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[Introduced][Status][Bill Documents][Fiscal Note][Bills Directory]

S.B. 85 Enrolled

             1     

HOMICIDE AMENDMENTS

             2     
2009 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Stephen H. Urquhart

             5     
House Sponsor: Don L. Ipson

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies the Criminal Code regarding homicide offenses and the related
             10      provisions for affirmative defense and special mitigation.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    removes the statutory defense of extreme emotional distress from the aggravated
             14      murder and murder statutes, and places it instead in the special mitigation statute,
             15      where extreme emotional distress may reduce the level of a homicide offense.
             16      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             17          None
             18      Other Special Clauses:
             19          None
             20      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             21      AMENDS:
             22          76-5-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 12
             23          76-5-203, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapters 12 and 296
             24          76-5-205.5, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1999, Chapter 2
             25          77-14-4, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1999, Chapter 2
             26          77-16a-102, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2002, Chapter 61
             27          77-16a-301, as last amended by Laws of Utah 1999, Chapter 2
             28     
             29      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:


             30          Section 1. Section 76-5-202 is amended to read:
             31           76-5-202. Aggravated murder.
             32          (1) Criminal homicide constitutes aggravated murder if the actor intentionally or
             33      knowingly causes the death of another under any of the following circumstances:
             34          (a) the homicide was committed by a person who is confined in a jail or other
             35      correctional institution;
             36          (b) the homicide was committed incident to one act, scheme, course of conduct, or
             37      criminal episode during which two or more persons were killed, or during which the actor
             38      attempted to kill one or more persons in addition to the victim who was killed;
             39          (c) the actor knowingly created a great risk of death to a person other than the victim
             40      and the actor;
             41          (d) the homicide was committed incident to an act, scheme, course of conduct, or
             42      criminal episode during which the actor committed or attempted to commit aggravated
             43      robbery, robbery, rape, rape of a child, object rape, object rape of a child, forcible sodomy,
             44      sodomy upon a child, forcible sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a child, aggravated sexual abuse
             45      of a child, child abuse as defined in Subsection 76-5-109 (2)(a), or aggravated sexual assault,
             46      aggravated arson, arson, aggravated burglary, burglary, aggravated kidnapping, or kidnapping,
             47      or child kidnapping;
             48          (e) the homicide was committed incident to one act, scheme, course of conduct, or
             49      criminal episode during which the actor committed the crime of abuse or desecration of a dead
             50      human body as defined in Subsection 76-9-704 (2)(e);
             51          (f) the homicide was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing an arrest of
             52      the defendant or another by a peace officer acting under color of legal authority or for the
             53      purpose of effecting the defendant's or another's escape from lawful custody;
             54          (g) the homicide was committed for pecuniary gain;
             55          (h) the defendant committed, or engaged or employed another person to commit the
             56      homicide pursuant to an agreement or contract for remuneration or the promise of
             57      remuneration for commission of the homicide;


             58          (i) the actor previously committed or was convicted of:
             59          (i) aggravated murder, Section 76-5-202 ;
             60          (ii) attempted aggravated murder, Section 76-5-202 ;
             61          (iii) murder, Section 76-5-203 ;
             62          (iv) attempted murder, Section 76-5-203 ; or
             63          (v) an offense committed in another jurisdiction which if committed in this state
             64      would be a violation of a crime listed in this Subsection (1)(i);
             65          (j) the actor was previously convicted of:
             66          (i) aggravated assault, Subsection 76-5-103 (2);
             67          (ii) mayhem, Section 76-5-105 ;
             68          (iii) kidnapping, Section 76-5-301 ;
             69          (iv) child kidnapping, Section 76-5-301.1 ;
             70          (v) aggravated kidnapping, Section 76-5-302 ;
             71          (vi) rape, Section 76-5-402 ;
             72          (vii) rape of a child, Section 76-5-402.1 ;
             73          (viii) object rape, Section 76-5-402.2 ;
             74          (ix) object rape of a child, Section 76-5-402.3 ;
             75          (x) forcible sodomy, Section 76-5-403 ;
             76          (xi) sodomy on a child, Section 76-5-403.1 ;
             77          (xii) aggravated sexual abuse of a child, Section 76-5-404.1 ;
             78          (xiii) aggravated sexual assault, Section 76-5-405 ;
             79          (xiv) aggravated arson, Section 76-6-103 ;
             80          (xv) aggravated burglary, Section 76-6-203 ;
             81          (xvi) aggravated robbery, Section 76-6-302 ; or
             82          (xvii) an offense committed in another jurisdiction which if committed in this state
             83      would be a violation of a crime listed in this Subsection (1)(j);
             84          (k) the homicide was committed for the purpose of:
             85          (i) preventing a witness from testifying;


