BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          SB 164 (Beall) - Serial sexual predators
          
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |                                                                 |
          |                                                                 |
          |                                                                 |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Version: April 7, 2015          |Policy Vote: PUB. S. 7 - 0      |
          |                                |                                |
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
          |                                |                                |
          |--------------------------------+--------------------------------|
          |                                |                                |
          |Hearing Date: April 20, 2015    |Consultant: Jolie Onodera       |
          |                                |                                |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 

          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. 


          Bill  
          Summary:  SB 164 would provide that where a defendant has been  
          convicted of more than one One-Strike qualifying offense on  
          charges brought and tried separately, he or she is subject to a  
          life term, as specified, irrespective of the order in which the  
          offenses were committed or the convictions obtained.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  Potentially significant future costs (General Fund) for longer  
          prison sentences. While the number of defendants to be impacted  
          is unknown, to the extent even two cases per year are impacted  
          statewide, cumulative future costs after five to ten years would  
          be $340,000 to $680,000 annually, once the sentences that  
          otherwise would have been imposed under existing law have been  
          served. This estimate is based on an in-state contract bed cost  
          of $34,000 per year.


          Background:  Existing law includes the One Strike law, which applies to  
          rape, oral copulation, sodomy, sexual penetration committed by  







          SB 164 (Beall)                                         Page 1 of  
          ?
          
          
          force, duress, or threats, lewd conduct with a child under the  
          age of 14, and continuous sexual abuse of a child. The court  
          must impose a term of 15 years to life, 25 years to life, or  
          life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) for specified  
          crimes against a minor, based on the number and type of  
          aggravating factors attendant to the crime. (Penal Code (PC)   
          667.61(a)-(o).)
          Existing law provides that a defendant shall be punished by  
          imprisonment in the state prison for 25 years to life if  
          convicted of a One-Strike qualifying offense if certain  
          circumstances were present, including but not limited to the  
          circumstance that the defendant has been previously convicted of  
          a qualifying One-Strike offense. (PC  667.61(d)(1).)  
          Additionally, under specified circumstances where the victim is  
          a minor, and the defendant has been previously convicted of a  
          qualifying One-Strike offense, an adult defendant is subject to  
          a life term without the possibility of parole.   


          In People v. Huynh (2014) 227 Cal.App.4th 1210, the court ruled  
          that in order for the provisions of PC  667.61(d)(1) to be  
          applicable to a defendant, the commission of the currently  
          charged offense must have occurred after the conviction for  
          another qualifying offense. The court opinion succinctly  
          described the issue in the case:

               The issue in this case is simply, what does  
               "previously convicted" in Penal Code section 667.61,  
               subdivision (d)(1), mean (all further statutory  
               references are to the Penal Code)? The Orange County  
               District Attorney argues "previously convicted" means  
               a defendant was convicted of a qualifying offense but  
               it is immaterial whether the qualifying offense  
               occurred before or after the currently charged offense  
               and the trial court erred in dismissing the section  
               667.61, subdivision (d)(1), allegation. Randy Thanh  
               Huynh responds "previously convicted" means a  
               defendant was convicted of a qualifying offense before  
               the commission of the currently charged offense and  
               the court properly dismissed the section 667.61,  
               subdivision (d)(1), allegation. We agree with Huynh  
               and affirm the trial court's order dismissing the  
               section 667.61, subdivision (d)(1), allegation.









          SB 164 (Beall)                                         Page 2 of  
          ?
          
          
          This bill seeks to essentially obviate the decision of the  
          court by specifying that a defendant is subject to the  
          specified sentence under PC  667.61 if he or she has been  
          convicted of qualifying One Strike offenses in separate  
          prosecutions, irrespective of the order in which the  
          offenses were committed or the convictions obtained. 


          Proposed  
          Law:  This bill would provide that where a defendant has been  
          convicted of more than one One-Strike qualifying offense, on  
          charges brought and tried separately, including an offense  
          committed in another jurisdiction, as specified, the defendant  
          shall be subject to a life term, as specified, under the One  
          Strike Law. This bill specifies that the sentence shall apply  
          irrespective of the order in which the offenses were committed  
          or the convictions obtained. 


