Felony homicide; certain drug offenses constitute second degree murder, penalty. (HB1616)

Introduced By

Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Felony homicide; certain drug offenses; accommodation; penalty. Provides that a person is guilty of felony homicide, which constitutes second degree murder and is punishable by confinement of not less than five nor more than 40 years, if the underlying felonious act that resulted in the killing of another involved the manufacture, sale, gift, or distribution of a Schedule I or II controlled substance to another and (i) such other person's death results from his use of the controlled substance and (ii) the controlled substance is the proximate cause of his death. However, the bill also provides that if the person proves that he gave or distributed the controlled substance only as an accommodation, he is guilty instead of a Class 5 felony. The bill also provides that venue for a prosecution of this crime shall lie in the locality where the underlying felony occurred, where the use of the controlled substance occurred, or where death occurred. This bill serves to overrule the Court of Appeals of Virginia decision in Woodard v. Commonwealth, 61 Va. App. 567, 739 S.E.2d 220 (2013), aff'd, 287 Va. 276, 754 S.E.2d 309 (2014). Read the Bill »

Status

02/20/2017: Passed the Senate

History

DateAction
01/03/2017Committee
01/03/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17101315D
01/03/2017Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/13/2017Impact statement from VCSC (HB1616)
01/30/2017Impact statement from DPB (HB1616)
02/01/2017Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (15-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/01/2017Committee substitute printed 17105123D-H1
02/01/2017Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/01/2017Impact statement from VCSC (HB1616H1)
02/02/2017Assigned App. sub: Public Safety
02/03/2017Subcommittee recommends reporting (6-Y 0-N)
02/03/2017Reported from Appropriations (20-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/04/2017Read first time
02/06/2017Read second time
02/06/2017Committee substitute agreed to 17105123D-H1
02/06/2017Amendment by Delegate Lingamfelter agreed to
02/06/2017Engrossed by House - committee substitute with amendment HB1616EH1
02/06/2017Printed as engrossed 17105123D-EH1
02/07/2017Impact statement from VCSC (HB1616EH1)
02/07/2017Read third time and passed House (67-Y 28-N)
02/07/2017VOTE: PASSAGE (67-Y 28-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2017Constitutional reading dispensed
02/08/2017Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/10/2017Impact statement from DPB (HB1616EH1)
02/13/2017Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2017Committee substitute printed 17105433D-S1
02/13/2017Rereferred to Finance
02/13/2017Impact statement from VCSC (HB1616S1)
02/15/2017Reported from Finance with amendment (16-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/16/2017Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2017Read third time
02/17/2017Reading of substitute waived
02/17/2017Committee substitute agreed to 17105433D-S1
02/17/2017Reading of amendment waived
02/17/2017Committee amendment agreed to
02/17/2017Passed by for the day
02/20/2017Impact statement from DPB (HB1616S1)
02/20/2017Read third time
02/20/2017Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute with amendment HB1616S1
02/20/2017Passed Senate with substitute with amendment (37-Y 3-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2017Placed on Calendar
02/21/2017Senate substitute with amendment rejected by House 17105433D-S1 (0-Y 97-N)
02/21/2017VOTE: REJECTED (0-Y 97-N) (see vote tally)
02/22/2017Senate insisted on substitute with amendment (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/22/2017Senate requested conference committee
02/23/2017House acceded to request
02/23/2017Conferees appointed by House
02/23/2017Delegates: Lingamfelter, Albo, Herring
02/23/2017Conferees appointed by Senate
02/23/2017Senators: Stuart, Obenshain, Howell
02/25/2017Failed to pass in House
02/25/2017No further action taken
02/25/2017Failed to pass

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 40 seconds.

Transcript

This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.



Del. Chris Collins (R-Winchester): HOWEVER, WE NEGLECTED TO ALLOW PRO SE TO GET AHOLD OF THE INFORMATION AND THE CONSTITUTION WAS GETTING IN OUR WAY, SO WE HAD TO ADD THAT LANGUAGE INTO THE BILL. SO I WOULD ASK THAT YOU ACCEPT THE AMENDMENT.

[Unknown]: THE QUESTION IS ON ADOPTION OF THE SENATE AMENDMENTS, AS MANY AS FAVOR THOSE OPPOSED, NO -- THAT MOTION WILL SAY AYE,

Del. Chris Collins (R-Winchester): I'M SORRY, I WAS SO EXCITED ABOUT IT.

[Unknown]: SHALL THE SENATE AMENDMENTS BE AGREED TO?

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE CLERK WILL CLOSE THE ROLL.

[Unknown]: AYES 91, NOS SIX. AYES 91, NOS SIX, THE

Comments

ACLU-VA Criminal Justice, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes this bill. This legislation would create a new felony homicide offense for offenders who sell drugs to another person, which results “in the killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties.” This legislation is a direct response to a recent Virginia Court of Appeals decision, Woodard v. Commonwealth, 61 Va. App. 567 (2013), aff’d, 287 Va. 276 (2014), which held that such individuals could not be convicted of homicide under current state felony homicide law. The concept of felony homicide laws is to punish someone that commits a violent act that inadvertently causes the death of a person who was not the intended victim (such as accidentally shooting someone during a robbery). Felony homicide was not meant to apply to just any non-violent underlying felony (it is a felony to steal over $200 worth of merchandise from a store and if a thief accidentally killed someone as they were stealing such merchandise, by say hitting a pedestrian with their get-away car, the law of felony homicide would not apply – that would be manslaughter). This legislation is a misplaced relic of the failed War on Drugs. Under § 18.2-248 of Virginia law, drug dealers can already be sentenced up to 40 years for their first offense of manufacturing, selling, giving, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture, sell, give, or distribute a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance listed in Schedule I and II (narcotics and marijuana among others)

ACLU-VA Legislative Agenda, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes this bill. This legislation would create a new felony homicide offense for offenders who sell drugs to another person, which results “in the killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties.” This legislation is a direct response to a recent Virginia Court of Appeals decision, Woodard v. Commonwealth, 61 Va. App. 567 (2013), aff’d, 287 Va. 276 (2014), which held that such individuals could not be convicted of homicide under current state felony homicide law. The concept of felony homicide laws is to punish someone that commits a violent act that inadvertently causes the death of a person who was not the intended victim (such as accidentally shooting someone during a robbery). Felony homicide was not meant to apply to just any non-violent underlying felony (it is a felony to steal over $200 worth of merchandise from a store and if a thief accidentally killed someone as they were stealing such merchandise, by say hitting a pedestrian with their get-away car, the law of felony homicide would not apply – that would be manslaughter). This legislation is a misplaced relic of the failed War on Drugs. Under § 18.2-248 of Virginia law, drug dealers can already be sentenced up to 40 years for their first offense of manufacturing, selling, giving, distributing, or possessing with intent to manufacture, sell, give, or distribute a controlled substance or an imitation controlled substance listed in Schedule I and II (narcotics and marijuana among others).