46.3511 Verdict of guilty-Presentence hearing-Determination of punishment.

Cite as [A.S.C.A. § 46.3511]

(a) Where the jury or judge returns a verdict or finding of guilty of murder in the 1st degree, the court resumes the trial and conducts a presentence hearing before the jury or judge at which time the only issue is the determination of the punishment to be imposed. In the hearing, subject to the laws or rules of evidence, the jury or judge hears additional evidence in mitigation and aggravation of punishment. Only the evidence in aggravation as the prosecution has made known to the defendant prior to his trial and as provided in 46.3514 is admissible.

(b) The jury or judge also hears argument by the defendant or his counsel and the prosecuting attorney regarding the punishment to be imposed. The additional procedure provided in 46.3514 is followed. The prosecuting attorney opens and the defendant concludes the argument to the jury or judge.

(c) Upon conclusion of the evidence and arguments, the judge gives the jury appropriate instructions and the jury retires to determine the punishment to be imposed. The jury, or the judge in cases tried by a judge, fixes a sentence within the limits prescribed by law.

(d) The judge imposes the sentence fixed by the jury or judge. If the jury cannot, within a reasonable time, agree to the punishment, the judge imposes sentence within the limits of the law, except that, the judge in no instance imposes the death penalty when, in cases tried by a jury, the jury cannot agree upon the punishment.

History: 1979, PL 16-43 § 2.

Research Guide: MCC 565 .066.