- Committee -

SCS/SB 1047 - This act excludes mentally retarded individuals convicted of murder in the first degree from receiving the death penalty, and establishes the procedure for a hearing to determine mental retardation if so alleged. The act allows a judge or jury to determine the issue of mental retardation by a preponderance of the evidence during the sentencing phase of the capital case, unless the parties agree to pretrial determination of the issue. If a pretrial determination is detrimental to the defendant, the parties may still present the issue during the sentencing stage of the trial.