California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 920


Introduced by Assembly Member Gipson

February 26, 2015


An act to amend Section 3043 of the Penal Code, relating to parole.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 920, as introduced, Gipson. Parole: information to victims.

Existing law, added by Proposition 8, approved by the voters at the June 8, 1982, statewide primary election and amended by Proposition 9, approved by the voters at the November 4, 2008, statewide general election, requires the Board of Parole Hearings, upon request, to notify the victim, or next of kin of the victim, of any crime committed by a prisoner, of any hearing to review or consider the parole suitability or the setting of a parole date for that prisoner. Existing law also provides the victim, the victim’s next of kin, members of the victim’s family, and 2 representatives to appear, personally or by counsel, at the hearing and to make a statement, as prescribed. Proposition 8 provides that this statutory provision shall not be amended by the Legislature except by a statute passed in each house by rollcall vote, 23 of the membership concurring, or by a statute approved by the voters. Proposition 9 provides that the statutory provisions of that act may not be amended by the Legislature, except by a statute passed in each house by rollcall vote, 34 of the membership of each house concurring, or by a statute approved by the voters. However, the Legislature may amend those provisions by a majority vote of the membership of each house to expand the scope of those provisions or to further the rights of victims of crimes.

This bill would authorize the victim or victim’s next of kin to request to review all information in the prisoner’s central file that is not confidential and to be provided a copy of the board packet within 30 days prior to the date selected for the hearing. The bill would authorize the victim or the victim’s next of kin to submit relevant documents related to any subject about which the victim or his or her next of kin has the right to be heard, including recommendations regarding the grant of parole, and would require the submission of information not in the central file or board packet to the department no later than 10 days prior to the hearing.

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 3043 of the Penal Code is amended to
2read:

3

3043.  

(a) (1) Upon request to the Department of Corrections
4and Rehabilitation and verification of the identity of the requester,
5notice ofbegin delete anyend deletebegin insert aend insert hearing to review or consider the parole suitability
6or the setting of a parole date for any prisoner in a state prison
7shall be given by telephone, certified mail, regular mail, or
8electronic mail, using the method of communication selected by
9the requesting party, if that method is available, by the Board of
10Parole Hearings at least 90 days before the hearing tobegin delete anyend deletebegin insert aend insert victim
11ofbegin delete anyend deletebegin insert aend insert crime committed by the prisoner, or to the next of kin of
12the victim if the victim has died, to include the commitment crimes,
13determinate term commitment crimes for which the prisoner has
14been paroled, and any other felony crimes or crimes against the
15person for which the prisoner has been convicted. The requesting
16party shall keep the board apprised of his or her current contact
17information in order to receive the notice.

18(2) No later than 30 days prior to the date selected for the
19hearing,begin delete anyend deletebegin insert aend insert person, other than the victim, entitled to attend the
20hearing shall inform the board of his or her intention to attend the
21hearing and the name and identifying information of any other
22person entitled to attend the hearing who will accompany him or
23her.

24(3) No later than 14 days prior to the date selected for the
25hearing, the board shall notify every person entitled to attend the
26hearing confirming the date, time, and place of the hearing.

P3    1(b) (1) The victim, next of kin, members of the victim’s family,
2and two representatives designated as provided in paragraph (2)
3begin delete of this subdivisionend delete have the right to appear, personally or by
4counsel, at the hearing and to adequately and reasonably express
5his, her, or their views concerning the prisoner and the case,
6including, but not limited to the commitment crimes, determinate
7term commitment crimes for which the prisoner has been paroled,
8any other felony crimes or crimes against the person for which the
9prisoner has been convicted, the effect of the enumerated crimes
10on the victim and the family of the victim, the person responsible
11for these enumerated crimes, and the suitability of the prisoner for
12parole.

13(2) begin deleteAny end deletebegin insertA end insertstatement provided by a representative designated
14by the victim or next of kin may cover any subject about which
15the victim or next of kin has the right to be heard including any
16recommendation regarding the granting of parole. The
17representatives shall be designated by the victim or, in the event
18that the victim is deceased or incapacitated, by the next of kin.
19They shall be designated in writing for the particular hearing prior
20to the hearing.

begin insert

21(c) The victim or victim’s next of kin may request to review all
22information in the prisoner’s central file that is not confidential
23and to be provided a copy of the board packet within 30 days prior
24to the date selected for the hearing. The victim or the victim’s next
25of kin may submit relevant documents related to any subject about
26which the victim or his or her next of kin has the right to be heard,
27including recommendations regarding the grant of parole. In
28addition to the statement authorized by Section 3043.2, information
29that the victim or his or her next of kin possesses that is not
30available in the central file or board packet shall be submitted in
31writing to the department no later than 10 days before the hearing.

end insert
begin delete

32(c)

end delete

33begin insert(d)end insert A representative designated by the victim or the victim’s
34next of kin for purposes of this section may be any adult person
35selected by the victim or the family of the victim. The board shall
36permit a representative designated by the victim or the victim’s
37next of kin to attend a particular hearing, to provide testimony at
38a hearing, and to submit a statement to be included in the hearing
39as provided in Section 3043.2, even though the victim, next of kin,
40or a member of the victim’s immediate family is present at the
P4    1hearing, and even though the victim, next of kin, or a member of
2the victim’s immediate family has submitted a statement as
3described in Section 3043.2.

begin delete

4(d)

end delete

5begin insert(e)end insert The board, in deciding whether to release the person on
6parole, shall consider the entire and uninterrupted statements of
7the victim or victims, next of kin, immediate family members of
8the victim, and the designated representatives of the victim or next
9of kin, if applicable, made pursuant to this section and shall include
10in its report a statementbegin insert as toend insert whether the person would pose a
11threat to public safety if released on parole.

begin delete

12(e)

end delete

13begin insert(f)end insert In those cases where there are more than two immediate
14family members of the victim who wish to attendbegin delete anyend deletebegin insert aend insert hearing
15covered in this section, the board shall allow attendance of
16additional immediate family members to include the following:
17spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, and grandparents.



O

    99