that jury and convene a new jury of twelve (12) persons,
20 plus alternate jurors as the trial court deems necessary pursuant to sec-
21 tion 19-1904, Idaho Code.
22 (c) If the defendant's guilt was determined by a plea of guilty or by a
23 decision of the trial court sitting without a jury, or if a retrial of the
24 special sentencing proceeding is necessary for any reason including, but
25 not limited to, a mistrial in a previous special sentencing proceeding or
26 as a consequence of a remand from an appellate court, the trial court
27 shall impanel a jury of twelve (12) persons, plus alternate jurors as the
28 trial court deems necessary pursuant to section 19-1904, Idaho Code,
29 unless such jury is waived.
30 (d) If a special sentencing proceeding is conducted before a newly impan-
31 eled jury pursuant to the provisions of subsection (5)(b) or (5)(c) of
32 this section, the state and the defense may present evidence to inform the
33 jury of the nature and circumstances of the murder for which the defendant
34 was convicted. The newly impaneled jury shall be instructed that the
35 defendant has previously been found guilty of first-degree murder and that
36 the jury's purpose is limited to making findings relevant for sentencing.
37 (6) At the special sentencing proceeding, the state and the defendant
38 shall be entitled to present all relevant evidence in aggravation and mitiga-
39 tion. Disclosure of evidence to be relied on in the sentencing proceeding
40 shall be made in accordance with Idaho criminal rule 16. Evidence admitted at
41 trial shall be considered and need not be repeated at the sentencing hearing.
42 (7) The jury shall be informed as follows:
43 (a) If the jury finds that a statutory aggravating circumstance exists
44 and no mitigating circumstances exist which would make the imposition of
45 the death penalty unjust, the defendant will be sentenced to death by the
47 (b) If the jury finds the existence of a statutory aggravating circum-
48 stance but finds that the existence of mitigating circumstances makes the
49 imposition of the death penalty unjust or the jury cannot unanimously
50 agree on whether the existence of mitigating circumstances makes the impo-
51 sition of the death penalty unjust, the defendant will be sentenced to a
52 term of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole; and
53 (c) If the jury does not find the existence of a statutory aggravating
54 circumstance or if the jury cannot unanimously agree on the existence of a
55 statutory aggravating circumstance, the defendant will be sentenced by the
1 court to a term of life imprisonment with a fixed term of not less than
2 ten (10) years.
3 (8) Upon the conclusion of the evidence and arguments in mitigation and
5 (a) With regard to each statutory aggravating circumstance alleged by the
6 state, the jury shall return a special verdict stating:
7 (i) Whether the statutory aggravating circumstance has been proven
8 beyond a reasonable doubt; and
9 (ii) If the statutory aggravating circumstance has been proven
10 beyond a reasonable doubt, whether all mitigating circumstances, when
11 weighed against the aggravating circumstance, are sufficiently com-
12 pelling that the death penalty would be unjust.
13 (b) If a jury has been waived, the court shall:
14 (i) Make written findings setting forth any statutory aggravating
15 circumstance found beyond a reasonable doubt;
16 (ii) Set forth in writing any mitigating circumstances considered;
18 (iii) Upon weighing all mitigating circumstances against each statu-
19 tory aggravating circumstance separately, determine whether mitigat-
20 ing circumstances are found to be sufficiently compelling that the
21 death penalty would be unjust and detail in writing its reasons for
22 so finding.
23 (9) The following are statutory aggravating circumstances, at least one
24 (1) of which must be found to exist beyond a reasonable doubt before a sen-
25 tence of death can be imposed:
26 (a) The defendant was previously convicted of another murder.
27 (b) At the time the murder was committed the defendant also committed
28 another murder.
29 (c) The defendant knowingly created a great risk of death to many per-
31 (d) The murder was committed for remuneration or the promise of remunera-
32 tion or the defendant employed another to commit the murder for remunera-
33 tion or the promise of remuneration.
34 (e) The murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, manifesting
35 exceptional depravity.
36 (f) By the murder, or circumstances surrounding its commission, the
37 defendant exhibited utter disregard for human life.
38 (g) The murder was committed in the perpetration of, or attempt to perpe-
39 trate, arson, rape, robbery, burglary, kidnapping or mayhem and the
40 defendant killed, intended a killing, or acted with reckless indifference
41 to human life.
42 (h) The defendant, by prior his conduct, or whether such conduct in was
43 before, during or after the commission of the murder at hand, has exhib-
44 ited a propensity to commit murder which will probably constitute a con-
45 tinuing threat to society.
46 (i) The murder was committed against a former or present peace officer,
47 executive officer, officer of the court, judicial officer or prosecuting
48 attorney because of the exercise of official duty or because of the
49 victim's former or present official status.
50 (j) The murder was committed against a witness or potential witness in a
51 criminal or civil legal proceeding because of such proceeding.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation clarifies an aggravating circumstance in the
death penalty statute, Idaho Code 19-2515(9)(h). The amendment
ensures that the jury will be allowed to consider all relevant
information about the defendant at the sentencing phase where the
jury has to assess the murderer's continuing threat to society.
Under the current language, a defendant could argue that the
statute only allows the jury to hear about the defendant's
conduct "prior" to, or during the murder, but not about his
conduct after the murder. The prosecution disagrees with that
interpretation, and believes the legislative intent was to make
available all information about the defendant's conduct relevant
to his "propensity to commit murder which will probably
constitute a continuing threat to society" I.C. 19-2515(9)(h).
This modification clarifies that issue.
Conduct after the murder is especially important in cases
involving multiple murders or other acts, good or bad, committed
after the murder at hand. This change makes certain that the jury
hears all relevant information about the defendant at sentencing,
including the defendant's conduct before, during and after the
There is no anticipated fiscal impact.
Name: Roger Bourne, Ada County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1100