BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                            Senator Loni Hancock, Chair              S
                             2013-2014 Regular Session               B

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          SB 260 (Hancock)                                            
          As Amended April 4 2013  
          Hearing date: April 9, 2013
          Penal Code
          MK:dl

                                      SENTENCING  

                                       HISTORY

          Source:Human Rights Watch  
                    Youth Law Center  
                    The Friends Committee  
                    USC School of Law Post Conviction Clinic  


            Prior Legislation:SB 9 (Yee) - Ch. 828, Stats. 2012
                           SB 399 (Yee) - 2010, failed on Assembly floor
                           SB 999 (Yee) - 2008, died on Senate floor
                           SB 1223 (Kuehl) - 2004, died on Assembly  
            Suspense


           Support:  A Place Called Home; American Civil Liberties Union  
                 (ACLU); American Friends Service Committee; American  
                 Probation and Parole Association; Amnesty International;  
                 Advancement Project; Bar Association of San Francisco;  
                 Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action; Black  
                 Organizing Project; Boys and Girls Club of San Gabriel  
                 Valley; California Catholic Conference; California Church  
                 IMPACT; California Coalition for Women Prisoners;  
                 California Public Defenders Association (CPDA);  
                 Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB);  




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                 Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth; Campaign for  
                 Youth Justice; Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice;  
                 Children's Defense Fund; Day One; Disability Rights  
                 Education & Defense Fund;  Dolores Mission Catholic  
                 Church; Everychild Foundation; Equal Justice Society;  
                 Healing Justice Coalition; Human Rights Advocates;  
                 Jesuits of the California Province; Just Detention  
                 International; Justice Not Jails; Justice Now; Juvenile  
                 Law Center; Law Office of Donald R. Hammond; Legal  
                 Services for Children; Legal Service for Prisoners with  
                 Children; Los Angeles Community Action Network; Loyola  
                 Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy; Mexican  
                 American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF);  
                 National Center for Lesbian Rights; National Center for  
                 Youth Law; National Juvenile Justice Network; National  
                 Partnership for Juvenile Services; Office of Restorative  
                 Justice of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Pacific  
                 Juvenile Defender Center; Public Council - Children's  
                 Right's Project; Prison Law Office; Religious Sisters of  
                 Charity; Santa Clara University; Service Employees  
                 International Union (SEIU) Local 1000; Sisters of Mercy  
                 US Province; Sisters of the Company of Mary; St. Mark's  
                 United Methodist Church; Taxpayers for Improving Public  
                 Safety; The W. Haywood Burns Institute; University of San  
                 Francisco Center for Law and Global Justice; University  
                 of Southern California Post-Conviction Justice Project;  
                 University Synagogue; Violence Prevention Coalition of  
                 Greater LA; The Women's Foundation of California; Yolo  
                 County Office of Education; Yolo County Public Defender's  
                 Office; Youth Justice Coalition; 500 individuals

          Opposition:California District Attorneys Association

           

                                         KEY ISSUE
           
          SHOULD THERE BE A PROCESS FOR A PERSON WHO IS SERVING A SENTENCE FOR  
          A CRIME HE OR SHE COMMITTED BEFORE HE OR SHE WAS 18 YEARS OF AGE TO  




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          PETITION FOR A RESENTENCING AFTER SERVING 10 YEARS OF THE SENTENCE  
          IF CERTAIN CRITERIA ARE MET?



                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to allow a person sentenced for a  
          crime that was committed before he or she was 18 to petition for  
          a resentencing if certain criteria are met.

           Existing law  provides that minors age 14 and older can be  
          subject to prosecution in adult criminal court depending upon  
          their alleged offense and their criminal offense history.   
          (Welfare and Institutions Code ("WIC")  602(b); 707)   Current  
          law  contains three discrete mechanisms for remanding minors to  
          adult criminal court for prosecution:

            Statutory or legislative waiver  requires that minors 14 years  
            of age or older who are alleged to have committed specified  
            murder and sex offenses be prosecuted in adult criminal court  
            (i.e., the juvenile court has no jurisdiction over these  
            cases) (WIC  602 (a).);
            Prosecutorial waiver  gives prosecutors the discretion to file  
            cases against minors 14 and older, depending upon their age,  
            alleged offense and offense history, in juvenile or adult  
            criminal court (WIC  707 (d).); and
            Judicial waiver  gives courts the discretion to evaluate  
            whether a minor is unfit for juvenile court based on specified  
            criteria and applicable rebuttable presumptions.  (WIC  707  
            (a), (b) and (c).)

