RULE XXVIII. CAPITAL SENTENCE REVIEW

Rule 905.9.1 (applicable to La. C. Cr. P. art. 905.9)

Section 1. Review Guidelines. Every sentence of death shall be reviewed by this court to determine if it is excessive. In determining whether the sentence is excessive the court shall determine:

(a) whether the sentence was imposed under the influence of passion, prejudice or any other arbitrary factors, and

(b) whether the evidence supports the jury's finding of a statutory aggravating circumstance, and

(c) whether the sentence is disproportionate to the penalty imposed in similar cases, considering both the crime and the defendant.

Section 2. Transcript, Record. Whenever the death penalty is imposed a verbatim transcript of the sentencing hearing, along with the record required on appeal, if any, shall be transmitted to the court within the time and in the form, insofar as applicable, for transmitting the record for appeal.

Section 3. Uniform Capital Sentence Report; Sentence Investigation Report.

(a) Whenever the death penalty is imposed, the trial judge shall expeditiously complete and file in the record a Uniform Capital Sentence Report (see Appendix "B"). The trial court may call upon the district attorney, defense counsel and the department of probation and parole of the Department of Corrections to provide any information needed to complete the report.

(b) The trial judge shall cause a sentence investigation to be conducted and the report to be attached to the uniform capital sentence report. The investigation shall inquire into the defendant's prior delinquent and criminal activity, family situation and background, education, economic and employment status, and any other relevant matters concerning the defendant. This report shall be sealed, except as provided below.

(c) Defense counsel and the district attorney shall be furnished a copy of the completed Capital Sentence Report and of the sentence investigation report, and shall be afforded seven days to file a written opposition to their factual contents. If the opposition shows sufficient grounds, the court shall conduct a contradictory hearing to resolve any substantial factual issues raised by the reports. In all cases, the opposition, if any, shall be attached to the reports.

(d) The preparation and lodging of the record for appeal shall not be delayed pending completion of the Uniform Capital Sentence Report.

Section 4. Sentence Review Memoranda; Form; Time for Filing.

(a) In addition to the briefs required on the appeal of the guilt-determination trial, the district attorney and the defendant shall file sentence review memoranda addressed to the propriety of the sentence. The form shall conform, insofar as applicable, to that required for briefs.

(b) The district attorney shall file the memorandum on behalf of the state within the time provided for the defendant to file his brief on the appeal. The memorandum shall include:

i. a list of each first degree murder case in the district in which sentence was imposed after January 1, 1976. The list shall include the docket number, caption, crime convicted, sentence actually imposed and a synopsis of the facts in the record concerning the crime and the defendant.

ii. a synopsis of the facts in the record concerning the crime and the defendant in the instant case.

iii. any other matter relating to the guidelines in Section 1.

(c) Defense counsel shall file a memorandum on behalf of the defendant within the time for the state to file its brief on the appeal. The memorandum shall address itself to the state's memorandum and any other matter relative to the guidelines in Section 1.

Section 5. Remand for Expansion of the Record. The court may remand the matter for the development of facts relating to whether the sentence is excessive.