             86          (ii) preventing a person from providing evidence or participating in any legal
             87      proceedings or official investigation;
             88          (iii) retaliating against a person for testifying, providing evidence, or participating in
             89      any legal proceedings or official investigation; or
             90          (iv) disrupting or hindering any lawful governmental function or enforcement of laws;
             91          (l) the victim is or has been a local, state, or federal public official, or a candidate for
             92      public office, and the homicide is based on, is caused by, or is related to that official position,
             93      act, capacity, or candidacy;
             94          (m) the victim is or has been a peace officer, law enforcement officer, executive
             95      officer, prosecuting officer, jailer, prison official, firefighter, judge or other court official,
             96      juror, probation officer, or parole officer, and the victim is either on duty or the homicide is
             97      based on, is caused by, or is related to that official position, and the actor knew, or reasonably
             98      should have known, that the victim holds or has held that official position;
             99          (n) the homicide was committed:
             100          (i) by means of a destructive device, bomb, explosive, incendiary device, or similar
             101      device which was planted, hidden, or concealed in any place, area, dwelling, building, or
             102      structure, or was mailed or delivered; or
             103          (ii) by means of any weapon of mass destruction as defined in Section 76-10-401 ;
             104          (o) the homicide was committed during the act of unlawfully assuming control of any
             105      aircraft, train, or other public conveyance by use of threats or force with intent to obtain any
             106      valuable consideration for the release of the public conveyance or any passenger, crew
             107      member, or any other person aboard, or to direct the route or movement of the public
             108      conveyance or otherwise exert control over the public conveyance;
             109          (p) the homicide was committed by means of the administration of a poison or of any
             110      lethal substance or of any substance administered in a lethal amount, dosage, or quantity;
             111          (q) the victim was a person held or otherwise detained as a shield, hostage, or for
             112      ransom;
             113          (r) the homicide was committed in an especially heinous, atrocious, cruel, or


             114      exceptionally depraved manner, any of which must be demonstrated by physical torture,
             115      serious physical abuse, or serious bodily injury of the victim before death;
             116          (s) the actor dismembers, mutilates, or disfigures the victim's body, whether before or
             117      after death, in a manner demonstrating the actor's depravity of mind; or
             118          (t) the victim was younger than 14 years of age.
             119          (2) Criminal homicide constitutes aggravated murder if the actor, with reckless
             120      indifference to human life, causes the death of another incident to an act, scheme, course of
             121      conduct, or criminal episode during which the actor is a major participant in the commission
             122      or attempted commission of:
             123          (a) child abuse, Subsection 76-5-109 (2)(a);
             124          (b) child kidnapping, Section 76-5-301.1 ;
             125          (c) rape of a child, Section 76-5-402.1 ;
             126          (d) object rape of a child, Section 76-5-402.3 ;
             127          (e) sodomy on a child, Section 76-5-403.1 ; or
             128          (f) sexual abuse or aggravated sexual abuse of a child, Section 76-5-404.1 .
             129          (3) (a) If a notice of intent to seek the death penalty has been filed, aggravated murder
             130      is a capital felony.
             131          (b) If a notice of intent to seek the death penalty has not been filed, aggravated murder
             132      is a noncapital first degree felony punishable by imprisonment for life without parole or by an
             133      indeterminate term of not less than 20 years and which may be for life.
             134          (c) (i) Within 60 days after arraignment of the defendant, the prosecutor may file
             135      notice of intent to seek the death penalty. The notice shall be served on the defendant or
             136      defense counsel and filed with the court.
             137          (ii) Notice of intent to seek the death penalty may be served and filed more than 60
             138      days after the arraignment upon written stipulation of the parties or upon a finding by the court
             139      of good cause.
             140          (d) Without the consent of the prosecutor, the court may not accept a plea of guilty to
             141      noncapital first degree felony aggravated murder during the period in which the prosecutor


