Amended in Assembly May 28, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 23, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 8, 2015

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 amended, 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, when notification has been requested by the victim or the victim’s next of kin, would authorize thebegin delete victim, the victim’s next of kin, or theend delete victim’s attorney to request to be provided a copy of the board packet and would require that information to be provided at the same time it is provided to the district attorney.begin delete The bill would require the board to redact any confidential information contained in the board packet before providing it to the victim, the victim’s next of kin, or the victim’s attorney. 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.end delete

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

18(2) No later than 30 days prior to the date selected for the
19hearing, a person, other than the victim, entitled to attend the
20hearing shall inform the board of his or her intention to attend the
P3    1hearing and the name and identifying information of any other
2person entitled to attend the hearing who will accompany him or
3her.

4(3) No later than 14 days prior to the date selected for the
5hearing, the board shall notify every person entitled to attend the
6hearing confirming the date, time, and place of the hearing.

7(b) (1) The victim, next of kin, members of the victim’s family,
8and two representatives designated as provided in paragraph (2)
9have the right to appear, personally or by counsel, at the hearing
10and to adequately and reasonably express his, her, or their views
11concerning the prisoner and the case, including, but not limited
12to, the commitment crimes, determinate term commitment crimes
13for which the prisoner has been paroled, any other felony crimes
14or crimes against the person for which the prisoner has been
15convicted, the effect of the enumerated crimes on the victim and
16the family of the victim, the person responsible for these
17enumerated crimes, and the suitability of the prisoner for parole.

18(2) A statement provided by a representative designated by the
19victim or next of kin may cover any subject about which the victim
20or next of kin has the right to be heard including any
21recommendation regarding the granting of parole. The
22representatives shall be designated by the victim or, in the event
23that the victim is deceased or incapacitated, by the next of kin.
24They shall be designated in writing for the particular hearing prior
25to the hearing.

26(c) begin delete(1)end deletebegin deleteend deleteWhen notification has been requested pursuant to
27subdivision (a),begin delete a victim, the victim’s next of kin, orend delete the victim’s
28attorney may request to be provided a copy of the board packet.
29The requested board packet shall be provided at the same time as
30that information is provided to the district attorney.begin delete The board
31shall redact any confidential information contained in the board
32packet before providing it to the victim, the victim’s next of kin,
33or the victim’s attorney.end delete

begin delete

34(2) The victim or the victim’s next of kin may submit relevant
35documents related to any subject about which the victim or his or
36her next of kin has the right to be heard, including
37recommendations regarding the grant of parole. In addition to the
38statement authorized by Section 3043.2, information that the victim
39or his or her next of kin possesses that is not available in the central
P4    1file or board packet shall be submitted in writing to the department
2no later than 10 days before the hearing.

end delete

3(d) A representative designated by the victim or the victim’s
4next of kin for purposes of this section may be any adult person
5selected by the victim or the family of the victim. The board shall
6permit a representative designated by the victim or the victim’s
7next of kin to attend a particular hearing, to provide testimony at
8a hearing, and to submit a statementbegin insert, which may include
9substantiating references to the board packet,end insert
to be included in
10the hearing as provided in Section 3043.2, even though the victim,
11next of kin, or a member of the victim’s immediate family is
12present at the hearing, and even though the victim, next of kin, or
13a member of the victim’s immediate family has submitted a
14statement as described in Section 3043.2.

15(e) The board, in deciding whether to release the person on
16parole, shall consider the entire and uninterrupted statements of
17the victim or victims, next of kin, immediate family members of
18the victim, and the designated representatives of the victim or next
19of kin, if applicable, made pursuant to this section and shall include
20in its report a statement as to whether the person would pose a
21threat to public safety if released on parole.

22(f) In those cases where there are more than two immediate
23family members of the victim who wish to attend a hearing covered
24in this section, the board shall allow attendance of additional
25immediate family members to include the following: spouse,
26children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, and grandparents.



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