LEGISLATIVE UPDATE September & October 2018

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 6:45pm

Important Dates & Deadlines

 
Nov. 6th                 General Election
Dec. 3rd                 2019-20 Regular Session Convenes 
Jan. 1st                 2018 Statutes Take Effect Unless Otherwise Provided 

 

2018 Legislative Session Officially Comes to a Close

 
As of September 30th, the 2017-18 legislative session officially came to an end with the Governor taking final action on the bills sent to him by the Legislature before they adjourned on August 31st.  The issues debated this year were diverse and, at times, controversial ranging from wildfire liability to privacy to sexual harassment and more.  Impacting much of the debate and shaping policy proposals were actions taken at the federal level by the Trump Administration and also by the #MeToo movement.  
 
In the final weeks of the legislative session, hundreds of bills were heard and ultimately, many received enough support to pass.  Further, this session was Governor Brown’s final round as he moves towards the end of his fourth and final term as governor.  In terms of a historical perspective, since 2011 Governor Brown vetoed 10.7% to 15% of the bills he was presented.  This year’s totals were at 1,016 bills signed and 201 vetoed, with his highest veto rate ever at 16.5%.  Shortly after his office released the final update, Brown tweeted, “16 years — and nearly 20,000 bills — later, the desk is clear. #Eureka.”   Throughout his four terms in office, Brown signed more measures into law than any other California governor.  
 
 

Legislation Aiming to Increase Law Enforcement Transparency Signed 

 
In 1976, Governor Jerry Brown, during his first term, signed the Peace Officers’ Bill of Rights.  Since then, statute and case law provided enhanced privacy protections for peace officer personnel records.  However this year, amid public uproar over the death of Stephon Clark and other well-publicized incidents involving law enforcement, there was significant discussion within the Legislature about increasing police accountability.  
 
Ultimately, the Governor signed two measures, SB 1421 by Senator Nancy Skinner and AB 748 by Assembly member Phil Ting, related to the public release of law enforcement records.  SB 1421 requires that law enforcement agencies provide public access to records related to officer shootings and misconduct investigations.  AB 748 requires that departments release body-worn camera and other video and audio recordings of officer shootings and serious uses of force within 45 days unless doing so would interfere with an ongoing investigation.  Both bills were opposed by law enforcement groups, who, among other concerns, expressed that transparency must be balanced with the privacy of those involved.  A third closely watched proposal, to change the legal standard for use of force, failed to pass in August.  However, commitments were made to work during the fall recess to have new legislation ready to introduce on this topic when lawmakers return in January.

 

Industry Seeks Referendum on New Bail Law

 
Following the passage of and signature on SB 10 (Hertzberg) related to bail reform, several bail bonds companies filed referendum paperwork in an attempt to overturn the measure otherwise known as the California Money Bail Reform Act.  Specifically, the law establishes a new system for determining a defendant’s custody status while they await trial based on an assessment of risk to public safety and probability of missing a court date rather than their ability to pay cash bail.  This measure is set to take effect in October of 2019 and would eliminate the monetary bail system in the state.
 
CVUC opposed the measure as constructed, arguing the criminal justice system should have a variety of tools available to ensure public safety.   That said, CVUC was not opposed to bail and pretrial system reforms.  As a matter of fact, CVUC noted serious concerns with the current system and its failures to adequately provide for victims’ rights provided under Proposition 9.  Nevertheless, CVUC was steadfast in its support for maintaining monetary bail as a means of accountability to their victim(s) and public, as a backstop to ensure offenders’ appearance at hearings, and as a deterrent to further victimization.  
 
Notwithstanding the concerns and deficiencies with the current system as they relate to victims, CVUC also voiced its overarching concern about the increasing interest in relying almost exclusively on pretrial release in our criminal justice system.  Of the utmost importance as part of any reform is it must ensure victim and overall public safety are the primary considerations and the defendant’s appearance at court proceedings. We are concerned that SB 10 and other proposals that were under consideration earlier this year failed to sufficiently ensure these critical priorities are addressed.  To argue that the new proposed framework is better for victims than the current system is and victims should therefore be less concerned fails to consider that both the current and proposed systems are flawed when it comes to victims – it shouldn’t be a matter of leveraging one over another.  They both need to be revised.  Victims are made such based on another’s actions against them – not of their own will.  This is lost in the current debate in favor of considerations for the offenders’ who victimized them in the first place.
 
