SB 1167 Limits bifurcated trials to Class A and B felonies
LR Number:4288S.01I Fiscal Note:4288-01
Committee:Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence
Last Action:02/16/04 - Hearing Conducted S Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Journal page:
Jurisprudence Committee
Effective Date:August 28, 2004
Full Bill Text | All Actions | Available Summaries | Senate Home Page | List of 2004 Senate Bills
Current Bill Summary

SB 1167 - This act limits the bifurcation of a trial to Class A or Class B felonies. If the jury in the first stage finds the defendant guilty of a Class A or B felony, the issue in the second stage is the assessment of punishment for each crime the defendant is found guilty of in the first stage.

This act requires that discovery as to evidence that may be presented in the second stage shall be completed prior to beginning of the first stage of the trial. The state will be the first to proceed in the second stage. The attorney must argue the issue of punishment to the jury within the range of punishment authorized by statute for each offense and may argue recommended sentence options and the factors to consider for each offense. For each offense, the court shall instruct the jury as to the range of punishment, recommended sentence options, and factors to consider when sentencing, if the defendant submits a correct instruction containing such information to the court.

Under this act, the jury shall assess and decide the punishment during the second stage for each crime the jury found the defendant guilty of in the first stage.

The second stage of the trial shall not proceed and the court shall assess punishment instead of the jury unless the defendant requests in writing within 30 days following arraignment that the jury assess punishment. Also, a second stage shall not proceed and the court shall assess punishment instead of the jury, if the defendant requests in writing that the court assess the punishment before the second stage, the state pleads and proves the defendant is a prior, persistent, dangerous or persistent misdemeanor offender, or the defendant is not found guilty of a Class A or B felony.