             142      may file a notice of intent to seek the death penalty under Subsection (3)(c)(i).
             143          (4) (a) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of aggravated murder or attempted
             144      aggravated murder that the defendant caused the death of another or attempted to cause the
             145      death of another[: (i) under the influence of extreme emotional distress for which there is a
             146      reasonable explanation or excuse; or (ii)] under a reasonable belief that the circumstances
             147      provided a legal justification or excuse for the [defendant's] conduct although the conduct was
             148      not legally justifiable or excusable under the existing circumstances.
             149          [(b) Under Subsection (4)(a)(i), emotional distress does not include:]
             150          [(i) a condition resulting from mental illness as defined in Section 76-2-305 ; or]
             151          [(ii) distress that is substantially caused by the defendant's own conduct.]
             152          [(c)] (b) The [reasonableness of an explanation or excuse under Subsection (4)(a)(i) or
             153      the] reasonable belief of the actor under Subsection (4)(a)[(ii)] shall be determined from the
             154      viewpoint of a reasonable person under the then existing circumstances.
             155          [(d)] (c) This affirmative defense reduces charges only as follows:
             156          (i) aggravated murder to murder; and
             157          (ii) attempted aggravated murder to attempted murder.
             158          (5) (a) Any aggravating circumstance described in Subsection (1) or (2) that
             159      constitutes a separate offense does not merge with the crime of aggravated murder.
             160          (b) A person who is convicted of aggravated murder, based on an aggravating
             161      circumstance described in Subsection (1) or (2) that constitutes a separate offense, may also be
             162      convicted of, and punished for, the separate offense.
             163          Section 2. Section 76-5-203 is amended to read:
             164           76-5-203. Murder.
             165          (1) As used in this section, "predicate offense" means:
             166          (a) a clandestine drug lab violation under Section 58-37d-4 or 58-37d-5 ;
             167          (b) child abuse, under Subsection 76-5-109 (2)(a), when the victim is younger than 18
             168      years of age;
             169          (c) kidnapping under Section 76-5-301 ;


             170          (d) child kidnapping under Section 76-5-301.1 ;
             171          (e) aggravated kidnapping under Section 76-5-302 ;
             172          (f) rape of a child under Section 76-5-402.1 ;
             173          (g) object rape of a child under Section 76-5-402.3 ;
             174          (h) sodomy upon a child under Section 76-5-403.1 ;
             175          (i) forcible sexual abuse under Section 76-5-404 ;
             176          (j) sexual abuse of a child or aggravated sexual abuse of a child under Section
             177      76-5-404.1 ;
             178          (k) rape under Section 76-5-402 ;
             179          (l) object rape under Section 76-5-402.2 ;
             180          (m) forcible sodomy under Section 76-5-403 ;
             181          (n) aggravated sexual assault under Section 76-5-405 ;
             182          (o) arson under Section 76-6-102 ;
             183          (p) aggravated arson under Section 76-6-103 ;
             184          (q) burglary under Section 76-6-202 ;
             185          (r) aggravated burglary under Section 76-6-203 ;
             186          (s) robbery under Section 76-6-301 ;
             187          (t) aggravated robbery under Section 76-6-302 ;
             188          (u) escape or aggravated escape under Section 76-8-309 ; or
             189          (v) a felony violation of Section 76-10-508 or 76-10-508.1 regarding discharge of a
             190      firearm or dangerous weapon.
             191          (2) Criminal homicide constitutes murder if:
             192          (a) the actor intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another;
             193          (b) intending to cause serious bodily injury to another, the actor commits an act clearly
             194      dangerous to human life that causes the death of another;
             195          (c) acting under circumstances evidencing a depraved indifference to human life, the
             196      actor knowingly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another and thereby
             197      causes the death of another;


