2015 Oregon Revised Statutes
Volume : 04 - Criminal Procedure, Crimes
Chapter 163 - Offenses Against Persons
Section 163.150 - Sentencing for aggravated murder; proceedings; issues for jury.

OR Rev Stat § 163.150 (2015) What's This?

(1)(a) Upon a finding that the defendant is guilty of aggravated murder, the court, except as otherwise provided in subsection (3) of this section, shall conduct a separate sentencing proceeding to determine whether the defendant shall be sentenced to life imprisonment, as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(c), life imprisonment without the possibility of release or parole, as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(b), or death. The proceeding shall be conducted in the trial court before the trial jury as soon as practicable. If a juror for any reason is unable to perform the function of a juror, the juror shall be dismissed from the sentencing proceeding. The court shall cause to be drawn the name of one of the alternate jurors, who shall then become a member of the jury for the sentencing proceeding notwithstanding the fact that the alternate juror did not deliberate on the issue of guilt. The substitution of an alternate juror shall be allowed only if the jury has not begun to deliberate on the issue of the sentence. If the defendant has pleaded guilty, the sentencing proceeding shall be conducted before a jury impaneled for that purpose. In the proceeding, evidence may be presented as to any matter that the court deems relevant to sentence including, but not limited to, victim impact evidence relating to the personal characteristics of the victim or the impact of the crime on the victim’s family and any aggravating or mitigating evidence relevant to the issue in paragraph (b)(D) of this subsection; however, neither the state nor the defendant shall be allowed to introduce repetitive evidence that has previously been offered and received during the trial on the issue of guilt. The court shall instruct the jury that all evidence previously offered and received may be considered for purposes of the sentencing hearing. This paragraph shall not be construed to authorize the introduction of any evidence secured in violation of the Constitution of the United States or of the State of Oregon. The state and the defendant or the counsel of the defendant shall be permitted to present arguments for or against a sentence of death and for or against a sentence of life imprisonment with or without the possibility of release or parole.

(b) Upon the conclusion of the presentation of the evidence, the court shall submit the following issues to the jury:

(A) Whether the conduct of the defendant that caused the death of the deceased was committed deliberately and with the reasonable expectation that death of the deceased or another would result;

(B) Whether there is a probability that the defendant would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society;

(C) If raised by the evidence, whether the conduct of the defendant in killing the deceased was unreasonable in response to the provocation, if any, by the deceased; and

(D) Whether the defendant should receive a death sentence.

(c)(A) The court shall instruct the jury to consider, in determining the issues in paragraph (b) of this subsection, any mitigating circumstances offered in evidence, including but not limited to the defendant’s age, the extent and severity of the defendant’s prior criminal conduct and the extent of the mental and emotional pressure under which the defendant was acting at the time the offense was committed.

(B) The court shall instruct the jury to answer the question in paragraph (b)(D) of this subsection "no" if, after considering any aggravating evidence and any mitigating evidence concerning any aspect of the defendant’s character or background, or any circumstances of the offense and any victim impact evidence as described in paragraph (a) of this subsection, one or more of the jurors believe that the defendant should not receive a death sentence.

(d) The state must prove each issue submitted under paragraph (b)(A) to (C) of this subsection beyond a reasonable doubt, and the jury shall return a special verdict of "yes" or "no" on each issue considered.

(e) The court shall charge the jury that it may not answer any issue "yes," under paragraph (b) of this subsection unless it agrees unanimously.

(f) If the jury returns an affirmative finding on each issue considered under paragraph (b) of this subsection, the trial judge shall sentence the defendant to death.

(2)(a) Upon the conclusion of the presentation of the evidence, the court shall also instruct the jury that if it reaches a negative finding on any issue under subsection (1)(b) of this section, the trial court shall sentence the defendant to life imprisonment without the possibility of release or parole, as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(b), unless 10 or more members of the jury further find that there are sufficient mitigating circumstances to warrant life imprisonment, in which case the trial court shall sentence the defendant to life imprisonment as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(c).

(b) If the jury returns a negative finding on any issue under subsection (1)(b) of this section and further finds that there are sufficient mitigating circumstances to warrant life imprisonment, the trial court shall sentence the defendant to life imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections as provided in ORS 163.105 (1)(c).

(3)(a) When the defendant is found guilty of aggravated murder, and ORS 137.707 (2) applies or the state advises the court on the record that the state declines to present evidence for purposes of sentencing the defendant to death, the court:

(A) Shall not conduct a sentencing proceeding as described in subsection (1) of this section, and a sentence of death shall not be ordered.

(B) Shall conduct a sentencing proceeding to determine whether the defendant shall be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release or parole as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(b) or life imprisonment as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(c). If the defendant waives all rights to a jury sentencing proceeding, the court shall conduct the sentencing proceeding as the trier of fact. The procedure for the sentencing proceeding, whether before a court or a jury, shall follow the procedure of subsection (1)(a) of this section, as modified by this subsection. In the proceeding, evidence may be presented as to any matter that the court deems relevant to sentence, including, but not limited to, victim impact evidence relating to the personal characteristics of the victim or the impact of the crime on the victim’s family.

(b) Following the presentation of evidence and argument under paragraph (a) of this subsection, the court shall instruct the jury that the trial court shall sentence the defendant to life imprisonment without the possibility of release or parole as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(b), unless after considering all of the evidence submitted, 10 or more members of the jury find there are sufficient mitigating circumstances to warrant life imprisonment with the possibility of parole as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(c). If 10 or more members of the jury find there are sufficient mitigating circumstances to warrant life imprisonment with the possibility of parole, the trial court shall sentence the defendant to life imprisonment as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(c).

(c) Nothing in this subsection shall preclude the court from sentencing the defendant to life imprisonment, as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(c), or life imprisonment without the possibility of release or parole, as described in ORS 163.105 (1)(b), pursuant to a stipulation of sentence or stipulation of sentencing facts agreed to and offered by both parties if the defendant waives all rights to a jury sentencing proceeding.

(4) If any part of subsection (2) of this section is held invalid and as a result thereof a defendant who has been sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of release or parole will instead be sentenced to life imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections as provided in ORS 163.105 (2), the defendant shall be confined for a minimum of 30 years without possibility of parole, release on work release or any form of temporary leave or employment at a forest or work camp. Subsection (2) of this section shall apply only to trials commencing on or after July 19, 1989.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (1)(a) of this section, if the trial court grants a mistrial during the sentencing proceeding, the trial court, at the election of the state, shall either:

(a) Sentence the defendant to imprisonment for life in the custody of the Department of Corrections as provided in ORS 163.105 (1)(c); or

(b) Impanel a new sentencing jury for the purpose of conducting a new sentencing proceeding to determine if the defendant should be sentenced to:

(A) Death;

(B) Imprisonment for life without the possibility of release or parole as provided in ORS 163.105 (1)(b); or

(C) Imprisonment for life in the custody of the Department of Corrections as provided in ORS 163.105 (1)(c).

[1985 c.3 §3; 1987 c.320 §86; 1987 c.557 §1; 1989 c.720 §2; 1989 c.790 §135b; 1991 c.725 §2; 1991 c.885 §2; 1995 c.531 §2; 1995 c.657 §23; 1997 c.784 §1; 1999 c.1055 §1; 2001 c.306 §1; 2005 c.480 §1]

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