05 February 2022 :
House panel OKs death penalty ban for some mental illnesses.
HB 269 passed the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and will now move on to the full House. The measure that would ban the application of the death penalty for some people diagnosed with severe mental illnesses easily cleared the House Judiciary Committee. Republican Rep. Chad McCoy is the bill's lead sponsor. Last year, a similar bill (HB 148) passed the House but stalled in the Senate. Under the new version, the death penalty ban would only apply to defendants with a documented history — including a diagnosis from a mental health professional — of certain mental disorders. The disorders include schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and delusional disorder. The bill would not apply to defendants diagnosed later, but not at the time of the offense. Some committee members expressed frustrations with the bill's limitations. McCoy sympathized but added: “We’ve got to crawl before we can walk, and we’ve to walk before we can run.”