Death penalty; severe mental illness. (SB1137)

Introduced By

Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) with support from co-patron Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Death penalty; severe mental illness. Provides that a defendant in a capital case who had a severe mental illness, as defined in the bill, at the time of the offense is not eligible for the death penalty. The bill establishes procedures for determining whether a defendant had a severe mental illness at the time of the offense and provides for the appointment of expert evaluators. The bill provides that when the defendant's severe mental illness is at issue, a determination will be made by the jury or by the judge in a bench trial as part of the sentencing proceeding, and the defendant bears the burden of proving his severe mental illness by a preponderance of the evidence. The bill also provides that in the event the defendant fails to provide notice that he will offer testimony by an expert witness at such sentencing proceeding, the court may either allow the Commonwealth a continuance or, where the defendant is unable to show good cause for untimely notice, bar the defendant from presenting such evidence. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/30/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19102746D
12/30/2018Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/03/2019Impact statement from VCSC (SB1137)
01/14/2019Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (8-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
01/14/2019Committee substitute printed 19104819D-S1
01/15/2019Impact statement from VCSC (SB1137S1)
01/15/2019Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/16/2019Impact statement from DPB (SB1137S1)
01/16/2019Read second time
01/16/2019Reading of substitute waived
01/16/2019Committee substitute agreed to 19104819D-S1
01/16/2019Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB1137S1
01/17/2019Read third time and passed Senate (23-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
01/21/2019Placed on Calendar
01/21/2019Read first time
01/21/2019Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/12/2019Assigned Courts sub: Subcommittee #1
02/15/2019Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely (4-Y 1-N)
02/19/2019Left in Courts of Justice