Summary as introduced:
Death penalty; mental retardation. Establishes procedures for determining whether a defendant in a capital case is mentally retarded and may not be sentenced to death. In June the United States Supreme Court in Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S.___ (2002) held that the execution of a mentally retarded person is cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. This bill defines mental retardation, sets procedures for determining whether a defendant meets the definition and provides for the appointment of expert evaluators. When mental retardation is at issue, a determination will be made by the jury (or judge in bench trials) as part of the sentencing proceeding. The defendant bears the burden of proving mental retardation by a preponderance of the evidence. The bill establishes a procedure for defendants sentenced to death prior to the effective date of the bill to raise the issue of mental retardation. This bill was drafted by a subcommittee of the Crime Commission and is a recommendation of the Commission.
01/08/03 Senate: Presented & ordered printed, prefiled 01/08/03 031744228 pdf | impact statement
01/08/03 Senate: Presented & ordered printed, prefiled 01/08/03 031744228
01/08/03 Senate: Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/15/03 Senate: Assigned to C. J. sub-committee: 1
01/22/03 Senate: Incorporated by C. J. (SB1239-Norment) (14-Y 0-N)