46.3514 Evidence to be considered in 1st degree murder cases.

Print This

(a) In cases of 1st degree murder, the judge or jury may impose the death penalty only if one or more of the statutory aggravating circumstances is proven. There is no mandatory death penalty.

(b) One or more of the statutory aggravating circumstances must be proved to impose the death penalty. In these cases the judge or jury must consider in determining the defendant’s sentence any mitigating circumstances before the death penalty may be imposed.

(c) When 1 or more of the statutory aggravating circumstances is proved, the, judge or jury must decide whether the mitigating circumstances outweigh the aggravating circumstances.

(d) Statutory aggravating circumstances are limited to:

(1) the defendant previously has been convicted of 1st or 2nd degree murder;

(2) at the time of the murder, the defendant committed another murder;

(3) the defendant created a grave risk of death to many persons;

(4) the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, involving torture or other depravity;

(5) the murder was purposely committed for pecuniary gain for the defendant or another person.

(e) Statutory mitigating circumstances include:

(1) the defendant has no significant history of prior felony convictions within the last 10 years;

(2) the murder was committed while the defendant was under the influence of mental or emotional disturbance;

(3) the victim was a participant in or consented to the murder;

(4) the defendant was an accomplice in a murder and his role in the murder was relatively minor;

(5) the defendant acted under duress or under the domination of another person;

(6) the capacity of the defendant to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform to the law was substantially impaired;

(7) the defendant believed the conduct of the victim provided moral justification for the murder;

(8) the defendant was of a young age at the time of the murder;

(9) any other factors the defendant desires to be considered in imposition of sentence.

History: 1979, PL 16-43 § 2.