Bill Summary for H 740 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

Apr 11 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 740 (Public) Filed Thursday, April 11, 2019
AN ACT TO CREATE THE STATUTORY CRIMINAL OFFENSES OF TORTURE AND ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE; TO ADD THESE OFFENSES TO THOSE FOR WHICH AN INVESTIGATIVE GRAND JURY MAY BE CONVENED; TO PROVIDE THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL HAS CONCURRENT JURISDICTION WITH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OF THIS STATE TO PROSECUTE CERTAIN VIOLATIONS OF THE CRIMINAL LAWS OF THIS STATE; TO PROHIBIT THE STATE FROM CONTRACTING WITH A VENDOR THAT HAS AN OFFICER, A DIRECTOR, OR AN OWNER WHO HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF A TORTURE OR ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE OFFENSE; TO PROHIBIT THE PROVIDING OF STATE FUNDS TO A NON-STATE ENTITY THAT HAS AN OFFICER, A DIRECTOR, OR AN OWNER WHO HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF A TORTURE OR ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE OFFENSE; AND TO PROHIBIT LOANS OR GRANTS OF STATE FUNDS TO AIRPORTS THAT HAVE NOT ESTABLISHED AND IMPLEMENTED A POLICY PROHIBITING THE USE OF THE AIRPORT FOR ACTIVITIES THAT VIOLATE THE LAW AGAINST TORTURE AND ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE.
Intro. by Insko, Harrison, Meyer.

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Bill summary

Part I.

Enacts GS 14-34.11 making torture a Class E felony unless the conduct is covered under some other provisions of law requiring greater punishment. Defines torture to mean any act by which serious pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for purposes such as obtaining from the person or from a third person information or a confession, punishing the person for an act he or she or a third person committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing the person or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when the pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. 

Makes enforced disappearance a Class F felony unless the conduct is covered under some other provisions of law requiring greater punishment. Defines enforced disappearance to mean the arrest, detention, or abduction of a person by, or with the authorization, support, or acquiescence of, a governmental body or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or give information on the fate or whereabouts of the person.

Establishes jurisdiction over the prohibited conduct if the alleged offender committed the offense in the State, committed an act in furtherance of a conspiracy to commit an offense under the statute within the State though other conduct or part of the conspiracy occurred outside of the State, or entered into the conspiracy to commit an offense under the statute within the State through part of the conspiracy was formulated or conduct in furtherance of the conspiracy was performed outside of the State. Adds additional punishments of a $5,000 to $100,000 fine and charter forfeiture for convictions of a firm or corporation under the statute. 

Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

Part II.

Amends GS 15A-622 to require the convening of an investigative grand jury upon the district attorney or the Attorney General filing a petition alleging the commission of, attempt to commit or solicitation to commit, or conspiracy to commit torture or enforced disappearance in violation of GS 14-34.11, as enacted. Provides for the powers, duties and responsibilities of a grand jury convened under Article 33. Prohibits disclosure of the contents of the petition. Provides for the options for the method of convening the grand jury. Requires the impaneled grand jury to serve for 12 months, with 18 persons to be selected if an additional grand jury is convened. Allows the presiding judge to excuse a grand juror temporarily or permanently at any time for cause shown, with the court impaneling another juror in place of the juror excused permanently. Adds that a juror who serves full term of service to a grand jury under these provisions cannot be required to serve against as a grand juror or juror for a period of six years. Makes conforming changes.

Amends GS 15A-623 to require that a prosecutor be present to examine witnesses and a court reporter be present and record the examination of witnesses for a grand jury convened for violations concerning new GS 14-34.11. Adds procedural requirements concerning an investigate grand jury convened to require the district attorney or the Attorney General to subpoena witnesses and compel production of evidence of the investigation, with service by the investigative grand jury officer appointed by the court. Prohibits disclosure of the name of persons subpoenaed and its issuance and service except by the witness subpoenaed. Deems any subpoenaed material confidential and prohibits disclosure except in connection with a criminal case related to the subpoenaed materials. Makes the subpoena duces tecum subject to the provisions of GS 15A-802. Makes further clarifying, technical and conforming changes.

Amends GS 114-2 to establish concurrent jurisdiction of the Attorney General with district attorneys to prosecute any criminal violations under GS Chapter 14 revealed by the investigation of a grand jury convened pursuant to GS 15A-622(i1).

Part III.

Amends GS 143-59.2 by providing that a vendor is not entitled to enter into a contract for goods or services with any department, institution, or agency of the State government if any officer or director of the vendor, or any owner if the vendor is an unincorporated business entity, has been convicted of a violation of new GS 14-34.11 or any federal or international law related to the abduction and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another. Makes conforming changes. Effective December 1, 2019, and applies to contracts entered into on or after that date.

Part IV.

Enacts new GS 143C-6-22.5 to provide that a non-State entity is not eligible to receive any State funds if any officer or director of the non-State entity, or any owner if the non-State entity is an unincorporated business entity, has been convicted of a violation of new GS 14-34.11 or any federal or international law related to the abduction and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another. Requires a State agency to require the non-State entity to certify that none of its officers, directors, or owners of an unincorporated business entity have been convicted of any such violation. Effective December 1, 2019, and applies to funds granted or otherwise disbursed on or after that date.

Part V.

Amends GS 63-68 by prohibiting the Department of Transportation from loaning or granting any State funds to an airport it has implemented a policy prohibiting the use of the airport for any activities that violate new GS 14-34.11 or any federal or international law related to the abduction and extrajudicial transfer of a person from one country to another; prohibits issuing or renewing a permit to or for an airport that has failed to implement a such a policy. Effective December 1, 2019, and applies to loans or grants of funds on or after that date.

Enacts new GS 63-59 to require any person using an airport subject to this Article for the transportation of a person arrested or detained by the federal government to submit a report on the transportation to the Department of Justice (DOJ) no less than 10 days before the date of transportation, on information sufficient for DOJ to determine whether the transportation violates the provisions of new GS 14-34.11. Effective December 1, 2019, and applies to the use of airports on or after that date.

Requires DOJ to establish rules for implementing new GS 63-59. Effective December 1, 2019.

Part VI.

Unless otherwise provided, effective December 1, 2019.

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