BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 955
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   July 2, 2014                                   


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                   SB 955 (Mitchell) - As Introduced:  February 6, 2014 
                                           
          Policy Committee:        Public Safety                 Vote:7-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               

           SUMMARY  

          This bill adds human trafficking to the list of crimes -   
          murder, solicitation to commit murder, bombing, use or threat to  
          use weapons of mass destruction, criminal gang activity, and  
          importation, possession for sale, transportation, manufacture or  
          sale of heroin, cocaine, PCP, or methamphetamin - for which a  
          judge may authorize interception of wire or electronic  
          communications, and extends the sunset date on the state's  
          wiretapping law until January 1, 2020.   

           FISCAL EFFECT 
           
          1)Ongoing significant state costs, potentially in the millions  
            of dollars, to the extent continuing current authorization for  
            wiretaps leads to an increase in state prison commitments.  
            (For example, according to the state Department of Justice  
            (DOJ), in California in 2012, 707 wiretaps were authorized in  
            16 counties, leading to 961 arrests and 58 convictions.)

          2)Major ongoing non-reimbursable local and federal law  
            enforcement costs, more than $30 million, as a result of  
            continuing wiretapping authorization, according to counties  
            reporting to DOJ in 2012.  

          3)Minor costs to DOJ, less than $50,000, for its detailed annual  
            report. 

          4)Moderate state GF costs, potentially in the range of $1  
            million, to the extent expanding current authorization for  
            wiretaps leads to an increase in state prison commitments for  
            human trafficking. Over the past three years, 45 persons have  








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            been committed to state prison under the human trafficking  
            section. If this bill is effective and results in just two  
            additional commitments, the annual GF cost would be in the  
            range of $1 million in eight years, assuming an average term  
            of eight years at current per capita prison costs.   

           COMMENTS  

           1)Rationale  . The author and proponents (law enforcement  
            entities) contend existing wiretap statutes have enabled law  
            enforcement agencies to obtain authorization that has  
            successfully contributed to efforts to address the production  
            and sale of controlled substances and to investigate murder  
            and criminal gang activity statewide. 
             
             Regarding expanding the list of crimes for which intercepts  
            may be authorized, the author and proponents contend that  
            because human trafficking is prevalent in California, and is  
            by its nature a serious and hidden enterprise, it should be  
            added to the list.  

           2)Current law  authorizes the A.G. or the district attorney to  
            apply to the Superior Court for an order authorizing  
            interception of a wire, electronic pager, or electronic  
            cellular phone communication under specified circumstances.  
            (Virtually all orders are for cell phones.)

            The crimes for which an interception order may be sought  
            include murder, solicitation to commit murder, bombing, use or  
            threat to use weapons of mass destruction, criminal gang  
            activity, and importation, possession for sale,  
            transportation, manufacture or sale of heroin, cocaine, PCP,  
            or methamphetamine. Written reports must be submitted at the  
            discretion of the court, but at least every 10 days, to the  
            judge who issues the order.

            Current law provides that violating the personal liberty of  
            another with intent to obtain forced labor or services, is  
            human trafficking, punishable by 5, 8, or 12 years in state  
            prison and a fine of up to $500,000. With intent to accomplish  
            specified sex crimes, the offense is punishable by 8, 14, or  
            20 years and a fine of up to $500,000. 

           3)Statistical overview from DOJ's 2010 and 2012 California  
            Electronic Interceptions Reports:








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                                     Calendar Year 2010  Calendar Year  
            2012

            Counties reporting wiretaps:            19        16

            Number of court orders sought:          628       714

            Number granted:                    627            707

            The four busiest counties:              L.A.:           
            192Riverside:       305
                                          S Bernardino:  110  L.A.:170
                                          Riverside:     75        S  
            Bernardino:      73
                                        San Diego:                          
                                             74                             
                                                  San Diego:                
                                     36

            Arrests:                           698                 961  
                 Murder    :                   (52)                (17)
                 Narcotics:                    (576)          (495)
                 Gang Offenses:                          (194)

            Convictions:                  190                 58
                 Murder:                  (0)            (2)
                 Narcotics                (190)               (55)

           4)Are electronic interceptions cost-efficient  ? 

            Is the expenditure of more than $30 million (mainly local and  
            federal law enforcement funds) to intercept millions of  
            communications that result in hundreds of arrests and dozens  
            of convictions a wise use of resources? 

            According to DOJ, however, annual state electronic intercept  
            statistics can be misleading, in that a) convictions often  
            occur in out-years; b) convictions do not tell the whole  
            story; intercepts also prevent crime; c) all convictions are  
            not equal, for example, some may involve massive amounts of  
            narcotics; and d) state-authorized intercepts may result in  
            federal prosecutions that are not included in the state  
            summary statistics. 









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           5)Related Pending Legislation  . AB 1526 (Holden) and SB 35  
            (Pavley) are identical and extend the intercept sunset to  
            2020. The bills were introduced at the same time. SB 35 is on  
            this committee's Suspense File. AB 1526 is pending in Senate  
            Appropriations. 

           6)Prior Legislation  . 

             a)   AB 156 (Holden), 2013, which added human trafficking to  
               the list of intercept crimes, was held on this committee's  
               Suspense File.  
             b)   SB 1016 (Boatwright), Statutes of 1995, established  
               California's wire intercept statute. The initial sunset was  
               Jan. 1, 1999. 
             c)   SB 688 (Alaya), Statutes of 1997, extended the sunset to  
               Jan. 1, 2003. 
             d)   AB 74 (Washington), Statutes of 2002, extended the  
               sunset to Jan. 1, 2008. 
             e)   AB 569 (Portantino), Statutes of 2007, extended the  
               sunset to Jan. 1, 2012.
             f)   SB 61 (Pavley), Statutes of 2011, extended the sunset to  
               Jan. 1, 2015.

           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916) 319-2081