           Existing law  provides that if a prosecution is commenced  
          against a minor as a criminal case as a "direct file" case -  
          that is, through either statutory waiver or prosecutorial  
          waiver - and the minor is convicted of a "direct file"  
          offense, the minor is required to be sentenced as an adult.   
          (Penal Code  1170.17 (a).)  Minors who have been convicted in  
          criminal court of lesser offenses for which they still would  




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          have been eligible for transfer to adult court may be able to  
          seek a juvenile disposition instead of a criminal sentence  
          through a post-conviction fitness proceeding.  (Penal Code   
          1170.17 (b) and (c).)  Minors who are convicted in adult  
          criminal court of offenses for which they would not have been  
          eligible for adult court prosecution had a petition first been  
          filed in juvenile court are subject to a juvenile disposition.  
           (Penal Code  1170.17 (d); 1170.19.)

           Existing law  provides that, these post-conviction proceedings  
          are not available to minors who are convicted after they have  
          been remanded to criminal court from the juvenile court pursuant  
          to Welfare and Institutions Code Section 707 (a) or (c).

           Existing law  provides, with some exceptions, that 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 15 years of that sentence, the defendant may  
          submit to the sentencing court a petition for recall and  
          resentencing and sets forth the requirements for filing and  
          granting such a petition. (Penal Code  1170 (d) (2).)

           This bill  provides notwithstanding any law, upon motion and  
          after 60 days' notice to the prosecution, the sentencing court  
          shall hold a hearing to review the sentence of a person who was  
          under 18 years of age at the time of the offense and was  
          prosecuted as an adult, after the person has served 10 years in  
          prison.

           This bill  provides that after reviewing the sentence, if the  
          person meets the eligibility criteria, the judge can do any of  
          the following:

                 Suspend or stay all or a portion of the sentence.
                 Reduce the sentence to any sentence that could lawfully  
               have been ordered at the time of the original judgment
                 Both reduce and suspend all or a portion of the  
               sentence.




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           This bill  provides that in reviewing the sentence the court may  
          consider, in conjunction with any other evidence the court deems  
          relevant:



                 The person's record of serious disciplinary offenses; 
                 Whether the person has performed acts that tend to  
               indicate rehabilitation or the potential capacity for  
               rehabilitation; 
                 The defendant's use of self-study for self-improvement; 
                 The defendant's statement describing his or her remorse  
               and work towards rehabilitation;
                 The person's youth at the time of the crime, including  
               his or her immaturity, impulsiveness;
                 Failure to appreciate risks and consequence;
                 Family and home environment;
                 Intellectual functioning, mental disorder or  
               disabilities;
                 The circumstances of the offense, including the extent  
               of participation in the offense and the way familial and  
               peer pressures may have affected him or her;
                 Whether the person might have been charged and convicted  
               of a lesser offense if not for the lesser abilities of  
               youth, including an inability to effectively deal with  
               police officers or prosecutors or a limited capacity to  
               fully understand proceeding to assist his or her attorney.

           This bill  provides that the court shall identify on the record  
          the criteria relied on and shall provide a statement of reasons  
          for adopting those criteria.  The court shall state why the  
          defendant does or does not satisfy the criteria.

           This bill  provides that 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.





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           This bill  provides that each person granted review pursuant to  
          this section shall only be entitled to an additional review in  
          the event of a change in circumstances that is proven by a  
          preponderance of the evidence in a petition filed with the  
          sentencing court.

           This bill  provides that it does not apply to a person who was  
          sentenced for: first degree murder with special circumstances;  
          under three strikes; under provisions increasing the penalty for  
          priors or multiple convictions; or, has a sentence of life  
          imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

           This bill  provides that it is the intent of the Legislature to  
          provide a judicial mechanism for reconsidering the sentences of  
          adults who served a significant amount of time in state prison  
          for the conviction of crimes they committed as children.
                                          
                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION

          For the last several years, severe overcrowding in California's  
          prisons has been the focus of evolving and expensive litigation  
          relating to conditions of confinement.  On May 23, 2011, the  
          United States Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its  
          prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity within two  
          years from the date of its ruling, subject to the right of the  
          state to seek modifications in appropriate circumstances.  


