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SENATE BILL NO. 213
INTRODUCED BY L. GROSFIELD, R. CLARK
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT
ELIMINATING CERTAIN SPECIFIC CRIMES CRIMINAL
PROVISIONS THAT ARE ALREADY COVERED BY A GENERAL CRIMINAL PROVISION; PROVIDING
ENHANCED SENTENCES FOR CRIMES THAT ARE COMMITTED FOR A DISCRIMINATORY PURPOSE;
AMENDING SECTION 45-2-311, MCA; REPEALING SECTIONS 45-5-204, 45-5-210, 45-5-221, AND 45-5-222,
MCA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE." WHEREAS, in recent years, the Legislature has passed a number of laws creating criminal offenses for conduct that was
already a criminal offense; and WHEREAS, the proliferation of possible charges and sentences for criminal conduct is often confusing and burdensome
on the criminal justice system; and
WHEREAS, criminal offenses should not be created because of the popular sentiment of public opinion at a specific point in time; and
WHEREAS, the creation of criminal offenses for already prohibited conduct gives rise to the appearance that the conduct was not already criminal or, alternatively, that in declining to create an additional criminal offense, the Legislature condones the already prohibited conduct; and
WHEREAS, the creation of criminal offenses with respect to some classes of victims but not others is discriminatory against classes omitted and creates the illusion or reality of a special protective status for some classes of victims; and
WHEREAS, the determination that a crime was committed for an invidious reason or because of the bigotry of the offender should be made by the court and taken into account in sentencing.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Sentence for crimes committed for discriminatory reasons.
The court, in (1) When
imposing a criminal sentence, the sentencing judge may make a finding that the crime for which the person was
convicted was committed because the person intentionally offender purposely or knowingly selected the victim
against whom the crime was committed because of the actual or perceived position, employment, or status of the victim or
purposely or knowingly selected property that was damaged, defaced, or otherwise affected because of the actual or
perceived position, employment, dignity, or status of the victim any person. If the court makes the finding, the court
shall impose any of the restrictions or conditions on the sentence that are provided for in 46-18-202(1) and (2). In addition,
if the court imposes a sentence of imprisonment, the court shall add an additional 6 months for the offense up to the
maximum permissible sentence for the crime, or if a criminal fine is imposed, the court shall add an additional $500 up to
the maximum permissible fine.
(2) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Defaced" includes but is not limited to cross-burning or the placing of any word or symbol commonly associated with racial, religious, or ethnic identity or activity on the property of another, without the person's permission, or on public property.
(b) "Dignity" means those aspects of individual dignity specifically enumerated in Article II, section 4, of the Montana constitution.
(c) "Position" means social, community, or professional position.
(d) "Status" means lifestyle, character, reputation, or physical or mental appearance or condition.
Section 2. Section 45-2-311, MCA, is amended to read: "45-2-311. Criminal responsibility of corporations. (1) A corporation may be prosecuted for the commission of an
offense only if: (a) the offense is a misdemeanor, is defined by 45-5-204, 45-6-315, 45-6-317, 45-6-318, 45-6-326, 45-6-327, 45-8-113,
45-8-114, 45-8-212, 45-8-214, 82-1-201, or 82-10-104, or is defined by another statute that clearly indicates a legislative
purpose to impose liability on a corporation and an agent of the corporation performs the conduct that is an element of the
offense while acting within the scope of the agent's office or employment and in behalf of the corporation, except that any
limitation in the defining statute concerning the corporation's accountability for certain agents or under certain
circumstances is applicable; or (b) the commission of the offense is authorized, requested, commanded, or performed by the board of directors or by a
high managerial agent who is acting within the scope of that agent's employment in behalf of the corporation. (2) A corporation's proof that the high managerial agent having supervisory responsibility over the conduct that is the
subject matter of the offense exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the offense is a defense to a prosecution
for any offense to which subsection (1)(a) refers, other than an offense for which absolute liability is imposed. This
subsection is inapplicable if the legislative purpose of the statute defining the offense is inconsistent with the provisions of
this subsection. (3) For the purposes of this section: (a) "agent" means any director, officer, servant, employee, or other person who is authorized to act in behalf of the
corporation; (b) "high managerial agent" means an officer of the corporation or any other agent who has a position of comparable
authority for the formulation of corporate policy or the supervision of subordinate employees in a managerial capacity." NEW SECTION. Section 2. Repealer. Sections 45-5-204, 45-5-210, 45-5-221, and 45-5-222, MCA, are repealed.
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 46, chapter 18, part 2, and the provisions of Title 46, chapter 18, part 2, apply to [section 1].
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1999.
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Latest Version of SB 213 (SB0213.03)
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