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H.B. 202

             1     

DEATH PENALTY PROCEDURES AMENDMENTS

             2     
2011 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Kay L. McIff

             5     
Senate Sponsor: Lyle W. Hillyard

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies the Criminal Code and the Judicial Code regarding capital sentencing
             10      procedures.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    clarifies when a petitioner has a right to funded counsel for successive petitions; and
             14          .    sets limits on the obtaining of execution stays for successive postconviction
             15      petitions.
             16      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             17          None
             18      Other Special Clauses:
             19          None
             20      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             21      AMENDS:
             22          77-19-8, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
             23          78B-9-202, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 288 and renumbered and
             24      amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
             25     
             26      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             27          Section 1. Section 77-19-8 is amended to read:


             28           77-19-8. Judgment of death, when suspended, and by whom.
             29          (1) Except as stated in Subsection (2), a judge, tribunal, or officer, other than the
             30      governor or the Board of Pardons and Parole, may not stay or suspend the execution of a
             31      judgment of death.
             32          (2) (a) A court of competent jurisdiction shall issue a temporary stay of judgment of
             33      death when:
             34          (i) the judgment is appealed;
             35          (ii) the judgment is automatically reviewed;
             36          (iii) the person sentenced to death files a first petition for postconviction relief after the
             37      direct appeal under Title 78B, Chapter 9, [Post-Conviction] Postconviction Remedies Act;
             38          (iv) the person sentenced to death requests counsel under Subsection 78B-9-202 (2)(a)
             39      to represent [him] the person in [an] a first action for postconviction relief under Title 78B,
             40      Chapter 9, [Post-Conviction] Postconviction Remedies Act; or
             41          (v) counsel enters an appearance to represent the person sentenced to death in [an] a
             42      first action for postconviction relief under Title 78B, Chapter 9, [Post-Conviction]
             43      Postconviction Remedies Act.
             44          (b) A court may not issue a temporary stay of judgment of death when the person
             45      sentenced to death files a petition for postconviction relief under Title 78B, Chapter 9,
             46      Postconviction Remedies Act, after a first petition has been denied or dismissed, unless the
             47      court first finds all of the following:
             48          (i) the claims would not be barred under Section 78B-9-106 ;
             49          (ii) the claims are potentially meritorious; and
             50          (iii) the petition may not be reasonably disposed of before the execution date.
             51          [(b)] (c) (i) The executive director of the Department of Corrections or a designee
             52      under Section 77-19-202 may temporarily suspend the execution if the person sentenced to
             53      death appears to be incompetent or pregnant.
             54          (ii) A temporary suspension under Subsection (2)[(b)](c)(i) shall end if the person is
             55      determined to be:
             56          (A) competent;
             57          (B) not pregnant; or
             58          (C) no longer incompetent or pregnant.


             59          (3) (a) The court must vacate a stay issued pursuant to Subsection (2)(a) when the
             60      appeal, automatic review, or action under Title 78B, Chapter 9, [Post-Conviction]
             61      Postconviction Remedies Act is concluded.
             62          (b) A request for counsel under Section 78B-9-202 does not constitute an application
             63      for postconviction or other collateral review and does not toll the statute of limitations under
             64      Section 78B-9-107 .
             65          Section 2. Section 78B-9-202 is amended to read:
             66     
CHAPTER 9. POSTCONVICTION REMEDIES ACT

             67           78B-9-202. Appointment and payment of counsel in death penalty cases.
             68          (1) A person who has been sentenced to death and whose conviction and sentence has
             69      been affirmed on appeal shall be advised in open court, on the record, in a hearing scheduled
             70      no less than 30 days prior to the signing of the death warrant, of the provisions of this chapter
             71      allowing challenges to the conviction and death sentence and the appointment of counsel for
             72      indigent petitioners.
             73          (2) (a) If a petitioner requests the court to appoint counsel, the court shall determine
             74      whether the petitioner is indigent and make findings on the record regarding the petitioner's
             75      indigency. If the court finds that the petitioner is indigent, it shall, subject to the provisions of
             76      Subsection (5), promptly appoint counsel who is qualified to represent petitioners in
             77      postconviction death penalty cases as required by Rule 8 of the Utah Rules of Criminal
             78      Procedure. Counsel who represented the petitioner at trial or on the direct appeal may not be
             79      appointed to represent the petitioner under this section.
             80          (b) A petitioner who wishes to reject the offer of counsel shall be advised on the record
             81      by the court of the consequences of the rejection before the court may accept the rejection.
             82          (3) Attorney fees and litigation expenses incurred in providing the representation
             83      provided for in this section and that the court has determined are reasonable shall be paid from
             84      state funds by the Division of Finance according to rules established pursuant to Title 63G,
             85      Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act.
             86          (a) In determining whether the requested funds are reasonable, the court should
             87      consider:
             88          (i) the extent to which the petitioner requests funds to investigate and develop evidence
             89      and legal arguments that duplicate the evidence presented and arguments raised in the criminal


