HB 661 - Deadlocked jury; death or life imprisonment; judge render verdict

Georgia House of Representatives - 1995/1996 Sessions

HB 661 - Deadlocked jury; death or life imprisonment; judge render verdict

Page Numbers - 1/ 2
Code Sections - 17-10-31
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1. Klein  39th            2. Grindley  35th

House Comm: SJudy / Senate Comm: / House Vote: Yeas Nays Senate Vote: Yeas Nays ---------------------------------------- House Action Senate ---------------------------------------- 2/9/95 Read 1st Time 2/10/95 Read 2nd Time ---------------------------------------- Code Sections amended:
HB 661 LC 9 8213 A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT 1- 1 To amend Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 17 of the Official 1- 2 Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to the death penalty 1- 3 generally, so as to provide for the imposition of a sentence 1- 4 of life imprisonment or death by the trial judge when the 1- 5 sentencing jury has found the existence of at least one 1- 6 statutory aggravating circumstance but is unable to render a 1- 7 sentencing verdict; to provide for procedures and 1- 8 requirements; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other 1- 9 purposes. 1-10 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1. 1-11 Article 2 of Chapter 10 of Title 17 of the Official Code of 1-12 Georgia Annotated, relating to the death penalty generally, 1-13 is amended by striking Code Section 17-10-31, relating to 1-14 the requirement of a jury finding of an aggravating 1-15 circumstance and recommendation that the death penalty be 1-16 imposed prior to imposition of a death sentence, and 1-17 inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 17-10-31 to 1-18 read as follows: 1-19 "17-10-31. (Index) 1-20 (a) Where, upon a trial by jury, a person is convicted of 1-21 an offense which may be punishable by death, a sentence of 1-22 death shall not be imposed unless the jury verdict 1-23 includes a finding of at least one statutory aggravating 1-24 circumstance and a recommendation that such sentence be 1-25 imposed. Where a statutory aggravating circumstance is 1-26 found and a recommendation of death is made, the court 1-27 shall sentence the defendant to death. Where a sentence 1-28 of death is not recommended by the jury, the court shall 1-29 sentence the defendant to imprisonment as provided by law. 1-30 Unless the jury trying the case makes a finding of at 1-31 least one statutory aggravating circumstance and 1-32 recommends the death sentence in its verdict, the court 1-33 shall not sentence the defendant to death, provided that -1- (Index) LC 9 8213 2- 1 no such finding of statutory aggravating circumstance 2- 2 shall be necessary in offenses of treason or aircraft 2- 3 hijacking. This Code section shall not affect a sentence 2- 4 when the case is tried without a jury or when the judge 2- 5 accepts a plea of guilty. 2- 6 (b) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in 2- 7 subsection (a) of this Code section, effective with 2- 8 respect to offenses occurring after July 1, 1995, if a 2- 9 person is convicted of an offense which may be punishable 2-10 by death and the jury makes a finding of at least one 2-11 statutory aggravating circumstance but is unable to agree 2-12 on a verdict as to a sentence of life imprisonment or 2-13 death and the judge has determined that the jury is 2-14 deadlocked, then the trial court shall inquire as to the 2-15 numerical division of the jury and shall impose sentence 2-16 based on this numerical division as follows: 2-17 (1) If the trial judge determines that even though the 2-18 jury has found the existence of at least one statutory 2-19 aggravating circumstance, the jury is deadlocked as to 2-20 the sentence to be imposed, and the jury is divided as 2-21 to sentence with less than ten jurors being in favor of 2-22 imposing a sentence of death, the trial judge shall 2-23 impose a life sentence; 2-24 (2) If the trial judge determines that even though the 2-25 jury has found the existence of at least one statutory 2-26 aggravating circumstance, the jury is deadlocked as to 2-27 the sentence to be imposed, and if ten out of 12 of the 2-28 jurors are in favor of imposing the death sentence, the 2-29 trial judge shall then, in the judge's discretion, 2-30 sentence the person to life imprisonment or death 2-31 relying upon the same evidence as previously submitted 2-32 to the jury; or 2-33 (3) If the trial judge determines that even though the 2-34 jury has found the existence of at least one statutory 2-35 aggravating circumstance, the jury is deadlocked as to 2-36 the sentence to be imposed, and if 11 out of 12 of the 2-37 jurors are in favor of imposing the death sentence, the 2-38 trial judge shall then sentence the person to death." SECTION 2. 2-39 All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 2-40 repealed. -2- (Index)

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