Amended in Assembly April 16, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 487


Introduced by Assembly Member Gonzalez

February 23, 2015


An act to amend Section 3041.5 of the Penal Code, relating to parole.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 487, as amended, Gonzalez. Parole hearings: notification of district attorneys.

Existing law provides that, one year prior to the minimum eligible parole release date of an inmate serving an indeterminate sentence, a panel of 2 or more commissioners or deputy commissioners of the Board of Parole Hearings shall meet with the inmate and set a parole release date, as specified. Existing law, as amended by Proposition 9, the Victim’s Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy’s Law, at the November 4, 2008, statewide general election, establishes procedures at all hearings for the purpose of reviewing a prisoner’s parole suitability, or the setting, postponing, or rescinding of parole dates, and provides prisoners and victims specified rights at these hearings.

This bill would require notification of the district attorney of the county in which the offense was committed, or his or her designee, to receive notification of specified parole proceedings and wouldbegin delete require nullification of action taken on the hearing advancement if the district attorney of the county in which the offense was committed, or his or her designee, and the victim are not notified.end deletebegin insert require, if notice is not provided, any action on a hearing advancement to be postponed until notice is properly made.end insert

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 3041.5 of the Penal Code is amended to
2read:

3

3041.5.  

(a) At all hearings for the purpose of reviewing a
4prisoner’s parole suitability, or the setting, postponing, or
5rescinding of parole dates, with the exception of en banc review
6of tie votes, the following shall apply:

7(1) At least 10 days prior to any hearing by the Board of Parole
8Hearings, the prisoner shall be permitted to review his or her file
9which will be examined by the board and shall have the opportunity
10to enter a written response to any material contained in the file.

11(2) The prisoner shall be permitted to be present, to ask and
12answer questions, and to speak on his or her own behalf. Neither
13the prisoner nor the attorney for the prisoner shall be entitled to
14ask questions of any person appearing at the hearing pursuant to
15subdivision (b) of Section 3043.

16(3) Unless legal counsel is required by some other provision of
17law, a person designated by the Department of Corrections and
18Rehabilitation shall be present to ensure that all facts relevant to
19the decisionbegin delete beend deletebegin insert areend insert presented, including, if necessary, contradictory
20assertions as to matters of fact that have not been resolved by
21departmental or other procedures.

22(4) The prisoner and any person described in subdivision (b) of
23Section 3043 shall be permitted to request and receive a
24stenographic record of all proceedings.

25(5) If the hearing is for the purpose of postponing or rescinding
26of parole dates, the prisoner shall have rights set forth in paragraphs
27(3) and (4) of subdivision (c) of Section 2932.

28(6) The board shall set a date to reconsider whether an inmate
29should be released on parole that ensures a meaningful
30consideration of whether the inmate is suitable for release on
31parole.

32(b) (1) Within 10 days following any meeting where a parole
33date has been set, the board shall send the prisoner a written
34statement setting forth his or her parole date, the conditions he or
P3    1she must meet in order to be released on the date set, and the
2consequences of failure to meet those conditions.

3(2) Within 20 days following any meeting where a parole date
4has not been set, the board shall send the prisoner a written
5statement setting forth the reason or reasons for refusal to set a
6parole date, and suggest activities in which he or she might
7participate that will benefit him or her while he or she is
8incarcerated.

9(3) The board shall schedule the next hearing, after considering
10the views and interests of the victim, as follows:

11(A) Fifteen years after any hearing at which parole is denied,
12unless the board finds by clear and convincing evidence that the
13criteria relevant to the setting of parole release dates enumerated
14in subdivision (a) of Section 3041 are such that consideration of
15the public and victim’s safety does not require a more lengthy
16period of incarceration for the prisoner than 10 additional years.

17(B) Ten years after any hearing at which parole is denied, unless
18the board finds by clear and convincing evidence that the criteria
19relevant to the setting of parole release dates enumerated in
20subdivision (a) of Section 3041 are such that consideration of the
21public and victim’s safety does not require a more lengthy period
22of incarceration for the prisoner than seven additional years.