That said, we must commend the author for hearing CVUC’s concerns regarding the prior versions of the bill and better accounting for victim rights under Proposition 9, Marsy’s Law, within the final statutory provisions of SB 10.  While not perfect, the final adopted language does provide for victim notification at each step in the process, as requested, and for the opportunity for the victim to be heard – whether in person or in writing. 
 
With regard to risk assessment under the bill, CVUC voiced and remains highly concerned it will not sufficiently assess the risk to the victim or public safety posed by an offender. There is currently no tool that we are aware of that sufficiently incorporates as factors things such as serious injuries inflicted, multiple victims, a victim’s impact statement, an offender’s use of a weapon, or an offender’s prior criminal history.  
 
All of this said, the bail industry is moving rapidly to collect the necessary 365,880 signatures for submission within 90 days of when the bill was signed (August 28th) to earn a place on the November 2020 ballot to repeal the law.  Ballot measure strategists have suggested the industry will need to spend around $3 million to qualify their measure.  However, many would agree that this anticipated figure is a small price to pay considering that the referendum would suspend the enactment of the law in question and create a delay giving bail companies more time to pursue legal action.  Plus, at the very least, a referendum would ensure that these companies could remain in business for another two years.  Stay tuned… 
 

 

Legislature Passes, Governor Signs Felony Murder Rule Legislation

 
On Sunday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 1437 (Skinner and Anderson) that will make felons charged with first-degree murder eligible for re-sentencing.  The bill limits prosecutor’s ability to use “felony murder rule,” which allows prosecutors to charge a defendant with first-degree murder for a homicide that occurred during a dangerous felony, even if the defendant is not the killer, or did not know a homicide took place.  Under the new law, the defendant can only be charged with felony murder if they directly assist with a homicide or if they were “major” participant in the underlying felony and acted with reckless indifference to human life. 
 
While CVUC agreed that reform was worthwhile, we were concerned that this bill went too far.  One of the purposes of the felony murder rule is to discourage people from participating in committing felonies in which it is foreseeable that someone could get killed.  That deterrent effect is essentially annihilated with the enactment of SB 1437.  The bill draws no distinction in cases where the participation in a dangerous felony results in death and where it does not.  Further, the bill applies retroactively impacting convictions reached by jury and bench trials as well as negotiated plea bargains.  The resentencing provisions under the bill could result in participants in murders who should not qualify receiving relief.  The bill requires the district attorney to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual falls into one of the categories that precludes resentencing.  For those plea-bargained cases, a full court record upon which such a case could be made will not exist and therefore provide virtually all individuals the opportunity for resentencing – regardless of their culpability and intent.  
 
From a victim perspective, CVUC is concerned this process will have significant consequences for crime victims.  More specifically, this bill may result in victims being called back to court so as to substantiate the case and in doing so force them to relive their victimization in an effort to ensure the culpable, premeditated individual is not provided this measure of relief where unwarranted or unintended.
 
CVUC is highly disappointed the Legislature passed and Governor signed this version rather than addressing the outstanding issues and need for certainty.  It is estimated that 400-800 felons would be eligible for re-sentencing. 
 

 

Restructuring Juvenile Sentencing 

 
Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law that restructures how minors can be prosecuted.  SB 439 (Mitchell) will now make 12 years old the minimum age for prosecution in juvenile court unless the child is charged with murder or rape.  Children that are charged with less of a crime such as a curfew violation, truancy, vandalism, theft, and trespassing will instead be referred to alternative social services departments for help.  
 
SB 1391 (Lara) was also signed into law limiting prosecutors’ ability to try a 16-year-old or younger as an adult.  Currently, prosecutors have the ability to petition a transfer of a minor from juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction if they are charged with a serious crime such as murder, arson, robbery, rape or kidnapping.  Under new rules, a juvenile that is charged even of a serious crime will remain in juvenile facilities to serve their sentence instead of adult prisons. 
 
CVUC opposed SB 1391 as Proposition 57 specifically addressed this issue, providing discretion to the courts to decide whether a juvenile was fit to be tried as an adult or whether he/she was more appropriately prosecuted in juvenile court.  The irony is that under that initiative, proponents argued the court should have discretion to make the best determination and yet less than two years later they are back to eliminate the discretion.  CVUC strongly believes that prosecutors should have, under certain circumstances, the ability to charge a juvenile as an adult, especially in a case where it can be proven that, irrespective of his or her age, the person knew and understood the nature and consequences of his or her actions.  This is an appropriate part of the decision making process as to the propriety of an adult prosecution, particularly in heinous crimes such as murder, kidnapping, or rape.
 