          Beginning in early 2007, Senate leadership initiated a policy to  
          hold legislative proposals which could further aggravate the  
          prison overcrowding crisis through new or expanded felony  
          prosecutions.  Under the resulting policy known as "ROCA" (which  
          stands for "Receivership/ Overcrowding Crisis Aggravation"), the  
          Committee held measures which created a new felony, expanded the  
          scope or penalty of an existing felony, or otherwise increased  
          the application of a felony in a manner which could exacerbate  
          the prison overcrowding crisis.  Under these principles, ROCA  
          was applied as a content-neutral, provisional measure necessary  
          to ensure that the Legislature did not erode progress towards  




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          reducing prison overcrowding by passing legislation which would  
          increase the prison population.   ROCA necessitated many hard  
          and difficult decisions for the Committee.

          In January of 2013, just over a year after the enactment of the  
          historic Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011, the State of  
          California filed court documents seeking to vacate or modify the  
          federal court order to reduce the state's prison population to  
          137.5 percent of design capacity.  The State submitted in part  
          that the, ". . .  population in the State's 33 prisons has been  
          reduced by over 24,000 inmates since October 2011 when public  
          safety realignment went into effect, by more than 36,000 inmates  
          compared to the 2008 population . . . , and by nearly 42,000  
          inmates since 2006 . . . ."  Plaintiffs, who oppose the state's  
          motion, argue in part that, "California prisons, which currently  
          average 150% of capacity, and reach as high as 185% of capacity  
          at one prison, continue to deliver health care that is  
          constitutionally deficient."  

          In an order dated January 29, 2013, the federal court granted  
          the state a six-month extension to achieve the 137.5 % prisoner  
          population cap by December 31st of this year.  

          The ongoing litigation indicates that prison capacity and  
          related issues concerning conditions of confinement remain  
          unsettled.  However, in light of the real gains in reducing the  
          prison population that have been made, although even greater  
          reductions are required by the court, the Committee will review  
          each ROCA bill with more flexible consideration.  The following  
          questions will inform this consideration:

                 whether a measure erodes realignment;
                 whether a measure addresses a crime which is directly  
               dangerous to the physical safety of others for which there  
               is no other reasonably appropriate sanction; 
                 whether a bill corrects a constitutional infirmity or  
               legislative drafting error; whether a measure proposes  
               penalties which are proportionate, and cannot be achieved  
               through any other reasonably appropriate remedy; and




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                 whether a bill addresses a major area of public safety  
               or criminal activity for which there is no other  
               reasonable, appropriate remedy.






                                      COMMENTS

          1.   Need for This Bill  

          According to the author:

               Piecemeal changes to California law since the 1990s  
               have removed many safeguards and points for review that  
               once existed for youth charged with crimes. Currently,  
               over 6,500 young people in California prisons were  
               under the age of 18 at the time of their crime and  
               prosecuted as adults - many are transferred to the  
               adult criminal justice system without careful  
               consideration of their amenability to rehabilitate and  
               demonstrate remorse. The current system provides no  
               viable mechanism for reviewing a case after a young  
               person has served a substantial period of incarceration  
               and can show maturity and improvement.

               Existing sentencing laws do not distinguish youth from  
               adults, however, recent court decisions are moving in  
               this direction. The US Supreme Court recently held  
               unconstitutional mandatory life without parole  
               sentences for people under the age of 18, and required  
               courts to consider the youthfulness of defendants  
               facing that sentence (Miller v. Alabama (2012)). The  
               California Supreme Court recently ruled in People v.  
               Caballero (2012) that a sentence exceeding the life  
               expectancy of a juvenile is the equivalent of life  
               without parole, and unconstitutional in non-homicide  




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               cases. Specifically, the California Supreme Court  
               called for legislative action to establish a review  
               process for cases with lengthy sentences. 

               Recent scientific evidence on adolescent development  
               and neuroscience show that certain areas of the brain,  
               particularly those that affect judgment and  
               decision-making, do not fully develop until the early  
               20's. The US Supreme Court stated in its 2005 Roper v.  
               Simmons decision, "[t]he reality that juveniles still  
               struggle to define their identity means it is less  
               supportable to conclude that even a heinous crime  
               committed by a juvenile is evidence of irretrievably  
               depraved character." Moreover, the fact that young  
               adults are still developing means that they are  
               uniquely situated for personal growth and  
               rehabilitation.

