Bill Text: TX HB140 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Engrossed


Bill Title: Relating to the applicability of the death penalty to a capital offense committed by a person with severe mental illness.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-2)

Status: (Engrossed) 2021-05-17 - Received from the House [HB140 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB140-Engrossed.html
  87R2794 ADM-D
 
  By: Rose, Thompson of Harris, Coleman, Leach, H.B. No. 140
      Krause, et al.
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the applicability of the death penalty to a capital
  offense committed by a person with severe mental illness.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Title 1, Code of Criminal Procedure, is amended
  by adding Chapter 46D to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 46D. CAPITAL CASE: SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS
         Art. 46D.001.  DEFINITION. In this chapter, "person with
  severe mental illness" means a person who has schizophrenia, a
  schizoaffective disorder, or a bipolar disorder and, as a result of
  that disorder, has active psychotic symptoms that substantially
  impair the person's capacity to:
               (1)  appreciate the nature, consequences, or
  wrongfulness of the person's conduct; or
               (2)  exercise rational judgment in relation to the
  person's conduct.
         Art. 46D.002.  RESTRICTION ON DEATH PENALTY. A defendant
  who at the time of the commission of a capital offense was a person
  with severe mental illness may not be sentenced to death.
         Art. 46D.003.  NOTICE OF INTENT TO RAISE ISSUE OF SEVERE
  MENTAL ILLNESS. (a) A defendant planning to offer evidence that
  the defendant was a person with severe mental illness at the time of
  the commission of the alleged offense must file with the court a
  notice of the defendant's intention to offer that evidence.
         (b)  The notice must:
               (1)  contain a certification that a copy of the notice
  has been served on the attorney representing the state; and
               (2)  be filed not later than the 30th day before the
  date the case is set for trial.
         Art. 46D.004.  EFFECT OF FAILURE TO GIVE NOTICE. Unless
  notice is timely filed under Article 46D.003, evidence that the
  defendant was a person with severe mental illness at the time of the
  commission of the alleged offense is not admissible at the guilt or
  innocence stage unless the court finds that good cause exists for
  failure to give notice.
         Art. 46D.005.  DETERMINATION OF ISSUE BY JURY. (a) The issue
  of whether the defendant was a person with severe mental illness at
  the time of the commission of the alleged offense shall be submitted
  to the jury only if the issue is supported by evidence. The jury
  shall determine the issue and must return a special verdict on the
  issue that is separate from the jury's verdict on the issue of guilt
  or innocence.
         (b)  The defendant must prove by clear and convincing
  evidence that the defendant was a person with severe mental illness
  at the time of the commission of the alleged offense.
         Art. 46D.006.  APPOINTMENT OF DISINTERESTED EXPERT. (a) On
  the request of either party or on the judge's own motion, the judge
  shall appoint a disinterested expert experienced and qualified in
  the field of diagnosing mental illness to examine the defendant and
  determine whether the defendant is a person with severe mental
  illness.
         (b)  The judge may, after giving notice to the defendant,
  order the defendant to submit to an examination by an expert
  appointed under this article.
         (c)  An examination described by this article:
               (1)  must be narrowly tailored to determine whether the
  defendant has the specific disorder claimed; and
               (2)  may not include an assessment of the risk of danger
  the defendant may pose to any person.
         (d)  An expert appointed under this article must provide the
  defendant's attorney and the attorney representing the state with
  all notes and data from the examination.
         (e)  A statement made by the defendant in an examination
  under this article may not be admitted into evidence during the
  trial of the offense.
         Art. 46D.007.  EFFECT OF DETERMINATION.  (a) If the jury
  determines that the defendant was a person with severe mental
  illness at the time of the commission of an alleged capital offense,
  and the defendant is convicted of that offense, Article 37.071 does
  not apply to the defendant, and the judge shall sentence the
  defendant to imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal
  Justice for life without parole.
         (b)  If the jury determines that the defendant was not a
  person with severe mental illness at the time of the commission of
  an alleged capital offense and the defendant is convicted of that
  offense, the judge shall conduct a sentencing proceeding in
  accordance with Article 37.071.  Evidence of a mental disability of
  the defendant may be presented during that proceeding to the extent
  permitted by Article 37.071.
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 46D, Code of Criminal Procedure, as
  added by this Act, applies only to a trial that commences on or
  after the effective date of this Act, regardless of whether the
  alleged offense was committed before, on, or after that date.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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