          Prior  
          Legislation:  AB 1844 (Fletcher) Chapter 219/2010, enacted the  
          Chelsea King Child Predator Prevention Act of 2010, also known  
          as "Chelsea's Law," which increases penalties for forcible sex  
          acts against minors, provides for life imprisonment without the  
          possibility of parole for specified sex offenses against minors  
          that include aggravating factors, mandates lifetime parole for  
          persons convicted of certain sex crimes against minors, and  
          creates safe zones around parks.
          Proposition 83, November 2006 General Election, the Sexual  
          Predator Punishment and Control Act (Jessica's Law), provides  
          that a defendant shall be punished by imprisonment in state  
          prison for 25 years to life if convicted of specified sex  
          offenses, if certain circumstances were present, including if  
          the defendant has been previously convicted of a specified  
          offense. Proposition 83 provides that the Legislature may amend  
          its provisions to expand the scope or increase the punishment or  
          penalties by a statute passed by a majority of each house.




          Staff  
          Comments:  By expanding the circumstances under which a defendant would  
          be subject to a 25 years to life or LWOP term, this bill will  








          SB 164 (Beall)                                         Page 3 of  
          ?
          
          
          result in longer prison sentences and significant out-year  
          General Fund cost increases. Costs would be dependent on the  
          details of each case and the prison term that otherwise would  
          have been served in the absence of this measure. While the  
          number of defendants to be impacted is unknown, to the extent  
          even two cases per year are impacted statewide, cumulative  
          future costs after five to ten years would be $340,000 to  
          $680,000 annually, once the sentences that otherwise would have  
          been imposed under existing law have been served. This estimate  
          is based on an in-state contract bed cost of $34,000 per year.  
          Indirectly, to the extent the provisions of this bill result in  
          additional cases being charged under the provisions of this  
          measure and plea bargained resulting in longer sentences than  
          otherwise would have occurred under existing law, would also  
          result in increases in future costs (General Fund) for extended  
          incarceration.  

          The Three-Judge Court has ordered the State to reduce its prison  
          population to 137.5 percent of the prison system's design  
          capacity by February 28, 2016. Pursuant to its February 10, 2014  
          order, the Court has ordered the CDCR to implement several  
          population reduction measures, prohibited an increase in the  
          population of inmates housed in out-of-state facilities, and  
          indicated the Court will maintain jurisdiction over the State  
          for as long as necessary to ensure the State's compliance with  
          the 137.5 percent final benchmark is durable, and that such  
          durability is firmly established. Any future increases to the  
          State's prison population challenge the ability of the State to  
          reach and maintain such a "durable solution," and could require  
          the State to pursue one of several options, including  
          contracting-out for additional bed space or releasing current  
          inmates early onto parole.



          Recommended  
          Amendments:  As drafted, the provisions of this bill could  
          potentially be interpreted to require convictions for two  
          different offenses listed in paragraphs (1) through (9) of PC   
          667.61(c) in order to apply the applicable life sentence. In  
          other words, a defendant convicted of the same offense twice  
          under PC  667.61(c) could potentially be excluded from the  
          specified sentence by not meeting the definition of "convicted  
          of more than one offense specified in subdivision (c)," as the  








          SB 164 (Beall)                                         Page 4 of  
          ?
          
          
          defendant was convicted twice but only of one offense specified  
          in subdivision (c). Staff recommends the following amendments to  
          PC 667.71(d):
          (1) The defendant  , on charges brought and tried separately,  has  
          been convicted  two or more times, including a conviction in the  
          current case,  of  more than one   an  offense  or offenses  specified  
          in subdivision (c)  on charges brought and tried separately,  
          including an offense committed in another jurisdiction that  
          includes all of the elements of an offense specified in  
          subdivision (c).  This paragraph shall apply irrespective of the  
          order in which the offenses were committed or the convictions  
          obtained.  A qualifying offense includes an offense committed in  
          another jurisdiction that includes all of the elements of an  
          offense specified in subdivision (c).
           


                                      -- END --