Miss. set to add terrorism to death penalty law

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Mississippi will add terrorism to the list of crimes that could lead to the death penalty, if a victim is killed.

Gov. Phil Bryant’s spokesman says the Republican intends to sign Senate Bill 2223, which will become law July 1.

Mississippi prosecutors can pursue the death penalty if a victim is killed while certain other felonies are committed — crimes such as rape or armed robbery. The new law will add terrorism as one of the other, aggravating crimes.

The bill defines terrorism as an act committed to influence government by intimidation, coercion, mass destruction or assassination, or to intimidate or coerce civilians.

It specifies that such intimidation or coercion would not include “peaceful picketing, boycotts or other nonviolent action.”

The bill’s sponsor is Republican Sen. Chris McDaniel of Ellisville.