               In the wake of the US and the California Supreme  
               Courts' decisions and consistent with neuroscientific  
               research, SB 260 establishes a comprehensive judicial  
               review process to evaluate cases involving extreme  
               sentences for juveniles. SB 260 holds young people  
               responsible for the crimes they committed and creates a  
               system in which they must demonstrate remorse and  
               rehabilitation to merit any possible sentence reduction  
               as determined by the court.


          2.   Review of Sentence for Crime Committed While a Minor  

          Last year SB 9 (Yee) was signed into law.  That bill provides  
          that a person who was sentenced to life without parole who  
          committed the offense when he or she was under the age of 18 can  
          under specified circumstances seek a review of the sentence  
          after he or she served 15 years in prison.

          This bill provides a resentencing for adults who were sentenced  
          as juveniles and received long sentences that were not life  




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          without parole and so do not fall within SB 9.  Under this bill,  
          a person who committed their offense before he or she was 18 can  
          seek a review of his or her sentence in the sentencing court  
          after serving 10 years.  The bill specifies that the court may  
          consider a number of things relating to the rehabilitation or  
          prospect for rehabilitation of the defendant, the circumstances  
          at the time of the incident including the defendant's  
          participation in the crime and mental abilities at that time and  
          other factors relating to the defendant's maturity level at the  
          time and their ability to rehabilitate.  If the court determines  
          that it is appropriate the court may reduce, suspend or stay all  
          or a portion of the sentence.  When making a change in the  
          sentence the court shall state on the record what criteria the  
          court relied on and why and provide a statement why the  
          defendant does or does not meet the criteria.  If relief is not  
          granted, a defendant cannot seek another review until   a change  
          in circumstances is proven by a preponderance of the evidence in  
          a petition filed with the sentencing court.

          The bill specifically states that the victim, or his or her  
          family, shall be notified of the hearing and have a right to  
          participate.

          This bill explicitly excludes people sentenced to life without  
          parole; people sentenced under three strikes; or those sentenced  
          under Penal Code 1170.12 because of priors or multiple offenses.

          3.   Life or Effectively Life Sentences for Juveniles  

          In Graham v. Florida (2010) 130 S.Ct. 2011, 176 L.Ed.2d 825 the  
          Supreme Court held that it is cruel and unusual punishment to  
          sentence a juvenile to life without the possibility of parole  
          for a non-homicide case.  The Court found that the rareness of  
          such a sentence showed: 

               A national consensus has developed against a life  
               without parole sentence for one who was a juvenile when  
               the non-homicide crime was committed. Although the  
               sentence is permitted in many states, it is currently  




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               being served by only 123 persons, and the majority of  
               those persons are in Florida. These numbers demonstrate  
               that the sentence is rare enough to be considered cruel  
               and unusual. (130 S.Ct. 2026, 176 L.Ed.2d 841.)  
               Although international practice is in no way  
               controlling, it is worth noting that the United States  
               is the only country that imposes life without parole  
               sentences on juvenile non-homicide offenders. (130  
               S.Ct. 2033, 176 L.Ed.2d 849.)

               The consensus alone is not determinative. The  
               culpability of the offender is also an important  
               consideration. As Roper v. Simmons (2005) 543 U.S. 551,  
               125 S.Ct. 1183, 161 L.Ed.2d 1, supra, 500, recognized,  
               juveniles are less deserving of the most severe  
               punishment. Compared to adults, juveniles have a lack  
               of maturity and an underdeveloped sense of  
               responsibility; they are more vulnerable to negative  
               influences and outside pressures, and their characters  
               are not as well formed. Yet a juvenile, punished at a  
               young age, will generally serve more years in prison  
               than an adult who receives a life term. (130 S.Ct.  
               2028, 176 L.Ed.2d 843.) The goals of retribution,  
               deterrence, and rehabilitation are not advanced or  
               sufficiently justified by so harsh a sentence. (130  
               S.Ct. 2028, 2029, 176 L.Ed.2d 843, 844.)

