BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 648|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 648
          Author:   Block (D) and Fletcher (R)
          Amended:  8/15/11 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 6/28/11
          AYES:  Hancock, Anderson, Calderon, Harman, Liu, Price, 
            Steinberg
           
          SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  8-0, 7/11/11
          AYES:  Kehoe, Walters, Alquist, Emmerson, Pavley, Price, 
            Runner, Steinberg
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Lieu
           
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  68-0, 4/25/11 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Clemency

           SOURCE  :     The Office of the San Diego County District 
          Attorney


           DIGEST  :    This bill requires an application for 
          commutation of sentence be served on the district attorney 
          (DA) 10 days before the Governor can act.  In addition, 
          this bill (1) authorizes the DA to submit a written 
          recommendation to the Governor regarding the commutation; 
          (2) requires the DA to make reasonable efforts to notify 
          the victim(s) of the crime or related crimes, as well as 
          the victims' families, who may also submit a recommendation 
          to the Governor regarding the commutation; and (3) recasts 
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          existing law that requires the Governor to report to the 
          Legislature at the beginning of each session, information 
          on each case of reprieve, pardon, and commutation, and 
          require the report to be made available to the public.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 8/15/11 clarify exceptions to 
          the clemency procedures created by the bill.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law provides that subject to 
          application procedures provided by statute, the Governor, 
          on conditions the Governor deems proper, may grant a 
          reprieve, pardon, and commutation, after sentence except in 
          cases of impeachment.  The Governor shall report to the 
          Legislature each reprieve, pardon, and commutation granted, 
          stating the pertinent facts and the reason for granting it. 
           The Governor may not grant a pardon or commutation to a 
          person twice convicted of a felony except on recommendation 
          of the Supreme Court, four judges concurring.  (Article 5, 
          Section 8(a) of the California Constitution)

          Existing law requires that at least 10 days before the 
          Governor acts upon any application for a pardon, written 
          notice of the intention to apply therefor, signed by the 
          person applying, shall be upon the DA in the county where 
          the conviction was had, and proof, by affidavit, of the 
          service must be presented to the Governor.  (Penal Code 
          ÝPEN] Section 4804)

          Existing law provides that the Board of Prison Terms (BPT) 
          may report to the Governor from time to time, the names of 
          all persons imprisoned in any state prison, who in its 
          judgment ought to have a commutation of sentence, or be 
          pardoned or 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.  
          (PEN Section 4801(a))

          Existing law states that in the case of a person twice 
          convicted of a 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 BPT.  (PEN Section 4802)


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          Existing law provides that when an application is made to 
          the Governor for pardon or commutation of sentence, or when 
          an application is forwarded to the BPT, he/she may require 
          the judge of the court before which the conviction was had, 
          or the DA by whom the action was prosecuted, to furnish him 
          or it, 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 recommendations for or 
          against his granting of the same and his reason for such 
          recommendation.  (PEN Section 4803)

          This bill requires that at least 10 days before the 
          Governor acts upon any application for a commutation of 
          sentence, written notice of the intention to apply 
          therefor, signed by the person applying, shall be served 
          upon the DA in the county where the conviction was had, and 
          proof, by affidavit, of the service shall be presented to 
          the Governor.

          This bill specifies that the 10-day notice requirements in 
          this bill do not apply if the applicant is in imminent 
          danger of the death of the person convicted or if the term 
          of imprisonment of the applicant is within 10 days of 
          expiration.

          This bill provides that the DA may submit a written 
          recommendation to the Governor for or against commutation 
          of sentence.

          This bill requires the DA to make a reasonable effort to 
          notify the victim(s) of the crime(s) related to the 
          application and the victim's families who may also submit a 
          recommendation to the Governor for or against commutation 
          of sentence.

          This bill recasts existing provision of law that require 
          the Governor, at the beginning of each Legislative Session 
          to report to the Legislature each case of reprieve, pardon, 
          or commutation, stating the name of the person convicted, 
          the crime of which the person was convicted, the sentence 
          and its date, and the date of the reprieve, pardon or 
          commutation and the reason for granting the same, and makes 
          these reports available to the public.

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           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes   
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

                         Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions      2011-12     2012-13     2013-14     Fund  

          Notification to victims       Unknown; likely minor 
          state-              General and families          
          reimbursable costs
                              
          Public availability of        Minor and absorbable costs 
          to the              General
          report to Legislature         Governor's Office

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/15/11)

          The Office of the San Diego County District Attorney 
          (source)
          Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs
          California District Attorneys Association
          California Fraternal Order of Police
          California Narcotic Officers' Association
          California Police Chiefs Association
          County of San Diego
          Crime Victims United
          Long Beach Police Officers Association
          Los Angeles County Peace Officers Association
          Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
          San Bernardino Sheriff-Coroner
          San Diego County Police Chiefs' and Sheriff's Association
          Santa Ana Police Officers Association
          Victim Assistance Coordinating Council

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The San Diego County District 
          Attorney, the sponsor of this bill notes:

            "We want to be very clear that this legislation is not, 
            in any way, attacking the Governor's power to grant 
            pardons, reprieves or commutations.  We simply want to 
            change the process required by the applicant.  Assembly 

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            Bill 648 will provide the DA of jurisdiction 10 days to 
            respond to the Governor's intended commutation.  The 
            notice is by the person applying to have his/her sentence 
            commuted and must occur whether or not the Governor 
            intends to grant the commutation sought."


           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  68-0, 4/25/11
          AYES:  Achadjian, Allen, Ammiano, Beall, Bill Berryhill, 
            Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford, Brownley, 
            Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, Carter, 
            Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, Eng, Feuer, 
            Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Galgiani, Garrick, Gatto, 
            Gordon, Grove, Hagman, Halderman, Hall, Harkey, Hayashi, 
            Roger Hernández, Hill, Huber, Huffman, Jeffries, Jones, 
            Knight, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Miller, Mitchell, 
            Monning, Morrell, Nestande, Nielsen, Norby, Pan, Perea, 
            V. Manuel Pérez, Portantino, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, 
            Solorio, Swanson, Torres, Valadao, Wagner, Wieckowski, 
            Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Alejo, Atkins, Cedillo, Donnelly, 
            Furutani, Gorell, Hueso, Lara, Mansoor, Mendoza, Olsen, 
            Vacancy


          RJG:kc  8/15/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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