House Committee Combines Two Death Penalty Related Bills

This week, the House Special Committee on Criminal Justice took action on two bills. The first was HB 1925, sponsored by Rep. Shamed Dogan, (R-Ballwin). It states that when a jury cannot agree on a death sentence, the judge can only give a life without parole sentence; currently the judge could impose a death sentence if the jury is hung.

The second piece of legislation is HB 1756, sponsored by Rep. Tom Hannegan (R-St. Charles). This bill establishes procedures for proving that a person charged with first-degree murder should not be eligible for the death penalty because he or she suffered from a serious mental illness at the time he or she committed the crime. The bill defines the specific types of mental illnesses exempted from the death penalty.

The committee voted to put the two bills together in a substitute bill, noting that since both bills deal with the death penalty, it made sense to combine them. The committee then voted 5-2 to pass the bills. The bills now go to the Administrative Oversight Committee for further review.

March 13, 2020 - 2:06pm

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