23(C) Three years, five years, or seven years after any hearing at
24which parole is denied, because the criteria relevant to the setting
25of parole release dates enumerated in subdivision (a) of Section
263041 are such that consideration of the public and victim’s safety
27requires a more lengthy period of incarceration for the prisoner,
28but does not require a more lengthy period of incarceration for the
29prisoner than seven additional years.

30(4) The board may in its discretion, after considering the views
31and interests of the victim and the district attorney of the county
32in which the offense was committed, advance a hearing set pursuant
33to paragraph (3) to an earlier date, when a change in circumstances
34or new information establishes a reasonable likelihood that
35consideration of the public and victim’s safety does not require
36the additional period of incarceration of the prisoner provided in
37paragraph (3).

38(5) Within 10 days of any board action resulting in the
39postponement of a previously set parole date, the board shall send
40the prisoner a written statement setting forth a new date and the
P4    1reason or reasons for that action and shall offer the prisoner an
2opportunity for review of that action.

3(6) Within 10 days of any board action resulting in the
4rescinding of a previously set parole date, the board shall send the
5prisoner a written statement setting forth the reason or reasons for
6that action, and shall schedule the prisoner’s next hearing in
7accordance with paragraph (3).

8(c) The board shall conduct a parole hearing pursuant to this
9section as a de novo hearing. Findings made and conclusions
10reached in a prior parole hearing shall be consideredbegin delete inend deletebegin insert in,end insert but shall
11not be deemed to be bindingbegin delete uponend deletebegin insert upon,end insert subsequent parole hearings
12for an inmate, but shall be subject to reconsideration based upon
13changed facts and circumstances. When conducting a hearing, the
14board shall admit the prior recorded or memorialized testimony
15or statement of a victim or witness, upon request of the victim or
16if the victim or witness has died or become unavailable. At each
17hearing the board shall determine the appropriate action to be taken
18based on the criteria set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 3041.

19(d) (1) An inmate may request that the board exercise its
20discretion to advance a hearing set pursuant to paragraph (3) of
21subdivision (b) to an earlier date, by submitting a written request
22to the board, begin delete with notice, upon request, and a copy to the district
23attorney of the county in which the offense was committed, or his
24or her representative, and to the victimend delete
which shall set forth the
25change in circumstances or new information that establishes a
26reasonable likelihood that consideration of the public safety does
27not require the additional period of incarceration of the inmate.
28begin delete The notice shall be forwarded to the district attorney and the victim
29within 30 days of receipt of the inmate’s request.end delete
begin insert The board shall
30provide notice of the request to the district attorney and the victim,
31if the victim has previously requested notification of all board
32actions, no less than 30 days before the board may grant the
33inmate’s request. Notice shall be satisfied by mailing copies of the
34inmate’s request to the office of the district attorney and, if
35applicable, to the last address provided by the victim to the Office
36of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services.end insert

37(2) The board shall have sole jurisdiction, after considering the
38views and interests of the district attorney of the county in which
39the offense was committed, or his or her representative, and the
40victim to determine whether to grant or deny a written request
P5    1made pursuant to paragraph (1), and its decision shall be subject
2to review by a court or magistrate only for a manifest abuse of
3discretion by the board. The board shall have the power to
4summarily deny a request that does not comply with the provisions
5of this subdivision or that does not set forth a change in
6circumstances or new information as required in paragraph (1) that
7in the judgment of the board is sufficient to justify the action
8described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b).

9(3) An inmate may make only one written request as provided
10in paragraph (1) during each three-year period. Following either
11a summary denial of a request made pursuant to paragraph (1), or
12the decision of the board after a hearing described in subdivision
13(a) to not set a parole date, the inmate shall not be entitled to submit
14another request for a hearing pursuant to subdivision (a) until a
15three-year period of time has elapsed from the summary denial or
16decision of the board.

17(4) Failure tobegin delete notify the district attorney of the county in which
18the offense was committed, or his or her representative, or the
19victim of a hearing advancement described in paragraph (4) of
20subdivision (b) or paragraph (1) of this subdivision shall post pone
21any action being taken on the hearing advancement until the notice
22is properly made.end delete
begin insert provide notification as required in paragraph
23(1) shall postpone any action being taken on the hearing
24advancement until the notice is properly made.end insert



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