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928Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 20020123Primary Sponsor: KuhnAll Sponsors: KuhnDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\ggs\22260cm02.docResiding Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Judiciary Committee 11 SJSubject: Life imprisonment means until death of defendant without possibility of parole; judge to charge jury in instructions upon request in death penalty trialsHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 20020123 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to Committee Versions of This Bill
TO AMEND SECTION 16-3-20, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE PROCEEDINGS OF A DEATH PENALTY TRIAL, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT, IF REQUESTED BY THE STATE OR THE DEFENDANT, THE JUDGE MUST CHARGE THE JURY IN HIS INSTRUCTIONS THAT LIFE IMPRISONMENT MEANS UNTIL THE DEATH OF THE DEFENDANT WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 16-3-20(A) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 83 of 1995, is further amended to read:
"(A) A person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to murder must be punished by death, by imprisonment for life, or by a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for thirty years. If the State seeks the death penalty and a statutory aggravating circumstance is found beyond a reasonable doubt pursuant to subsections (B) and (C), and a recommendation of death is not made, the trial judge must impose a sentence of life imprisonment. For purposes of this section, 'life imprisonment' means until death of the offender without the possibility of parole, and when requested by the State or the defendant, the judge must charge the jury in his instructions that life imprisonment means until the death of the defendant without the possibility of parole. No person sentenced to life imprisonment pursuant to this section is eligible for parole, community supervision, or any early release program, nor is the person eligible to receive any work credits, education credits, good conduct credits, or any other credits that would reduce the mandatory life imprisonment required by this section. No person sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for thirty years pursuant to this section is eligible for parole or any early release program, nor is the person eligible to receive any work credits, education credits, good conduct credits, or any other credits that would reduce the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for thirty years required by this section. Under no circumstances may a female who is pregnant be executed so long as she is pregnant or for a period of at least nine months after she is no longer pregnant. When the Governor commutes a sentence of death to life imprisonment under the provisions of Section 14 of Article IV of the Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, the commutee is not eligible for parole, community supervision, or any early release program, nor is the person eligible to receive any work credits, good conduct credits, education credits, or any other credits that would reduce the mandatory imprisonment required by this subsection."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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