BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                            Senator Kevin de León, Chair


          SB 260 (Hancock) - Sentencing.
          
          Amended: April 4, 2013          Policy Vote: Public Safety 4-2
          Urgency: No                     Mandate: No
          Hearing Date: May 23, 2013      Consultant: Jolie Onodera
          
          SUSPENSE FILE. AS PROPOSED TO BE AMENDED.
          
          
          Bill Summary: SB 260 would establish a process for a person  
          sentenced for a crime committed before he or she was 18 years of  
          age to submit a petition for a re-sentencing after serving 10  
          years in prison if certain criteria are met.

          Fiscal Impact: 
              Significant annual trial court costs of $0.3 million to  
              $0.8 million (General Fund*), up to $3.2 million, to review  
              and respond to re-sentencing petitions, and to hold  
              re-sentencing hearings for 10 percent to 25 percent, and up  
              to 2,072 eligible inmates who will have served at least 10  
              years in prison as of January 1, 2014. This estimate assumes  
              a cost of $1,500 per hearing.
              Potentially significant additional ongoing trial court  
              costs (General Fund*) to review and respond to both initial  
              (as inmates reach 10 years served) and resubmitted  
              petitions, and to hold re-sentencing hearings for petitions  
              deemed eligible. Currently, there are 3,300 inmates  
              remaining in prison who were under 18 years of age at the  
              time of their offense with life or extended determinate  
              sentences who could potentially be eligible to petition the  
              court.    
              Unknown, offsetting cost savings to the extent the  
              re-sentencing process reduces the number of writs of habeas  
              corpus that otherwise would have been filed under existing  
              law.
              Potential annual incarceration savings of $0.2 to $0.5  
              million (General Fund) for every 20 to 50 inmates released  
              or sentences reduced. Savings would grow as the years they  
              otherwise would have served compound. Over ten years, the  
              savings could increase to $2 to $5 million assuming the  
              inmates would have served ten additional years. The savings  
              impact for reduced sentences would not be incurred until  
              after the term of the re-sentencing has been served. 
              Ongoing minor costs to CDCR (General Fund) for  






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              notifications to victims and victim family members of the  
              re-sentencing hearings.
          *Trial Court Trust Fund (TCTF)

          Background: In People v. Caballero (2012) 55 Cal.4th 262, the  
          California Supreme Court held that a determinate sentence that  
          exceeds the expected lifetime (in this case 110 years to life)  
          of the juvenile defendant violates the Eighth Amendment because  
          it effectively denies a juvenile any opportunity to demonstrate  
          rehabilitation. The Court relied on the U.S. Supreme Court's  
          opinions in Graham v. Florida (2010) 130 S.Ct. 2011 and Miller  
          v. Alabama (2012) 132 S.Ct. 2455, holding that no legitimate  
          penological interest justifies a life without parole sentence  
          for juvenile offenders in non-homicide cases, and that such a  
          sentence violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel  
          and unusual punishment.

          In its conclusion, the Court states, "Defendants who were  
          sentenced for crimes they committed as juveniles who seek to  
          modify life without parole or equivalent defacto sentences  
          already imposed may file petitions for a writ 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."

          In light of Caballero, it is anticipated that an increased  
          number of inmates serving extended prison terms who were  
          convicted as minors may bring writs of habeas corpus on the  
          basis of cruel and unusual punishment. This bill would serve to  
          establish an alternative process for the review of such cases,  
          as well as for additional cases meeting the eligibility criteria  
          specified in this measure.

          Proposed Law: This bill would establish a process for a person  
          convicted as a minor in adult criminal court to submit a  
          petition for review and re-sentencing, as follows: 
              Provides that 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.
              After review of the sentence, if the person meets the  
              eligibility criteria of the alternative disposition, the  
              judge may suspend or stay all or a portion of the sentence,  
              reduce the sentence to any sentence that could lawfully have  







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              been ordered at the time of the original judgment, or both  
              reduce and suspend or stay all or a portion of the sentence.  

