BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       AB 920


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          920 (Gipson)


          As Amended  May 28, 2015


          Majority vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                |Noes                  |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |----------------+------+--------------------+----------------------|
          |Public Safety   |7-0   |Quirk, Melendez,    |                      |
          |                |      |Gonzalez,           |                      |
          |                |      |Jones-Sawyer,       |                      |
          |                |      |Lackey, Low,        |                      |
          |                |      |Santiago            |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |----------------+------+--------------------+----------------------|
          |Appropriations  |17-0  |Gomez, Bigelow,     |                      |
          |                |      |Bonta, Calderon,    |                      |
          |                |      |Chang, Daly,        |                      |
          |                |      |Eggman, Gallagher,  |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,     |                      |
          |                |      |Gordon, Holden,     |                      |
          |                |      |Jones, Quirk,       |                      |
          |                |      |Rendon, Wagner,     |                      |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood         |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 








                                                                       AB 920


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          SUMMARY:  Allows a victim's attorney to obtain a copy of the  
          packet prepared by the parole board for purposes of a  
          parole-suitability hearing.  Specifically, this bill:  
          1)Authorizes the victim's attorney to request a copy of the parole  
            board packet.
          2)Requires the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) to provide the  
            packet to the victim's attorney, if requested, at the same time  
            that the information is given to the district attorney.


          3)Provides that the statement which the victim's representative or  
            next of kin is allowed to submit for the parole hearing may  
            include substantiating references to the board packet.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Provides guidelines for the BPH to schedule parole hearings for  
            prisoners in California Department of Correction and  
            Rehabilitation for whom they are appropriate. 


          2)Allows the prisoner, at least 10 days prior to the parole  
            suitability hearing, to review his or her file which will be  
            examined by the board, and gives the prisoner the opportunity to  
            file a written response to any material contained in the file.  


          3)Allows the prisoner to be present at the hearing, to ask and  
            answer questions, and to speak on his or her own behalf.  


          4)Entitles the victim or next of kin if the victim has died, to be  
            notified, upon request, of any parole-eligibility hearing and of  
            the right to appear, either personally or by other means  
            specified, to reasonably express his or her views, and to have  








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            his or her statements considered.  


          5)Requires the BPH to give at least 30-day's notice to the  
            superior court judge, the defendant's trial attorney, the  
            district attorney, and the investigating law enforcement agency,  
            about an upcoming 


          6)Requires the BPH, upon request, to notify any victims of any  
            crime committed by the prisoner, or the next of kin if the  
            victim has died, at least 90 days before any hearing to review  
            or consider the parole suitability or the setting of a parole  
            date for any prisoner in a state prison.  


          7)Provides that the victim, next of kin, members of the victim's  
            family, and two designated representatives have the right to  
            appear, personally or by counsel, at the hearing and to  
            adequately and reasonably express his, her, or their views  
            concerning the prisoner and the case, including, but not limited  
            to the commitment crimes, determinate term commitment crimes for  
            which the prisoner has been paroled, any other felony crimes or  
            crimes against the person for which the prisoner has been  
            convicted, the effect of the enumerated crimes on the victim and  
            the family of the victim, the person responsible for these  
            enumerated crimes, and the suitability of the prisoner for  
            parole. 


          8)Provides that any statement by a representative designated by  
            the victim or next of kin may cover any subject about which the  
            victim or next of kin has the right to be heard, including any  
            recommendation regarding the granting of parole.  


          9)Requires BPH, in deciding whether to release the person on  
            parole, to consider the entire and uninterrupted statements of  
            the victim or victims, next of kin, immediate family members of  








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            the victim, and the designated representatives, if applicable,  
            and shall include in its report a statement whether the person  
            would pose a threat to public safety if released on parole.  


          10)Permits the victim, his or her next of kin, immediate family  
            members, or two representatives to provide a statement in  
            writing or a recorded statement in lieu of making a personal  
            appearance.  


          11)Allows the victim to appear by means of videoconferencing, if  
            it is available at the hearing site.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, one-time cost to BPH in the range of $15,000 (General  
          Fund) for computer programming costs.  Assuming that the packets  
          going to the victim attorneys would be hard copies, there would  
          also be an annual cost in the $100,000 range.


          COMMENTS:  According to the author, "Our justice system is based on  
          principles of fair treatment and equal rights.  However, when the  
          victim of a crime is not allowed access to information relevant to  
          the parole hearing of their assailant, which is provided to the  
          inmate's attorney seeking release, there is not equality for both  
          sides.  AB 920 addresses this disparate treatment by requiring  
          that an attorney designated by a crime victim or their next of kin  
          is granted the same rights to discovery as the inmate's attorney  
          and district attorney during a parole hearing."




          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Sandy Uribe / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744  FN:  
          0000737









                                                                       AB 920


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