SB 447 - Under current law, the punishment for first degree murder is either life imprisonment without eligibility for parole or death.
This act repeals the punishment of the death penalty for first degree murder. In addition, this act provides that any person sentenced to death before August 28, 2015, must be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
This act creates the Death Penalty Costs Reinvestment Fund. The fund is to receive appropriations by the General Assembly in an amount equal to what was spent by the Office of the State Public Defender to represent criminal defendants sentenced to death prior to the abolishment of the death penalty as specified in the office's 2014 Fiscal Year Annual Report. Money in the fund must be used, in equal allotments, by the Department of Public Safety to provide services to victims of crime, by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for a violence prevention program, and the Division of Youth Services to provide rehabilitation programs to children committed to the division.
This act is similar to HB 420 (2015), HB 772 (2015), SB 775 (2014), SB 247 (2013), and HB 1250 (2012).