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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Senate Bill No. 399

Senate Bill No. 399
AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 11, 2009



Introduced by Senator Yee

Principal coauthor: Senator Romero

Coauthor: Senator Steinberg


February 26, 2009

An act to amend Section 1170 of the Penal Code, relating to sentencing.

Legislative Counsel’s Digest



SB399, as amended, Yee. Sentencing.



Existing law provides that the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or the Board of Parole Hearings or both may, for specified reasons, recommend to the court that a prisoner’s sentence be recalled, and that a court may recall a prisoner’s sentence. This bill would authorize a prisoner who was under18 years of age at the time of committing an offense for which the prisoner was sentenced to life without parole to submit a petition for recall and resentencing to the sentencing court, as specified. The bill would establish certain criteria to be considered when a court decides whether to conduct a hearing on the petition for recall and resentencing and whether to grant the petition. The bill would require the court to make findings within 90 days of submission of the petition, and to hold a hearing if the court finds that the criteria are met, as specified. The bill would apply retroactively, as specified.



Vote: majority.

Appropriation: no.

Fiscal committee: yes.

State-mandated local program: no.



THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 1170 of the Penal Code, as amended by Section 1 of Chapter 416 of the Statutes of 2008, is amended to read:

[Relevant portions only.]

e) (1) When a defendant who was under 18 years of age at the time of the commission of the offense for which the defendant was sentenced to imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole has served at least 10 years of that sentence, the defendant may submit to the sentencing court a petition for recall and resentencing, provided that defendants who have served 10 or more years as of January 1, 2010, shall not be permitted to submit a petition for recall and resentencing pursuant to this subdivision until they have served 15 years. The court shall consider the petition and shall issue written findings not later than 90 days after the submission of the petition.

Defendants who have served 15 or more years but less than 25 years as of January 1, 2010, shall be permitted to submit a petition for recall and resentencing as follows:

(A) Those defendants who entered custody prior to July 1, 1993, may submit a petition in 2010.

(B) Those defendants who entered custody on or after July 1, 1993, but prior to January 1, 1994, may submit a petition in 2011.

(C) Those defendants who entered custody on or after January 1, 1994, but prior to July 1, 1994, may submit a petition in 2012.

(D) Those defendants who entered custody on or after July 1, 1994, but prior to January 1, 1995, may submit a petition in 2013.

2) If the court finds, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant satisfies three or more of the following criteria, the court, shall conduct a hearing as specified in paragraph (3):

(A) The defendant was convicted pursuant to felony murder or aiding and abetting murder provisions of law.

(B) The defendant does not have juvenile felony adjudications for assault or other felony crimes with a significant potential for personal harm to victims prior to the offense for which the sentence is being considered for recall.

(C) The defendant committed the offense with at least one adult codefendant.

(D) Prior to the offense for which the sentence is being considered for recall, the defendant had insufficient adult support or supervision and had suffered from psychological or physical trauma, or significant stress.

(E) The defendant suffers from cognitive limitations due to mental illness, developmental disabilities, or other factors that did not constitute a defense, but influenced the defendant’s involvement in the offense.

(F) The defendant has performed acts that tend to indicate rehabilitation or the potential for rehabilitation, including, but not limited to, availing himself or herself of rehabilitative, educational, or vocational programs, if those programs have been available at his or her classification level and facility, using self-study for self-improvement, or taking action that demonstrates the presence of remorse.

(G) The defendant has maintained family ties or connections with others through letter writing, calls, or visits, or has eliminated contact with individuals outside of prison who are currently involved with crime.

(H) The defendant has had no violent disciplinary violations in the last five years in which the defendant was determined to be the aggressor.

(3) The court shall have the discretion to recall the sentence and commitment previously ordered and to resentence the defendant in the same manner as if the defendant had not previously been sentenced, provided that the new sentence, if any, is not greater than the initial sentence. The discretion of the court shall be exercised in consideration of the criteria in paragraph (2). Victims, or victim family members if the victim is deceased, shall be notified of the resentencing hearing and shall retain their rights to participate in the hearing.

(4) If the sentence is not recalled, defendant may submit another petition for recall and resentencing to the sentencing court when the defendant has been committed to the custody of the department for at least 15 years. If recall and resentencing is not granted under that petition, the defendant may file another petition after having served 20 years. If recall and resentencing is not granted under that petition, the defendant may file another petition after having served 24 years. The final petition may be submitted, and the response to that petition shall be determined, during the 25th year of the defendant’s sentence.

(5) In addition to the criteria in paragraph (2), the court may consider any other criteria that the court deems relevant to its decision, so long as the court identifies them on the record, provides a statement of reasons for adopting them, and states why the defendant does or does not satisfy the criteria.

(6) This subdivision shall have retroactive application.

This bill may have been changed. For current bill status, visit www.leginfo.ca.gov/…



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