SB 157
Adds language to jury instructions regarding lesser included offenses
LR Number:
Last Action:
5/12/2017 - Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection--SB 157-Dixon, with SCS
Journal Page:
SCS SB 157
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2017

Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 157 - Under current law, the court is not be obligated to instruct the jury on an included offense unless there is a basis for a verdict acquitting the person of the offense charged and convicting the person of the included offense.

The court is obligated to instruct the jury with respect to a particular included offense only if there is a basis in the evidence for acquitting the person of the immediately higher included offense and there is a basis in the evidence for convicting the person of that particular included offense.

This act adds the word "rational" before the word "basis" in the provisions regarding when the court is and is not obligated to provide instructions on included offenses. This act states that the jury's right to disbelieve all or part of the evidence presented at trial does not itself form a rational basis for the administration of jury instructions relating to lesser included offense.

In addition, this act specifies that it is intended to abrogate certain case law and apply retroactively.

This act is similar to a provision of HCB 9 (2017) and a provision of HCS/SS/SCS/SB 663 (2016), and similar to SB 929 (2016) and HB 1990 (2016).