               ? Nevertheless, the state is not required to guarantee  
               eventual freedom for a juvenile convicted of a  
               non-homicide crime. What it must do is give such  
               defendants "some meaningful opportunity to obtain  
               release based on demonstrated maturity and  
               rehabilitation." (130 S.Ct. 2030, L.Ed.2d 846.)  
               Defendant's sentence, as it stands, would guarantee  
               that he will die in prison without such an opportunity,  
               no matter what he might do to demonstrate that he is  
               fit to rejoin society. (130 S.Ct. 2032, 176 L.Ed.2d  
               848.) (See People v. Mendez (2010) 188 C.A.4th 47, 62,  
               114 C.R.3d 870 [under rationale of Graham, juvenile's  




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               sentence in non-homicide case to term of years that,  
               after allowance for conduct reductions, would exceed  
               his life expectancy, is de facto life without parole  
               sentence and unconstitutional]; 124 Harv. L. Rev. 209  
               [Graham].) (3 Witkin Cal. Crim. Law Punishment  511)


          The Supreme Court again looked at the issue of juveniles  
          sentenced to life without parole in Miller v. Alabama (2012)132  
          S. Ct. 2455 and found that a mandatory life without parole  
          sentence for a juvenile in a homicide was also cruel and unusual  
          punishment. 

               Graham also likened life-without-parole sentences for  
               juveniles to the death penalty. That decision  
               recognized that life-without-parole sentences "share  
               some characteristics with death sentences that are  
               shared by no other sentences." 560 U.S., at ___, 130 S.  
               Ct. 2011, 176 L. Ed. 2d 825. And it treated life  
               without parole for juveniles like this Court's cases  
               treat the death penalty, imposing a categorical bar on  
               its imposition for non-homicide offenses. By likening  
               life-without-parole sentences for juveniles to the  
               death penalty, Graham makes relevant this Court's cases  
               demanding individualized sentencing in capital cases.  
               In particular, those cases have emphasized that  
               sentencers must be able to consider the mitigating   
               qualities of youth. In light of Graham's reasoning,  
               these decisions also show the flaws of imposing  
               mandatory life-without-parole sentences on juvenile  
               homicide offenders. Pp. ___ - ___, 183 L. Ed. 2d, at  
               417-424. (Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455, 2459  
               (U.S. 2012))

          Relying on Miller, the California Supreme Court in People v.  
          Caballero found that in a non-homicide case a sentence of 110  
          years imposed on a juvenile is the legal equivalent of life  
          without parole. (People v. Caballero  (2012) 55 Cal 4th 262)





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               Consistent with the high court's holding in Graham,  
               supra, 560 U.S. ___ [130 S. Ct. 2011], we conclude that  
               sentencing a juvenile offender for a non-homicide  
               offense to a term of years with a parole eligibility  
               date that falls outside the juvenile offender's natural  
               life expectancy constitutes cruel and unusual  
               punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.  
               Although proper authorities may later determine that  
               youths should remain incarcerated for their natural  
               lives, the state may not deprive them at sentencing of  
               a meaningful opportunity to demonstrate their  
               rehabilitation and fitness to reenter society in the  
               future. Under Graham's non-homicide ruling, the  
               sentencing court must consider all mitigating  
               circumstances attendant in the juvenile's crime and  
               life, including but not limited to his or her  
               chronological age at the time of the crime, whether the  
               juvenile offender was a direct perpetrator or an aider  
               and abettor, and his or her physical and mental  
               development, so that it can impose a time when the  
               juvenile offender will be able to seek parole from the  
               parole board. The Board of Parole Hearings will then  
               determine whether the juvenile offender must be  
               released from prison "based on demonstrated maturity  
               and rehabilitation." (560 U.S. at p. ___ [130 S. Ct. at  
               p. 2030].) Defendants who were sentenced for crimes  
               they committed as juveniles who seek to modify life  
               without parole or equivalent de facto sentences already  
               imposed may file petitions for writs of habeas corpus  
               in the trial court in order to allow the court to weigh  
               the mitigating evidence in determining the extent of  
               incarceration required before parole hearings. Because  
               every case will be different, we will not provide trial  
               courts with a precise timeframe for setting these  
               future parole hearings in a non-homicide case. However,  
               the sentence must not violate the defendant's Eighth  
               Amendment rights and must provide him or her a  
               "meaningful opportunity to obtain release based on  
               demonstrated maturity and rehabilitation" under  




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               Graham's mandate. (People v. Caballero, 55 Cal. 4th  
               262, 268-269 (Cal. 2012).)

