Summary: H.R.4002 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4002. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (02/07/1990)

Criminal Procedures Reform Act of 1990 - Title I: Capital Punishment - - Amends the Federal criminal code to establish criteria for the imposition of the death penalty for Federal crimes.

Requires the Government, for any offense punishable by death, to serve notice upon the defendant a reasonable time before trial or acceptance of a plea, that it intends to seek the death penalty and the aggravating factors upon which it will rely.

Requires a separate sentencing hearing before a jury, or the court upon motion by the defendant, when the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty to an offense punishable by death.

Allows the defendant and the Government to present any information relevant to sentencing, without regard to the rules of evidence, but permits evidence to be excluded where its probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of creating unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, or misleading the jury.

Specifies mitigating factors which the defendant must establish by a preponderance of the information and aggravating factors which the Government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Sets forth special aggravating factors for espionage, treason, homicide, and the attempted murder of the President. Directs the court, or the jury by unanimous vote, to impose the death penalty upon a finding that such sentence is justified based on consideration of both the aggravating and mitigating factors.

Prohibits imposition of the death penalty on any woman while she is pregnant or on any person who was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense or who lacks the mental capacity to understand the death penalty and why it was imposed on that person.

Requires the court to instruct the jury not to consider the race, color, religious beliefs, national origin, or sex of the defendant or victim in its consideration of the sentence.

Establishes procedures for appeal from a death sentence. Requires the court of appeals, upon consideration of the record and the information and procedures of the sentencing hearing, to affirm the decision if: (1) the sentence was not imposed under the influence of passion, prejudice, or any other arbitrary factor; and (2) the evidence and information supports the finding of aggravating factors. Requires the court to provide a written explanation of its determination.

Sets forth procedures for the implementation of the sentence of death. Authorizes the court to impose a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of release or furlough where life imprisonment is otherwise authorized.

Prohibits requiring any employee of any State department of corrections, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, or any provider of services under contract to participate in any execution if contrary to his or her moral or religious convictions.

Entitles a defendant who is or becomes financially unable to obtain adequate representation in a Federal criminal case to appointment of counsel at trial and upon direct appeal of the judgment and sentence entered at trial.

Provides for the imposition of the death penalty for: (1) murders of foreign officials, official guests, or internationally protected persons; (2) murders committed by prisoners in Federal prisons; (3) hostage takings which result in the death of any person; and (4) attempting to kill the President of the United States (if such attempt results in bodily injury or comes dangerously close to causing the President's death).

Title II: Exclusionary Rule - Declares that the Constitution does not require the exclusion from a criminal trial of evidence: (1) obtained in reasonable reliance on a search warrant issued by a detached and neutral magistrate who was not misled, even though the warrant is ultimately determined to be invalid; (2) the legal discovery of which was inevitable, even though the evidence was discovered through constitutionally invalid means; or (3) for which a source exists that is independent of the source through which evidence was discovered through constitutionally invalid means.

Title III: Habeas Corpus - Amends the Federal judicial code to set forth special habeas corpus procedures in capital cases. Applies such procedures to Federal habeas corpus cases brought by prisoners in State custody who are subject to a capital sentence. Makes the applicability of such procedures contingent upon a State establishing a mechanism for the appointment, compensation, and payment of reasonable fees and litigation expenses of competent counsel. Sets forth procedures for the appointment of counsel or for allowing a prisoner to proceed pro se.

Provides for a mandatory stay of execution during the post-conviction review. Details conditions which will cause such stay to expire. Prohibits a Federal court, if one of such conditions has occurred, from entering a stay of execution or granting relief in a capital case unless: (1) the basis for the stay and request for relief is a claim not previously presented by the prisoner in the State or Federal courts and the failure to raise the claim is the result of State action in violation of the Constitution or laws of United States, is the result of Supreme Court recognition of a new Federal right that is retroactively applicable, or is based on a factual predicate that could not have been discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence; (2) the facts underlying the claim would be sufficient, if proven, to undermine the court's confidence in the jury's determination of guilt on the offense for which the death penalty was imposed; or (3) a stay and consideration of the requested relief are necessary to prevent a miscarriage of justice.

Imposes time limits on filing for habeas corpus relief. Requires such time limits to be tolled under specified conditions.

Requires the district court, upon the development of a complete evidentiary record, to rule on the merits of the claims properly before it. Authorizes a district court to refuse to consider a claim under this Act if: (1) the prisoner previously failed to raise the claim in State court at the time and in the manner prescribed by State law; (2) the State courts, for that reason, refused or would refuse to entertain the claim; and (3) such refusal would constitute an adequate and independent State law ground that would foreclose direct review of the State court judgment in the U.S. Supreme Court. Provides an exception to such authorization.

Makes the requirement for a certificate of probable cause inapplicable, with an exception.

States that a mechanism for the provision of counsel services to indigents sufficient to invoke the provisions of this Act shall provide for counsel to indigents: (1) charged with offenses for which capital punishment is sought; (2) who have been sentenced to death and who seek appellate or collateral review in State court; and (3) who have been sentenced to death and who seek certiorari review in the U.S. Supreme Court. Prescribes minimum qualifications for appointed counsel. Authorizes payment of fees and expenses for investigative, expert, or other services reasonably necessary for the representation of the defendant. Allows the court to fix the compensation to be paid to an attorney appointed under this Act.

Specifies which law controls in Federal habeas corpus proceedings.