Legislature(2001 - 2002)
01/31/2002 03:30 PM STA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
SB 240-TERRORISTIC THREATENING/PIPELINE DAMAGE CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT announced there was a proposed committee substitute (CS) before the committee and a request from the departments to consider additional language. He asked for a motion to adopt the \C version as the working document. SENATOR DAVIS moved to adopt the \C version of SB 240 as the working document. There was no objection. CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked Annie Carpeneti to explain the proposed amendment. ANNIE CARPENETI from the Department of Law explained the amendment before the committee was the result of additional conversations among state attorneys general who are identifying areas of the law that should be strengthened to provide for adequate response to crimes committed by terrorists. The first is an amendment to the conspiracy laws to add three new target crimes to the present law. These additions are: 1. Conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to an oil or gas pipeline or supporting facility. 2. Terroristic threatening by conspiring to send a dangerous substance such as anthrax or an imitation substance to another person. 3. Conspiring to commit criminal mischief in the first degree such as tampering with an oil or gas pipeline or supporting facility. The second suggestion would provide amendments to the statutes addressing murder in the first degree. It adds: 1. Intentionally causing damage to an oil or gas pipeline that directly results in the death of a person. 2. Committing terroristic threatening in the first degree and in the course of or furtherance of the offense or in immediate flight from that offense, the death of a person is the direct result. CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked for clarification of, "death during flight from the scene." MS. CARPENETI explained it refers to perpetrators fleeing the scene. It does not apply to one victim fleeing the scene who happens to run over another fleeing victim. CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT then asked for clarification of, "a direct result of." MS. CARPENETI replied it must happen in the course of or furtherance of the underlying crime. It can't be an accidental crime that's unconnected to the actions of the person perpetrating the underlying felony. CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT said the meaning of, "a direct result" is clear if a pipeline facility is blown up and a worker is killed in the explosion, but what about an individual that has a heart attack? MS. CARPENETI said if the individual is at the scene and has a heart attack as a result of being present and under the stress of the explosion then the law would apply. However, it would not apply to injured or killed firefighters who would come to put out the fire because that wouldn't be in the course of or furtherance of the felony. CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT asked if there would be a connection if a bomb struck the Capitol Building and an individual in the State Office Building next door died of a heart attack. MS. CARPENETI said it probably would not apply here because it would not be in the course of the explosion in the Capitol Building. MS. CARPENETI said the last item covered in the amendment came as a suggestion from the legislative attorney, Jerry Luckhaupt, and may have been addressed in the CS. It is for terroristic threatening in the first degree to apply to real or imitation biological or chemical substances. CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT said it was not covered in the CS and advised committee members the bill wording said, "an imitation substance." MS. CARPENETI established if a real substance such as anthrax was sent and no one was harmed it wouldn't apply so the amendment makes the repair. CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT noted section 2 of the CS creates a new category of conspiracy and he questioned why this wasn't incorporated into the existing statutes on conspiracy. MS. CARPENETI pointed out it isn't referring to conspiracy but criminal mischief by damaging an oil or gas pipeline or supporting facility. She explained they brought this up to criminal mischief in the first degree as a separate crime because it is only one act, not a series of acts. They could have incorporated this into existing statutes and had criminal mischief in five degrees rather than four degrees, but doing so would require changing all the other statutes. Additionally, such a change would be cause for some confusion in law enforcement because criminal mischief in the first degree, which is now a class B felony, would change to a class A felony. CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT announced his intention to continue working with the legal department to address the drafting choice on section 2. SENATOR PHILLIPS expressed the same concern. CHAIRMAN THERRIAULT thought the final document would be ready next week. CSSB 240 was held in committee.