          The California 4th District Court of Appeal applied the  
          reasoning from Miller and Caballero to a homicide case where the  
          defendant was sentenced to 196 years:

               Satterwhite claims his sentence of 196 years to life  
               should be reversed, and the matter should be remanded  
               for further proceedings, in light  of the United States  
                Supreme Court's recent decision in Miller, supra, 567  
               U.S. ___ [132 S.Ct. 2455], which held that,  in  
               homicide cases, the prohibition of cruel and unusual  
               punishment set forth in the Eighth Amendment to the  
               federal Constitution prohibits the imposition of a  
               mandatory sentence of life without the possibility of  
               parole on a juvenile offender. (Miller, 567 U.S. at p.  
               ___ [132 S.Ct. at p. 2469]; see People v. Caballero  
               (2012) 55 Cal.4th 262, 268, fn. 4 [145 Cal. Rptr. 3d  
               286, 282 P.3d 291 v. Caballero (2012) 55 Cal.4th 262,  
               268, fn. 4 [145 Cal. Rptr. 3d 286, 282 P.3d 291]  
               (Caballero).)  We agree. (People v. Thomas, 211 Cal.  
               App. 4th 987, 1013-1014 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 2012).)

          After Caballero, it is clear that more prisoners with long  
          sentenced they received for a crime committed before they were  
          18 will bring writs of habeas corpus on the basis of cruel and  
          unusual punishment.  This will lead courts to look at them on a  
          case by case basis.  This bill instead would set up a standard  
          process for the courts to look to in dealing with these cases.

          4.   Support  

          The supporters agree that juveniles who commit crimes should be  
          punished, but they also argue, that as science has shown and the  
          courts are recognizing, their minds and judgment is not the same  
          as adults and that should be considered.   They also point to  
          the fact that young people have a great capacity for  
          rehabilitation.   For example the Center for Juvenile Law and  




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          Policy at Loyola Law School states:










































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               Youth who commit crimes should be held accountable.   
               However, when California sentences someone under the  
               age of 18 to an adult prions sentence, it disregards  
               the human capacity for rehabilitation and ignores the  
               very real physical and psychological differences  
               between youth and adults. Punishment should reflect the  
               capacity of young people to change and mature.

          Human Rights Watch notes that this is a modest and narrowly  
          focused piece of legislation that if passed: 

               [W]ill protect public safety, in that only those who  
               merit resentencing will be resentenced   District  
               Attorneys will have input at every step of the process:  
               they will still be able to argue at the time of  
               sentencing for a youth offender to be sentenced to an  
               adult sentence as permitted by current law. District  
               Attorneys will also be in court at a resentencing  
               hearing and have the opportunity to argue that the  
               original sentence remain intact if they believe that is  
               appropriate.  Victims'' family members will also be  
               able to be present at the hearing.

          5.   Opposition  

          The California District Attorneys Association opposes this bill  
          stating:

               We have many concerns with this bill, and paramount  
               among them is the fact that this bill will potentially  
               result in the early release of many serious offenders.   
               SB 260 gives courts near limitless authority to suspend  
               or reduce sentences based on criteria that may have  
               already been considered or that are irrelevant to a  
               sentencing decision.  Offenders who are deserving of  
               the very long custodial sentences they have received  
               can petition under this bill after only serving 10  
               years.  This represents a severe risk to public safety  
               and is insulting to victims who were promised justice  




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               through meaningful incarceration.

               While the bill describes criteria that can be used by  
               the court to make a determination under this bill, the  
               only requirement is that whatever criteria are used is  
               noted on the record.  This is hardly a safeguard  
               against courts that exhibit contempt for sentences that  
               may be required by law.  Additionally, there is no  
               effective limit on the number of petitions for  
               resentencing that an offender may file.

          6.   Similar Legislation
           
          AB 1276 (Bloom) is in Assembly Public Safety Committee.  It  
          requires a person who was convicted of a non-homicide offense  
          that was committed before the person had attained 18 years of  
          age to be given a meaningful opportunity for parole or other  
          form of supervised release after having served 25 years in state  
          prison.


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