              Authorizes the court to consider, in conjunction with any  
              other evidence the court deems relevant, various factors. 
              Requires the court to identify on the record the criteria  
              relied on and to provide a statement of reasons for adopting  
              those criteria. 
              Provides that victims, or victim family members if the  
              victim is deceased, shall be notified of the re-sentencing  
              hearing and shall retain their rights to participate in the  
              hearing. 
              Authorizes each person granted review to 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.
              Provides that the review consideration provisions do not  
              apply to a person who was sentenced for first degree murder  
              with special circumstances, sentenced under three strikes,  
              sentenced under provisions increasing the penalty for priors  
              or multiple convictions, or who has a sentence of life  
              imprisonment without the possibility of parole (LWOP).

          Related Legislation: AB 1276 (Bloom) would require 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. This bill  
          is pending hearing in the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.

          SB 9 (Yee) Chapter 828/2012 authorizes a person who was under 18  
          years of age at the time of committing an offense for which the  
          person was sentenced to LWOP to submit a petition for recall and  
          re-sentencing to the sentencing court, as specified.

          SB 399 (Yee) 2010 would have authorized a person who was under  
          18 years of age at the time of committing an offense for which  
          the person was sentenced to LWOP to submit a petition for recall  
          and re-sentencing to the sentencing court, as specified. This  
          bill failed passage on the Assembly Floor.

          SB 1223 (Kuehl) 2004 would have authorized a court to review and  
          suspend or reduce the sentence of a person convicted as a minor  
          in adult criminal court and sentenced to state prison after the  
          person has either served 10 years in prison or attained the age  







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          of 25. This bill was held on the Suspense File of the Assembly  
          Committee on Appropriations.

          Staff Comments: Based on data from the CDCR, 5,372 inmates are  
          currently in state prison who were under 18 years of age at the  
          time of their offense (excluding inmates sentenced to death  
          penalty or to life without the possibility of parole). Of the  
          total, 2,072 will have served 10 years by January 1, 2014, and  
          would be eligible to file a petition for re-sentencing upon the  
          enactment of this measure. 

          While it is unknown how many petitions will be filed initially  
          or within any one year, to the extent 10 percent to 25 percent  
          of the 2,072 eligible inmates file petitions for re-sentencing  
          per year, annual costs to the courts to hold re-sentencing  
          hearings are estimated at $0.3 million to $0.8 million (TCTF),  
          assuming a hearing cost of $1,500 (based on the average full-day  
          court cost of $4,000). In future years, in addition to  
          responding to initial petitions and holding re-sentencing  
          hearings for the population of 3,300 inmates and prospective  
          inmates reaching 10 years served, the courts could incur  
          increased costs to review resubmitted petitions, and to  
          subsequently hold re-sentencing hearings for petitions deemed  
          eligible.

          To the extent the courts reduce or suspend a number of sentences  
          due to the review process, CDCR could incur substantial future  
          savings due to reduced incarceration. The magnitude of the  
          fiscal impact is unknown, as the potential savings would be  
          determined by the factors specific to each individual case and  
          the decisions of individual judges in re-sentencing hearings. If  
          the courts were to reduce or suspend the sentences of 10 percent  
          of cases granted a re-sentencing hearing (based on 10 percent to  
          25 percent of those who file a petition), incarceration savings  
          for 20 to 50 inmates of $0.2 to $0.5 million (General Fund) per  
          year would result. Savings would grow as the years they  
          otherwise would have served compound over time. Over ten years,  
          the savings could increase to $2 to $5 million assuming the  
          inmates would have served ten additional years. For inmates  
          granted even greater reduced or suspended sentences, the  
          cumulative savings over time would increase commensurately. The  
          savings impact for reduced sentences would not be incurred until  
          after the term of the re-sentencing has been served. 

          Recommended Amendments: As drafted, there is no effective limit  







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          on the number of petitions for re-sentencing that an inmate may  
          file. To address the potential workload and cost impact on the  
          trial courts, the author may wish to consider an amendment to  
          restrict the subsequent filings to no more than once within a  
          specified and reasonable recurring time period.

          Author amendments restrict subsequent petitions to at least  
          three years after the initial hearing, and condition a  
          subsequent hearing on specified criteria.