18 U.S.C. § 3592 - Mitigating and aggravating factors to be considered in determining whether a sentence of death is justified

Cite as:18 U.S.C. § 3592
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-259 (12/23/2020)

(a) MITIGATING FACTORS.-In determining whether a sentence of death is to be imposed on a defendant, the finder of fact shall consider any mitigating factor, including the following:

(1) IMPAIRED CAPACITY.-The defendant's capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of the defendant's conduct or to conform conduct to the requirements of law was significantly impaired, regardless of whether the capacity was so impaired as to constitute a defense to the charge.

(2) DURESS.-The defendant was under unusual and substantial duress, regardless of whether the duress was of such a degree as to constitute a defense to the charge.

(3) MINOR PARTICIPATION.-The defendant is punishable as a principal in the offense, which was committed by another, but the defendant's participation was relatively minor, regardless of whether the participation was so minor as to constitute a defense to the charge.

(4) EQUALLY CULPABLE DEFENDANTS.-Another defendant or defendants, equally culpable in the crime, will not be punished by death.

(5) NO PRIOR CRIMINAL RECORD.-The defendant did not have a significant prior history of other criminal conduct.

(6) DISTURBANCE.-The defendant committed the offense under severe mental or emotional disturbance.

(7) VICTIM'S CONSENT.-The victim consented to the criminal conduct that resulted in the victim's death.

(8) OTHER FACTORS.-Other factors in the defendant's background, record, or character or any other circumstance of the offense that mitigate against imposition of the death sentence.

(b) AGGRAVATING FACTORS FOR ESPIONAGE AND TREASON.-In determining whether a sentence of death is justified for an offense described in section 3591(a)(1), the jury, or if there is no jury, the court, shall consider each of the following aggravating factors for which notice has been given and determine which, if any, exist:

(1) PRIOR ESPIONAGE OR TREASON OFFENSE.-The defendant has previously been convicted of another offense involving espionage or treason for which a sentence of either life imprisonment or death was authorized by law.

(2) GRAVE RISK TO NATIONAL SECURITY.-In the commission of the offense the defendant knowingly created a grave risk of substantial danger to the national security.

(3) GRAVE RISK OF DEATH.-In the commission of the offense the defendant knowingly created a grave risk of death to another person.

The jury, or if there is no jury, the court, may consider whether any other aggravating factor for which notice has been given exists.

(c) AGGRAVATING FACTORS FOR HOMICIDE.-In determining whether a sentence of death is justified for an offense described in section 3591(a)(2), the jury, or if there is no jury, the court, shall consider each of the following aggravating factors for which notice has been given and determine which, if any, exist:

(1) DEATH DURING COMMISSION OF ANOTHER CRIME.-The death, or injury resulting in death, occurred during the commission or attempted commission of, or during the immediate flight from the commission of, an offense under section 32 (destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities), section 33 (destruction of motor vehicles or motor vehicle facilities), section 37 (violence at international airports), section 351 (violence against Members of Congress, Cabinet officers, or Supreme Court Justices), an offense under section 751 (prisoners in custody of institution or officer), section 794 (gathering or delivering defense information to aid foreign government), section 844(d) (transportation of explosives in interstate commerce for certain purposes), section 844(f) (destruction of Government property by explosives), section 1118 (prisoners serving life term), section 1201 (kidnapping), section 844(i) (destruction of property affecting interstate commerce by explosives), section 1116 (killing or attempted killing of diplomats), section 1203 (hostage taking), section 1992 1 (wrecking trains), section 2245 (offenses resulting in death), section 2280 (maritime violence), section 2281 (maritime platform violence), section 2332 (terrorist acts abroad against United States nationals), section 2332a (use of weapons of mass destruction), or section 2381 (treason) of this title, or section 46502 of title 49, United States Code (aircraft piracy).

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