BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 260
          Author:   Hancock (D), et al.
          Amended:  5/24/13
          Vote:     21


           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  4-2, 4/9/13
          AYES:  Hancock, De León, Liu, Steinberg
          NOES:  Anderson, Knight
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Block

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  6-0, 5/23/13
          AYES:  De León, Walters, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Gaines


           SUBJECT  :    Sentencing

           SOURCE  :     Human Rights Watch
                      The Friends Committee on Legislation of California
                      USC School of Law Post Conviction Clinic
                      Youth Law Center


           DIGEST  :    This bill establishes a process for a person  
          sentenced for a crime committed before he/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.





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           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1.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.

          2.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. 

          This bill:

          1.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.

          2.Provides that after reviewing the sentence, if the person  
            meets the eligibility criteria, the judge can do any of the  
            following:

             A.   Suspend or stay all or a portion of the sentence.

             B.   Reduce the sentence to any sentence that could lawfully  
               have been ordered at the time of the original judgment.

             C.   Both reduce and suspend all or a portion of the  
               sentence.

          1.Provides that in reviewing the sentence the court may  
            consider, in conjunction with any other evidence the court  
            deems relevant, the following:


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             A.   The person's record of serious disciplinary offenses.

             B.   Whether the person has performed acts that tend to  
               indicate rehabilitation or the potential capacity for  
               rehabilitation.

             C.   The defendant's use of self-study for self-improvement.

             D.   The defendant's statement describing his/her remorse and  
               work towards rehabilitation.

             E.   The person's youth at the time of the crime, including  
               his/her immaturity, impulsiveness.

             F.   Failure to appreciate risks and consequence.

             G.   Family and home environment.

             H.   Intellectual functioning, mental disorder or  
               disabilities.

             I.   The circumstances of the offense, including the extent  
               of participation in the offense and the way familial and  
               peer pressures may have affected him/her.

             J.   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/her attorney.

          1.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.

          2.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.

          3.Permits each person granted a review whose sentence is not  
            suspended, stayed, or reduced, to file a petition three or  
            more years after any review hearing, and requires the review  
            hearing to be granted if the petition demonstrates a change in  

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            the circumstances, as specified, by a preponderance of the  
            evidence.

          4.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.

          5.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.

           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 People v. 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.

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           Prior/Similar Legislation
           
          SB 9 (Yee, Chapter 828, Statutes of 2012), provides that a  
          person who was sentenced to life without parole who committed  
          the offense when he/she was under the age of 18 can under  
          specified circumstances seek a review of the sentence after  
          he/she served 15 years in prison.







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

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

                 Significant annual trial court costs of $0.3 million to  
               $0.8 million (General Fund*) to review and respond to  
               re-sentencing petitions, and to hold re-sentencing hearings  
               for every 10% to 25% of the 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 (unlimited), 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  

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               or sentences reduced.  Savings will grow as the years they  
               otherwise would have served compound.  Over 10 years, the  
               savings could increase to $2 to $5 million assuming the  
               inmates will have served 10 additional years.  The savings  
               impact for reduced sentences will not be incurred until  
               after the term of the re-sentencing has been served.

                 Ongoing minor costs to CDCR (General Fund), for  
               notifications to victims and victim family members, of the  
               re-sentencing hearings.

               *Trial Court Trust Fund

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/23/13)

          Human Rights Watch (co-source)
          The Friends Committee on Legislation of California (co-source)
          USC School of Law Post Conviction Clinic (co-source)
          Youth Law Center (co-source)
          A Place Called Home
          Advancement Project
          All of Us of None
          All Saints Church Foster Care Project
          American Civil Liberties Union
          American Friends Service Committee
          American Probation and Parole Association
          Amnesty International
          Bar Association of San Francisco
          Berkeley Organizing Congregations for Action
          Black Organizing Project
          Boys and Girls Club of San Gabriel Valley
          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
          California Catholic Conference, Inc.
          California Church IMPACT
          California Coalition for Women Prisoners
          California Coalition for Youth
          California Communities United Institute
          California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement
          California Fund for Youth Organizing
          California Public Defenders Association
          California Teachers Association 
          Californians United for a Responsible Budget 
          Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth
          Campaign for Youth Justice

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          Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
          Children's Defense Fund
          City of San Francisco District Attorney, George Gascón
          County of Los Angeles Sheriff, Leroy D. Baca
          Day One
          Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund 
          Dolores Mission Catholic Church
          East Bay Children's Law Offices
          Equal Justice Society
          Everychild Foundation
          Friends Outside
          Healing Justice Coalition
          Human Rights Advocates
          Jesuits of the California Province
          Just Detention International
          Justice Not Jails
          Justice Now
          Juvenile Law Center
          Legal Service for Prisoners with Children
          Legal Services for Children
          Life Support Alliance
          Los Angeles Community Action Network
          Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy
          Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
          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
          Prison Law Office
          Public Council - Children's Right's Project
          Religious Sisters of Charity
          Santa Clara University
          Service Employees International Union Local 1000
          Sisters of Mercy US Province
          Sisters of the Company of Mary
          St. Mark's United Methodist Church
          Tax Payers for Improving Public Safety
          The Women's Foundation of California
          University of San Francisco Center for Law and Global Justice
          University Synagogue
          Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles
          Yolo County Office of Education

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          Yolo County Public Defender's Office
          Youth Justice Coalition

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  5/23/13)

          California District Attorneys Association
          Crime Victims United

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author's office, 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 Policy at Loyola  
          Law School states:

               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.

           ARGUMENTS IN 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 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  

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               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.


          JG:ej  5/25/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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