SB 1081 Provides a procedure by which a defendant may be found ineligible for the death penalty due to serious mental illness
Sponsor: Rizzo
LR Number: 6685S.01I Fiscal Notes
Committee: General Laws
Last Action: 4/11/2018 - Hearing Conducted S General Laws Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2018

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Current Bill Summary


SB 1081 - This act provides procedures and standards by which a defendant may be found to be not eligible for the death penalty due to a serious mental illness if such illness was present at the time of the commission of the offense. A diagnosis of such serious mental illness may be made at any time prior to, on, or after the day of the commission of the offense and a defendant may raise the issue of a serious mental illness at any time to exclude him or her from eligibility for the sentence of death.

If the defense raises the matter of the defendant's serious mental illness the court shall order an evaluation. Any information taken from such evaluation shall be protected and the evaluator shall not be called as a witness against the defendant, unless the defense first presents such information at a hearing.

This act provides that if a defendant raises the matter of his or her serious mental illness and the state contests the application, the defense shall be entitled to a pretrial hearing and determination on eligibility. Such a motion shall have a rebuttable presumption that the condition significantly impaired the person's capacity at the time of the commission of the offense.

A person's pleading of not guilty due to mental disease or defect or incapacity to stand trial, or a finding after such a plea that the person does not suffer from mental disease or defect or has capacity to stand trial, shall not preclude such person from any of the procedures provided by this act.

This act is identical to HB 2509 (2018).

MIKE WEAVER