Summary: H.R.3565 — 99th Congress (1985-1986)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3565. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (10/11/1985)

1985 Act To Create the Death Penalty To Punish Terrorist Acts - Amends the Federal criminal code to provide for a penalty of death or life imprisonment for the crime of hostage taking if the death of an individual results from the commission or attempted commission of the offense of hostage taking.

Makes it a criminal offense to commit or attempt to commit an act of terrorism within the United States or outside the jurisdiction of the United States against a United States person (as defined by this Act). Provides for a penalty of: (1) imprisonment for any term of years; or (2) death or life imprisonment if the death of an individual results from the commission or attempted commission of the offense.

Defines an "act of terrorism" as an activity that: (1) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; or (2) appears to be intended to either intimidate a civilian population, influence the policy of a government or to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping. Defines a "United States person" as: (1) a national of the United States; (2) a resident alien admitted to the United States; (3) any person within the United States; (4) any employee or contractor of the United States regardless of nationality; (5) any proprietorship, partnership, company, or association composed principally of nationals of the United States; or (6) a corporation organized under the laws of the United States.

Sets forth rules for the venue of a trial for the offenses of: (1) kidnapping; (2) receiving of ransom money; (3) hostage taking; and (4) commission of terrorist acts.

Requires the Government, in cases where the death penalty is sought for the offenses of hostage taking and acts of terrorism, to file with the court and serve upon the defendant notice that the Government will seek the death penalty in the event of a conviction. Requires such notice to set forth the aggravating factors which the Government will seek to prove as the basis for the death penalty.

Requires the court to conduct a separate sentencing hearing to determine the sentence to be imposed in such cases where the Government has filed notice of intent to seek the death penalty and where the defendant has been convicted or has entered a guilty plea. Sets forth standards and procedures for such hearings.

Provides that no presentence report shall be prepared in such cases. Allows information to be presented as to any matter relevant to the sentence including matters relating to any aggravating or mitigating factors. Specifies certain aggravating and mitigating factors which may be considered. Requires the jury (or the court if there is no jury) to return special findings identifying any mitigating and aggravating factors. Requires the jury by unanimous vote (or the court if there is no jury) to return a finding as to whether a sentence of death is justified. Requires the court to sentence the defendant to death, upon a finding that a sentence of death is justified.

Requires a court to instruct the jury that in its consideration as to whether the death penalty is justified it shall not consider the race, color, national origin, creed, or sex of the defendant. Requires each juror to certify that such factors were not involved in reaching his or her individual decision.

Allows the court to impose a sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole in such cases in which the death penalty is not sought or imposed.

Allows for an appeal of a death sentence. Sets forth the standard of review for such appeals.