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 SB 260 (Hancock) Page 1 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 SB 260 (Hancock) Page 2 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 SB 260 (Hancock) Page 3 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 SB 260 (Hancock) Page 4 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.