Samples of Recently Enacted Capital Punishment Legislation

Posted August 12, 2010


Alabama

HB 146 (2009)
This bill would allow an individual who has been convicted of a capital offense, whether that individual is serving a term of imprisonment or awaiting execution for a capital offense, to file a motion to obtain forensic DNA testing on evidence that was secured in relation to the trial which resulted in his or her conviction which would be conclusively probative to the individual's guilt or innocence of the capital offense.

HB 297 (2009)
This bill deals with persons who may be present at an execution. It allows up to eight members of the immediate family of a victim, up to eight relatives or friends of the condemned person, the district attorney from the judicial circuit where the condemned person was prosecuted, and one officer from the arresting branch of law enforcement that arrested the condemned person for the capital offense to be present at the execution of the condemned person.

Arkansas

HB 1706 (2009)
Clarifies lethal injection procedures. Includes more modern chemicals in the list of acceptable substances that can be used for lethal injections.

Florida

SB 704 (2010)
Provides that it is an aggravating circumstance for the purpose of determining sentence if a capital felony was committed by a person subject to an injunction or protection order against the petitioner who obtained that injunction or order or any of certain related persons.

Georgia

HB 323 (2010)
Extends the period of review for the Supreme Court's consideration of applications for pretrial proceedings in cases in which the death penalty is sought; to clarify provisions relating to the assistant to the Supreme Court; to provide for related matters; to provide for an effective date and applicability; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

SB 13 (2009)
Provides for the imposition of life without parole of persons convicted of murder independently of a death penalty prosecution.

Louisiana

SB 774 (2010)
This bill makes it so the defendant shall be informed, both in writing and orally, of the right to waive appeal upon appointment of appellate counsel for capital punishment cases.

SB 544 (2010)
This bill makes it so the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act shall not apply to the procedures and policies concerning the process for implementing a sentence of death.

New Mexico

SB 285 (2009)
Abolishes the death penalty in New Mexico. When a defendant has been convicted of a capital felony, the defendant shall be sentenced to life imprisonment or life imprisonment without possibility of release or parole.

North Carolina

SB 461 (2009)
Racial Justice Act. No person shall be subject to or given a sentence of death or shall be executed pursuant to any judgment that was sought or obtained on the basis of race. A finding that race was the basis of the decision to seek or impose a death sentence may be established if the court finds that race was a significant factor in decisions to seek or impose the sentence of death in the county, the prosecutorial district, the judicial division, or the State at the time the death sentence was sought or imposed.

Virginia

HB 166 (2010)
Adds fire marshals and deputy and assistant fire marshals with law-enforcement powers to the capital murder statute so that the death sentence can be imposed for their murder when such killing is for the purpose of interfering with the performance of their official duties.

HB 934 (2010)
Adds auxiliary police officers and auxiliary deputy sheriffs to the capital murder statute so that the death sentence can be imposed for their murder.