             90      proceeding; and
             91          (ii) whether the petitioner has established that the requested funds are necessary to
             92      develop evidence and legal arguments that are reasonably likely to support postconviction
             93      relief.
             94          (b) The court may authorize payment of attorney fees at a rate of $125 per hour up to a
             95      maximum of $60,000. The court may exceed the maximum only upon a showing of good
             96      cause as established in Subsections (3)(e) and (f).
             97          (c) The court may authorize litigation expenses up to a maximum of $20,000. The
             98      court may exceed the maximum only upon a showing of good cause as established in
             99      Subsections (3)(e) and (f).
             100          (d) The court may authorize the petitioner to apply ex parte for the funds permitted in
             101      Subsections (3)(b) and (c) upon a motion to proceed ex parte and if the petitioner establishes
             102      the need for confidentiality. The motion to proceed ex parte must be served on counsel
             103      representing the state, and the court may not grant the motion without giving the state an
             104      opportunity to respond.
             105          (e) In determining whether good cause exists to exceed the maximum sums established
             106      in Subsections (3)(b) and (c), the court shall consider:
             107          (i) the extent to which the work done to date and the further work identified by the
             108      petitioner duplicates work and investigation performed during the criminal case under review;
             109      and
             110          (ii) whether the petitioner has established that the work done to date and the further
             111      work identified is reasonably likely to develop evidence or legal arguments that will support
             112      postconviction relief.
             113          (f) The court may permit payment in excess of the maximum amounts established in
             114      Subsections (3)(b) and (c) only on the petitioner's motion, provided that:
             115          (i) if the court has granted a motion to file ex parte applications under Subsection
             116      (3)(d), the petitioner shall serve the motion to exceed the maximum amounts on an assistant
             117      attorney general employed in a division other than the one in which the attorney is employed
             118      who represents the state in the postconviction case; if the court has not granted a motion to file
             119      ex parte applications, then the petitioner must serve the attorney representing the state in the
             120      postconviction matter with the motion to exceed the maximum funds;


             121          (ii) if the motion proceeds under Subsection (3)(f)(i), the designated assistant attorney
             122      general may not disclose to the attorney representing the state in the postconviction matter any
             123      material the petitioner provides in support of the motion except upon a determination by the
             124      court that the material is not protected by or that the petitioner has waived the attorney client
             125      privilege or work product doctrine; and
             126          (iii) the court gives the state an opportunity to respond to the request for funds in
             127      excess of the maximum amounts provided in Subsections (3)(b) and (c).
             128          (4) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as creating the right to the effective
             129      assistance of postconviction counsel, and relief may not be granted on any claim that
             130      postconviction counsel was ineffective.
             131          (5) If within 60 days of the request for counsel the court cannot find counsel willing to
             132      accept the appointment, the court shall notify the petitioner and the state's counsel in writing.
             133      In that event, the petitioner may elect to proceed pro se by serving written notice of that
             134      election on the court and state's counsel within 30 days of the court's notice that no counsel
             135      could be found. If within 30 days of its notice to the petitioner the court receives no notice that
             136      the petitioner elects to proceed pro se, the court shall dismiss any pending postconviction
             137      actions and vacate any execution stays, and the state may initiate proceedings under Section
             138      77-19-9 to issue an execution warrant.
             139          (6) Subject to Subsection (2)(a) the court shall appoint counsel to represent the
             140      petitioner for the first petition filed after the direct appeal. For all other petitions, counsel may
             141      not be appointed at public expense for a petitioner, except to raise claims:
             142          (a) based on newly discovered evidence as defined in Subsection 78B-9-104 (1)(e)(i);
             143      or
             144          (b) based on Subsection 78B-9-104 (1)(f) that could not have been raised in any
             145      previously filed posttrial motion or postconviction proceeding.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 10-21-10 6:40 AM


Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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