Death penalty; severe mental illness. (SB116)

Introduced By

Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) with support from co-patron Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)


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


12/14/2019Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
12/14/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20101740D
12/14/2019Referred to Committee on the Judiciary
12/17/2019Impact statement from VCSC (SB116)
01/08/2020Moved from Courts of Justice to Judiciary due to a change of the committee name
01/27/2020Reported from Judiciary (9-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
01/28/2020Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/29/2020Read second time and engrossed
01/30/2020Read third time and passed Senate (32-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2020Placed on Calendar
02/03/2020Read first time
02/03/2020Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/04/2020Impact statement from DPB (SB116)
03/03/2020Left in Courts of Justice