22.656.13 97th Legislative Session 385

2022 South Dakota Legislature

Senate Bill 159


Introduced by: Senator Johns

An Act to exempt any person suffering from a severe mental illness from capital punishment.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of South Dakota:

Section 1. That § 23A-26-3 be AMENDED:

23A-26-3. Except as provided in this section, jurors a jury shall render a general verdict. Special verdicts are hereby abolished, except the verdicts of "guilty but mentally ill" and "not guilty by reason of insanity." A jury may render a special verdict of:

(1) Guilty but mentally ill;

(2) Not guilty by reason of insanity; or

(3) Guilty but severely mentally ill.

Section 2. That chapter 23A-27A be amended with a NEW SECTION:

The death penalty may not be imposed upon any person:

(1) Who was severely mentally ill at the time of the commission of the offense;

(2) Whose severe mental illness was manifested and medically documented prior to the commission of the offense; and

(3) Whose offense was a product of the person's severe mental illness or due to an irresistible impulse that was caused by the person's severe mental illness.

Section 3. That chapter 23A-27A be amended with a NEW SECTION:

As used in this Act, the term severely mentally ill only includes diagnoses of schizophrenia with psychotic symptoms, major depression with psychotic features, bipolar disorder with psychotic features, posttraumatic stress disorder with psychotic features, or schizoaffective disorder with psychotic features. The term does not include drug-induced psychosis.

Section 4. That chapter 23A-27A be amended with a NEW SECTION:

For any claim that a person is severely mentally ill, the provisions of sections 2 to 5 of this Act, inclusive, apply to any offense alleged to have been committed by a defendant after July 1, 2022.

Section 5. That chapter 23A-27A be amended with a NEW SECTION:

If a defendant is found guilty but severely mentally ill of a Class A felony beyond a reasonable doubt, the court shall sentence the defendant to life imprisonment. The court may also order the defendant to pay the fine under subdivision 22-6-1(1).

Underscores indicate new language.

Overstrikes indicate deleted language.