Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 3. Death Penalty

Supreme Court's Determination As To Sentence

46-18-310. Supreme court's determination as to sentence. (1) The supreme court shall consider the punishment as well as any errors enumerated by way of appeal. With regard to the sentence, the court shall determine:

(a) whether the sentence of death was imposed under the influence of passion, prejudice, or any other arbitrary factor;

(b) whether the evidence supports the trier of fact's finding of the existence or nonexistence of the aggravating circumstances enumerated in 46-18-303 and the sentencing judge's finding of the existence or nonexistence of the mitigating circumstances enumerated in 46-18-304; and

(c) whether the sentence of death is excessive or disproportionate to the penalty imposed in other cases in which a sentencing hearing was held pursuant to 46-18-301, whether the sentence imposed was death or a sentence other than death, considering both the crime and the defendant. The court shall include in its decision a reference to those other cases it took into consideration.

(2) The supreme court shall uphold the sentencing court's findings of fact issued pursuant to 46-18-306 unless those findings are clearly erroneous. The supreme court may not substitute its judgment for that of the sentencing court in:

(a) assessing the credibility of witnesses;

(b) drawing inferences from testimonial, physical, documentary, or other evidence; or

(c) resolving conflicts in the evidence presented at the sentencing hearing or considered by the sentencing court.

History: En. 95-2206.15 by Sec. 10, Ch. 338, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 95-2206.15; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 302, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 154, L. 2003.