             198          (d) (i) the actor is engaged in the commission, attempted commission, or immediate
             199      flight from the commission or attempted commission of any predicate offense, or is a party to
             200      the predicate offense;
             201          (ii) a person other than a party as defined in Section 76-2-202 is killed in the course of
             202      the commission, attempted commission, or immediate flight from the commission or
             203      attempted commission of any predicate offense; and
             204          (iii) the actor acted with the intent required as an element of the predicate offense;
             205          (e) the actor recklessly causes the death of a peace officer while in the commission or
             206      attempted commission of:
             207          (i) an assault against a peace officer under Section 76-5-102.4 ; or
             208          (ii) interference with a peace officer while making a lawful arrest under Section
             209      76-8-305 if the actor uses force against a peace officer;
             210          (f) commits a homicide which would be aggravated murder, but the offense is reduced
             211      pursuant to Subsection 76-5-202 (4); or
             212          (g) the actor commits aggravated murder, but special mitigation is established under
             213      Section 76-5-205.5 .
             214          (3) (a) Murder is a first degree felony.
             215          (b) A person who is convicted of murder shall be sentenced to imprisonment for an
             216      indeterminate term of not less than 15 years and which may be for life.
             217          (4) (a) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of murder or attempted murder that the
             218      defendant caused the death of another or attempted to cause the death of another[: (i) under
             219      the influence of extreme emotional distress for which there is a reasonable explanation or
             220      excuse; or (ii)] under a reasonable belief that the circumstances provided a legal justification
             221      or excuse for [his] the conduct although the conduct was not legally justifiable or excusable
             222      under the existing circumstances.
             223          [(b) Under Subsection (4)(a)(i) emotional distress does not include:]
             224          [(i) a condition resulting from mental illness as defined in Section 76-2-305 ; or]
             225          [(ii) distress that is substantially caused by the defendant's own conduct.]


             226          [(c)] (b) The [reasonableness of an explanation or excuse under Subsection (4)(a)(i) or
             227      the] reasonable belief of the actor under Subsection (4)(a)[(ii)] shall be determined from the
             228      viewpoint of a reasonable person under the then existing circumstances.
             229          [(d)] (c) This affirmative defense reduces charges only [as follows] from:
             230          (i) murder to manslaughter; and
             231          (ii) attempted murder to attempted manslaughter.
             232          (5) (a) Any predicate offense described in Subsection (1) that constitutes a separate
             233      offense does not merge with the crime of murder.
             234          (b) A person who is convicted of murder, based on a predicate offense described in
             235      Subsection (1) that constitutes a separate offense, may also be convicted of, and punished for,
             236      the separate offense.
             237          Section 3. Section 76-5-205.5 is amended to read:
             238           76-5-205.5. Special mitigation reducing the level of criminal homicide offense --
             239      Burden of proof -- Application to reduce offense.
             240          (1) Special mitigation exists when the actor causes the death of another or attempts to
             241      cause the death of another:
             242          (a) (i) [the actor causes the death of another] under circumstances that are not legally
             243      justified, but the actor acts under a delusion attributable to a mental illness as defined in
             244      Section 76-2-305 ; [and]
             245          [(b)] (ii) the nature of the delusion is such that, if the facts existed as the defendant
             246      believed them to be in [his] the delusional state, those facts would provide a legal justification
             247      for [his] the defendant's conduct[.]; and
             248          [(2) This section applies only if]
             249          (iii) the defendant's actions, in light of [his] the delusion, were reasonable from the
             250      objective viewpoint of a reasonable person[.]; or
             251          (b) under the influence of extreme emotional distress for which there is a reasonable
             252      explanation or excuse.
             253          [(3)] (2) A defendant who was under the influence of voluntarily consumed, injected,


