BILL NUMBER: AB 648	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Members Block and Fletcher

                        FEBRUARY 16, 2011

   An act to amend Sections 4801, 4802, 4803, 4804, 4807, 4810, 4812,
and 4813 of the Penal Code, relating to clemency.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 648, as introduced, Block. Clemency.
    The California Constitution authorizes the Governor to grant
reprieves, pardons, or commutations after sentence has been entered,
but prohibits the Governor from granting a pardon or commutation to a
person twice convicted of a felony except on recommendation of the
Supreme Court, 4 judges concurring. The California Constitution
further requires the Governor to report to the Legislature each
reprieve, pardon, and commutation stating the pertinent facts and
reasons for granting it. Existing statutory law provides that at
least 10 days before the Governor acts upon an application for a
pardon, written notice of the intention to apply therefor, signed by
the person applying, shall be served upon the district attorney of
the county where the conviction was had, and proof, by affidavit, of
the service is required to be presented to the Governor.
   This bill would instead require, that at least 30 days before the
Governor acts upon any application for a pardon or commutation, the
application signed by the person applying to be served upon the
district attorney of the county where the conviction was had. The
bill would authorize the district attorney to submit a written
recommendation to the Governor for or against pardon or commutation
of sentence. The bill would further require the district attorney to
notify the victim or victims of the crime or crimes related to the
application and those persons' family members, and allow those
persons to submit a recommendation to the Governor for or against
pardon or commutation of sentence. By imposing additional duties on
the district attorney, this bill would create a state-mandated local
program.
   Existing law requires the Governor, at the beginning of every
session of the Legislature, to communicate to the Legislature, in
addition to each case of reprieve or pardon, each commutation and
include specified information in that communication.
   This bill would instead require the Governor, at the beginning of
every regular session of the Legislature, to file a written report
with the Legislature and include the application for each reprieve,
pardon, or commutation received by the Governor, or his or her
predecessor in office, during the previous regular session of the
Legislature, as specified, and require that the report be made
available to the public. The bill would make other conforming
changes.
   The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates
determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state,
reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these
statutory provisions.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.


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

  SECTION 1.  Section 4801 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   4801.  (a) The  Board of Prison Terms   Board
of Parole Hearings  may report to the Governor, from time to
time, the names of any and all persons imprisoned in any state prison
who, in its judgment, ought to have a commutation of sentence or be
pardoned and set at liberty on account of good conduct, or unusual
term of sentence, or any other cause, including evidence of intimate
partner battering and its effects. For purposes of this section,
"intimate partner battering and its effects" may include evidence of
the nature and effects of physical, emotional, or mental abuse upon
the beliefs, perceptions, or behavior of victims of domestic violence
where it appears the criminal behavior was the result of that
victimization.
   (b)  (1)    The  Board of Prison Terms
  Board of Parole Hearings  , in reviewing a
prisoner's suitability for parole pursuant to Section 3041.5, shall
consider any information or evidence that, at the time of the
commission of the crime, the prisoner had experienced intimate
partner battering, but was convicted of the offense prior to the
enactment of Section 1107 of the Evidence Code by Chapter 812 of the
Statutes of 1991. The board shall state on the record the information
or evidence that it considered pursuant to this subdivision, and the
reasons for the parole decision. The board shall annually report to
the Legislature and the Governor on the cases the board considered
pursuant to this subdivision during the previous year, including the
board's decision and the findings of its investigations of these
cases. 
   (2) The report for the Legislature to be submitted pursuant to
paragraph (1) shall be submitted pursuant to Section 9795 of the
Government Code. 
  SEC. 2.  Section 4802 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   4802.  In the case of a person twice convicted of felony, the
application for pardon or commutation of sentence shall be made
directly to the Governor, who shall transmit all papers and documents
relied upon in support of and in opposition to the application to
the  Board of Prison Terms   Board of Parole
Hearings  .
  SEC. 3.  Section 4803 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   4803.  When an application is made to the Governor for pardon or
commutation of sentence, or when an application has been referred to
the  Board of Prison Terms, he or it   Board of
Parole Hearings, the Governor or the board  may require the
judge of the court before which the conviction was had, or the
district attorney by whom the action was prosecuted, to furnish
 him or it   the Governor or the board  ,
without delay, with a summarized statement of the facts proved on the
trial, and of any other facts having reference to the propriety of
granting or refusing said application, together with his  or her
 recommendation for or against the granting of the same and his
reason for such recommendation.
  SEC. 4.  Section 4804 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   4804.   (a)    At least  10 
 30  days before the Governor acts upon an application for a
pardon  or commutation of sentence  , written notice of the
intention to apply therefor, signed by the person applying, 
must   shall  be served upon the district attorney
of the county where the conviction was had, and proof, by affidavit,
of the service  must   shall  be presented
to the Governor. 
   (b) The district attorney may submit a written recommendation to
the Governor for or against pardon or commutation of sentence. 

   (c) The district attorney shall notify the victim or victims of
the crime or crimes related to the application and the victims'
families who may also submit a recommendation to the Governor for or
against pardon or commutation of sentence. 
  SEC. 5.  Section 4807 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   4807.  The Governor must, at the beginning of every
session, communicate to the Legislature in addition to each case of
reprieve, or pardon, as provided in Article V, Section 8, of the
Constitution of California, each commutation,   (a)
    At the beginning of every regular session of
the Legislature, the Governor shall file a written report with the
Legislature, that shall include each application for each case of
reprieve, pardon, or commutation received by the Governor, or his or
her predecessor in office, during the immediately preceding regular
session of the Legislature,  stating the name of the person
convicted, the crime of which  he   the person
 was convicted, the sentence and its date, the date of the
 commutation   reprieve, pardon, or  
commutation  and the reason for granting the same.  The
report shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the
Government Code.  
   (b) Notwithstanding any other law, the written report filed with
the Legislature pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be available to the
public. 
  SEC. 6.  Section 4810 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   4810.  (a) The  Board of Prison Terms   Board
of Parole Hearings  shall succeed to and shall exercise and
perform all powers and duties granted to and imposed upon the
Advisory Pardon Board by law.
   (b) The Advisory Pardon Board is abolished.
   (c) The report required of the  Board of Prison Terms
  Board of Parole Hearings  by Section 4814 may be
included in the report of the department.
  SEC. 7.  Section 4812 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   4812.  Upon request of the Governor  ,  the 
Board of Prison Terms   Board of Parole Hearings 
shall investigate and report on all applications for reprieves,
pardons and commutation of sentence and shall make such
recommendations to the Governor with reference thereto as to it may
seem advisable. To that end the board shall examine and consider all
applications so referred and all transcripts of judicial proceedings
and all affidavits or other documents submitted in connection
therewith, and shall have power to employ assistants and take
testimony and to examine witnesses under oath and to do any and all
things necessary to make a full and complete investigation of and
concerning all applications referred to it. Members of the board and
its administrative officer are, and each of them is, hereby
authorized to administer oaths.
  SEC. 8.  Section 4813 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   4813.  In the case of applications of persons twice convicted of a
felony, the  Board of Prison Terms   Board of
Parole Hearings  , after investigation, shall transmit its
written recommendation upon such application to the Governor,
together with all papers filed in connection with the application.
  SEC. 9.  If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this
act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local
agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant
to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of
the Government Code.