HB1311: Capital murder; includes premeditated killing of person assisting in criminal investigation.

HOUSE BILL NO. 1311
Offered January 11, 2006
Prefiled January 11, 2006
A BILL to amend and reenact § 18.2-31 of the Code of Virginia, relating to capital murder of a person assisting in a criminal investigation; penalty.

Patrons-- Gilbert, Abbitt, Albo, Athey, Bell, Byron, Carrico, Cline, Cole, Cosgrove, Cox, Gear, Griffith, Hamilton, Hogan, Hurt, Iaquinto, Ingram, Janis, Jones, S.C., Kilgore, Landes, Lingamfelter, Lohr, May, Nixon, Oder, Orrock, Purkey, Putney, Rapp, Reid, Rust, Suit, Tata, Wardrup, Ware, R.L., Welch and Wittman

Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1.  That § 18.2-31 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

§ 18.2-31. Capital murder defined; punishment.

The following offenses shall constitute capital murder, punishable as a Class 1 felony:

1. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of abduction, as defined in § 18.2-48, when such abduction was committed with the intent to extort money or a pecuniary benefit or with the intent to defile the victim of such abduction;

2. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person by another for hire;

3. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person by a prisoner confined in a state or local correctional facility as defined in § 53.1-1, or while in the custody of an employee thereof;

4. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of robbery or attempted robbery;

5. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of, or subsequent to, rape or attempted rape, forcible sodomy or attempted forcible sodomy or object sexual penetration;

6. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of a law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101 or any law-enforcement officer of another state or the United States having the power to arrest for a felony under the laws of such state or the United States, when such killing is for the purpose of interfering with the performance of his official duties;

7. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of more than one person as a part of the same act or transaction;

8. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of more than one person within a three-year period;

9. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of or attempted commission of a violation of § 18.2-248, involving a Schedule I or II controlled substance, when such killing is for the purpose of furthering the commission or attempted commission of such violation;

10. The willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person by another pursuant to the direction or order of one who is engaged in a continuing criminal enterprise as defined in subsection I of § 18.2-248;

11. The willful, deliberate and premeditated killing of a pregnant woman by one who knows that the woman is pregnant and has the intent to cause the involuntary termination of the woman's pregnancy without a live birth;

12. The willful, deliberate and premeditated killing of a person under the age of fourteen by a person age twenty-one or older; and

13. The willful, deliberate and premeditated killing of any person by another in the commission of or attempted commission of an act of terrorism as defined in § 18.2-46.4.; and

14. The willful, deliberate and premeditated killing of any person who is assisting in or cooperating with a criminal investigation or prosecution, or who has previously assisted in or cooperated with a criminal investigation or prosecution, because of such assistance or cooperation.

If any one or more subsections, sentences, or parts of this section shall be judged unconstitutional or invalid, such adjudication shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remaining provisions thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the specific provisions so held unconstitutional or invalid.

2.  That the provisions of this act may result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment or commitment. Pursuant to § 30-19.1:4, the estimated amount of the necessary appropriation is $0 for periods of imprisonment in state adult correctional facilities and is $0 for periods of commitment to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.