Important pieces of death penalty legislation that have recently passed or are currenty being considered. (DPIC welcomes additions and suggestions.)
- Research on the Death Penalty - A collection of research on capital punishment, sorted by issue.
- Death Penalty in Flux - Where executions are on hold
- Lethal Injection
- Death Penalty for Offenses Other Than Murder
- Other Sources
1. HB 216, SB 194- to streamline appeals (Fair Justice Act)
2. HB 218, SB 193- to allow the death penalty for murder at a school or daycare center
3. SB 244-Eliminate judges power to override a jury's recommendation for a life sentence.
4. HB 379 -Mandate secrecy for lethal injection process
Session begins Jan. 14. Both 1 & 2 passed House and Senate Judiciary Com.
4. Passed House Judiciary. Passed House (77-19). Amended in Sen. to allow disclosure to judge. DEFEATED in Senate, Apr. 3.
1. Bill proposed to expand list of aggravating factors, including causing death when smuggling
2. SCR 1002-Bill to amend constitution, repealing the death penalty
|1. Passed in House Judiciary Com. (7-1). Passed House 35-24. Passed Senate 19-9. VETOED BY GOVERNOR.|
|District Attorneys have proposed a ballot initiative for 2014 that would curtail the appeals process||
Financial impact being studied; sponsors would have to gather over 800,000 signatures to place on ballot.
Lacking sufficient signatures, the measure has been moved to a possible referendum in 2016.
1. SB 69 would limit death penalty appeals
2. HB 1197 would limit Gov.'s power to grant clemency.
1.Defeated in committee.
|Delaware||SB 19: Repeal bill carried over from 2013||The bill stalled in committee on a 6-5 vote. No further action taken in 2014.|
1.HB 4011 would repeal death penalty
2. Compensation for exonerated inmate Jamers Richardson
|2. PASSED legislature in early May.|
|Georgia||Awaiting GA Sup Ct ruling on secrecy of lethal injection|
1. SB 126 would repeal the death penalty
|2. Passed Senate Judiciary Com. Senate gave preliminary approval Feb. 11. Bill likely Defeated near end of session.|
|Kentucky||Bills introduced to repeal death penalty|
1.HB 71 would accelerate appeals
2. HB 328 would reinstate executions by electrocution and would prevent disclosure of lethal injection drug sources
3. HB 278 allow death sentence for murder of a prison worker
1. Bill withdrawn for more study.
2. Sponsor withdrew the bill
3. Passed out of committee. Passed House 73-19.
1. Following repeal in 2013, proposed budget would include $500,000 to help murder victims' families
2. Bill to reinstate the death penalty for murder of a corrections officer
1. PASSED legislature; made part of budget.
2. Defeated in committee 13-8.
1. Bill to impose a moratorium on executions
2. Bill to adopt the firing squad for executions
3. Bill to make lethal injection information more public
4. HB 644, SB 247 to repeal death penalty
5. Bill to allow Dept. of Corrections to select method of execution
6. HB 1855 would require faster setting of execution dates
|4. Referred to committee.|
|Nebraska||Repeal bill likely||Short session; bill may not be promoted this year|
1. HB 1170-Repeal bill - for future offenses
2. Repeal measure made part of another bill (SB 202) in the House on May 12.
1.House hearings in Crim. Justice & Pub. Safety Com. Jan. 16. Vote week of Feb. 10. Passed House Crim. Justice Com. Feb. 11 (14-3). Passed House of Rep. on Mar. 12 (225-104).
Hearings in Senate Judic. Com., Apr. 3. Committee voted 2-2, meaning bill will be sent to the Senate, but without a recommendation of passage. Vote likely Apr. 17. On Apr. 10, senator who was absent from committee vote voted for repeal, meaning that repeal was passed 3-2.
DEFEATED in a 12-12 Senate vote on April 17. Motion to kill the bill also defeated 12-12. Bill was tabled; could be brought up again if 13 senators approved.
2. Amendment repealing the death penalty passed in House, sent to Senate with a vote of 226-110. Senate can accept the amended bill, reject it, or call for a conference committee.
|North Carolina||SB 594 would bring state's determination of intellecutual disability in line with 2014 Supreme Ct. ruling (Hall v. Fl.)|
1. Moratorium on executions
2. Require governor and prisons' chief to be present for executions
3. HB 385 Repeal bill (introduced in Dec. 2013)
4. HB 663 to forbid disclosing the identity of the compounding pharmacy or pharmacists preparing lethal injection drugs; may also grant immunity from disciplinary action to medical personnel who participate in executions.
|4. Likely to be voted on in the lame duck session at the end of 2014.|
|Oklahoma||A bill to allow the state to use nitrous gas in executions was introduced in Sept.|
|South Dakota||Repeal bill introduced by Rep. Steve Hickey||Defeated in Committee 7-6 (Feb. 20)|
|Tennessee||HB 2476, SB 2580 would mandate the electric chair if lethal injection is unavailable.||House committe passed bill. Senate passed bill 23-3. House PASSED its bill on April 16 by 68-13. Warden would have to obtain permission from the governor to use the electric chair. The governor signed the bill on May 22, 2014.|
|Utah||Bill to allow executions by firing squad if lelthal injection drugs are unavailable||Passed in committee 9-2 (Nov. 2014). Likely to face final vote in Jan. 2015.|
1. HB 1052-Bill to establish electric chair as the method of execution if lethal injection drugs can not be found
2. Bill to eliminate any use of the electric chair in VA
|1. Passed House (64-32) on Jan. 22. Moves to Senate. DEFEATED in Senate (tie). On Feb. 6, on consideration of House bill, returned to committee (21-19), likely ending the bill.|
|Washington||Repeal bill SB 1504 from last session likely to be again on the agenda|
|West Virginia||HB 2595 would reinstate death penalty|
1. Bill to establish firing squad as method of execution if drugs for lethal injection can't be found
2. HB 134 to repeal death penalty
1. DEFEATED in Senate. May be considered in 2015.
|Federal||Carry over bill from 2013 to repeal federal death penalty|
|Colorado||Maryland||North Dakota||West Virginia|
For information on legislative changes proposed or enacted as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Ring v. Arizona, see DPIC's Web page, U.S. Supreme Court: Ring v. Arizona