             254      or ingested alcohol, controlled substances, or volatile substances at the time of the alleged
             255      offense may not claim mitigation of the offense under [this section] Subsection (1)(a) on the
             256      basis of mental illness if the alcohol or substance caused, triggered, or substantially
             257      contributed to the mental illness.
             258          (3) Under Subsection (1)(b), emotional distress does not include:
             259          (a) a condition resulting from mental illness as defined in Section 76-2-305 ; or
             260          (b) distress that is substantially caused by the defendant's own conduct.
             261          (4) The reasonableness of an explanation or excuse under Subsection (1)(b) shall be
             262      determined from the viewpoint of a reasonable person under the then existing circumstances.
             263          [(4)] (5) (a) If the trier of fact finds the elements of an offense as listed in Subsection
             264      [(4)] (5)(b) are proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and also that the existence of special
             265      mitigation under this section is established by a preponderance of the evidence, it shall return
             266      a verdict on the reduced charge as provided in Subsection [(4)] (5)(b).
             267          (b) If under Subsection [(4)] (5)(a) the offense is:
             268          (i) aggravated murder, the defendant shall instead be found guilty of murder;
             269          (ii) attempted aggravated murder, the defendant shall instead be found guilty of
             270      attempted murder;
             271          (iii) murder, the defendant shall instead be found guilty of manslaughter; or
             272          (iv) attempted murder, the defendant shall instead be found guilty of attempted
             273      manslaughter.
             274          [(5)] (6) (a) If a jury is the trier of fact, a unanimous vote of the jury is required to
             275      establish the existence of the special mitigation.
             276          (b) If the jury does find special mitigation by a unanimous vote, it shall return a
             277      verdict on the reduced charge as provided in Subsection [(4)] (5).
             278          (c) If the jury finds by a unanimous vote that special mitigation has not been
             279      established, it shall convict the defendant of the greater offense for which the prosecution has
             280      established all the elements beyond a reasonable doubt.
             281          (d) If the jury is unable to unanimously agree whether or not special mitigation has


             282      been established, the result is a hung jury.
             283          [(6)] (7) (a) If the issue of special mitigation is submitted to the trier of fact, it shall
             284      return a special verdict indicating whether the existence of special mitigation has been found.
             285          (b) The trier of fact shall return the special verdict at the same time as the general
             286      verdict, to indicate the basis for its general verdict.
             287          [(7)] (8) Special mitigation under this section does not, in any case, reduce the level of
             288      an offense by more than one degree from that offense, the elements of which the evidence has
             289      established beyond a reasonable doubt.
             290          Section 4. Section 77-14-4 is amended to read:
             291           77-14-4. Insanity or diminished mental capacity -- Notice requirement.
             292          (1) If a defendant proposes to offer evidence that [he] the defendant is not guilty as a
             293      result of insanity or that [he] the defendant had diminished mental capacity, or proposes to
             294      offer evidence in mitigation of a criminal homicide or attempted criminal homicide offense
             295      under [Section] Subsection 76-5-205.5 (1)(a), [he] the defendant shall file and serve the
             296      prosecuting attorney with written notice of [his] the intention to claim the defense at the time
             297      of arraignment or as soon afterward as practicable, but not fewer than 30 days before the trial.
             298          (2) If the court receives notice that a defendant intends to claim that [he] the defendant
             299      is not guilty by reason of insanity or that [he] the defendant had diminished mental capacity,
             300      the court shall proceed in accordance with the requirements described in Section 77-16a-301 .
             301          Section 5. Section 77-16a-102 is amended to read:
             302           77-16a-102. Jury instructions.
             303          (1) If a defendant asserts a defense of not guilty by reason of insanity, the court shall
             304      instruct the jury that it may find the defendant:
             305          (a) guilty;
             306          (b) guilty and mentally ill at the time of the offense;
             307          (c) guilty of a lesser offense;
             308          (d) guilty of a lesser offense and mentally ill at the time of the offense;
             309          (e) not guilty by reason of insanity; or


             310          (f) not guilty.
             311          (2) (a) When a defendant asserts a mental defense pursuant to Section 76-2-305 or
             312      asserts special mitigation reducing the level of an offense pursuant to [Section] Subsection
             313      76-5-205.5 (1)(a), or when the evidence raises the issue and either party requests the
             314      instruction, the jury shall be instructed that if it finds a defendant guilty by proof beyond a
             315      reasonable doubt of any charged offense or lesser included offense, it shall also return a special
             316      verdict indicating whether it finds that the defendant was mentally ill at the time of the
             317      offense.
             318          (b) If the jury finds the defendant guilty of the charged offense by proof beyond a
             319      reasonable doubt, and by special verdict finds the defendant was mentally ill at the time of the
             320      offense, it shall return the general verdict of "guilty and mentally ill at the time of the offense."
             321          (c) If the jury finds the defendant guilty of a lesser offense by proof beyond a
             322      reasonable doubt, and by special verdict finds the defendant was mentally ill at the time of the
             323      offense, it shall return the general verdict of "guilty of a lesser offense and mentally ill at the
             324      time of the offense."
             325          (d) If the jury finds the defendant guilty of the charged offense or a lesser included
             326      offense and does not find that the defendant was mentally ill at the time of the offense, the jury
             327      shall return a verdict of "guilty" of that offense, along with the special verdict form indicating
             328      that the jury did not find the defendant mentally ill at the time of the offense.
             329          (e) The special verdict shall be returned by the jury at the same time as the general
             330      verdict, to indicate the basis for its general verdict.
             331          (3) In determining whether a defendant should be found guilty and mentally ill at the
             332      time of the offense, the jury shall be instructed that the standard of proof applicable to a
             333      finding of mental illness is by a preponderance of the evidence. The jury shall also be
             334      instructed that the standard of preponderance of the evidence does not apply to the elements
             335      establishing a defendant's guilt, and that the proof of the elements establishing a defendant's
             336      guilt of any offense must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
             337          (4) (a) When special mitigation based on extreme emotional distress is at issue


             338      pursuant to Subsection 76-5-205.5 (1)(b), the jury shall, in addition to its general verdict,
             339      return a special verdict.
             340          (b) The special verdict shall be returned by the jury at the same time as the general
             341      verdict, to indicate the basis for its general verdict.
             342          Section 6. Section 77-16a-301 is amended to read:
             343           77-16a-301. Mental examination of defendant
             344          (1) (a) When the court receives notice that a defendant intends to claim that [he] the
             345      defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity or that [he] the defendant had diminished mental
             346      capacity, or that [he] the defendant intends to assert special mitigation under [Section ]
             347      Subsection 76-5-205.5 (1)(a), the court shall order the Department of Human Services to
             348      examine the defendant and investigate [his] the defendant's mental condition.
             349          (b) The person or organization directed by the department to conduct the examination
             350      shall testify at the request of the court or either party in any proceeding in which the testimony
             351      is otherwise admissible.
             352          (c) Pending trial, unless the court or the executive director directs otherwise, the
             353      defendant shall be retained in the same custody or status [he] the defendant was in at the time
             354      the examination was ordered.
             355          (2) (a) The defendant shall [make himself] be available and shall fully cooperate in the
             356      examination by the department and any other independent examiners for the defense and the
             357      prosecuting attorney.
             358          (b) If the defendant fails to [make himself] be available and to fully cooperate, and
             359      that failure is established to the satisfaction of the court at a hearing prior to trial, the
             360      defendant is barred from presenting expert testimony relating to [his] the defendant's defense
             361      of mental illness at the trial of the case.
             362          (c) The department shall complete the examination within 30 days after the court's
             363      order, and shall prepare and provide to the court prosecutor and defense counsel a written
             364      report concerning the condition of the defendant.
             365          (3) Within ten days after receipt of the report from the department, but not later than


             366      five days before the trial of the case, or at any other time the court directs, the prosecuting
             367      attorney shall file and serve upon the defendant a notice of rebuttal of the defense of mental
             368      illness, which shall contain the names of witnesses the prosecuting attorney proposes to call in
             369      rebuttal.
             370          (4) The reports of any other independent examiner are admissible as evidence upon
             371      stipulation of the prosecution and defense.
             372          (5) This section does not prevent any party from producing any other testimony as to
             373      the mental condition of the defendant. Expert witnesses who are not appointed by the court
             374      are not entitled to compensation under Subsection (7).
             375          (6) This section does not require the admission of evidence not otherwise admissible.
             376          (7) Expenses of examination ordered by the court under this section shall be paid by
             377      the Department of Human Services. Travel expenses associated with the examination incurred
             378      by the defendant shall be charged by the department to the county where prosecution is
             379      commenced. Examination of defendants charged with violation of municipal or county
             380      ordinances shall be charged by the department to the entity commencing the prosecution.


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