Instead, SB 1391 would completely eliminate this fair judicial process for minors 14 or 15 who commit these serious 707(b) offenses, such as murder, based on statistics that the brains of 14 and 15 year olds are not as developed as an adult brain.  Such minors could not be tried as adults even if it could be proven that a 14 or 15 year old minor was a psychopath who deliberately, intentionally and with premeditation killed numerous people, was intending to kill many more people and was not capable of being rehabilitated.   Further, under this bill, dangerous minors who would otherwise have been transferred to the adult court based on the above criteria, will now have to be kept within the juvenile court system.  Since the juvenile court system was designed for minors who could be rehabilitated in a relatively short period of time, it doesn’t have many public safety protection options.  Consequently, even if such minors are housed in some juvenile facility, it is generally not for a long period of time.  Plus, their presence in these facilities will inevitably cause other minors and adults within these facilities to be at risk of harm from them. In any event, the juvenile court system only has jurisdiction over such minors up until age 25.  At that age, these minors must be released even if it would be dangerous to release them. 
 
Finally, as appropriately identified by a few pro-public safety Democrats in the Assembly, most gangs recruit their younger members to commit serious crimes on behalf of the gang as they know that the criminal consequences for juveniles are potentially much less than those for adults unless the minor is deemed unfit for juvenile court and transferred to adult court.   With the enactment of this bill, it will be a “green light” for gangs to use their 14 and 15 year old members to do more serious crimes, knowing that it will be impossible for them to be tried as adults or to be incarcerated for a long time.  
 
SB 1391 is yet another example of California turning its back on public and victim safety.  Balance in public policy is important, but more and more California’s criminal justice policy is not only imbalanced but becoming increasingly dangerous for all of its citizens.
 

 

In Top Contests, Democratic Candidates Have Outraised Republican Opponents 

 
Democrats not only enjoy a significant advantage over Republicans when it comes to voter registration, but they also have better fundraising numbers.  With about a month until the November 6th general election, the latest campaign finance reports show that Democrats running statewide have raised more than their GOP challengers.  
 
In the race for governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom leads both financially and in the polls.  As of September 22nd, the Newsom campaign had $16.2 million cash on hand compared with the $1.7 million Cox had in the bank.  Despite the large war chest, some have cautioned Newsom to avoid being overly confident.  While candidates need financial backing to help increase their visibility and promote their message, having the most money does not always result in a winning bid for office.  
 
The monetary advantage Democrats have extends beyond the Governor’s race, however.  Financial reports show that the four other Republican candidates on the ballot are also not in the best financial shape.  Here is a closer look at how much money has been raised in each contest:  
 
Secretary of State – Alex Padilla (D) $496,640, Mark Meuser (R) $11,562
Controller – Betty Yee (D) $1.4 Million, Konstantinos Roditis (R) $93,633
State Treasure – Fiona Ma (D) $1.2 Million, Greg Conlon (R) $13,002
Attorney General – Xavier Becerra (D) $1.5 Million, Steven Bailey (R) $15,138  
 
For more information, please see http://cal-access.sos.ca.gov/Campaign/Candidates/

 

PPIC Survey Shows Smaller Margins for Frontrunners Newsom and Feinstein 

 
In the governor’s race, Democrat Gavin Newsom maintains a double-digit lead over Republican John Cox.  However, it should be noted that in the latest poll the 24 point lead Newsom had in July has narrowed to 12 points.  Specifically, the survey found that 51 percent of likely voters said they would vote for Newsom, while 39 percent would vote for Cox and 7 percent are undecided.
 
Similarly, US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s lead over state Senator Kevin de León has slipped.  The recently released PPIC poll shows Feinstein, who is seeking her fifth full term, ahead by only 11 points.  In July, she led by 22 points.  The specific findings suggest that, among all likely voters, 40 percent now support Feinstein, while de León trails with 29 percent.  Based on these recent figures, the US Senate race could be closer than the initial polling suggested…stay tuned…  
 

 

Audit Concludes Some Correctional Facilities Could Better Protect Officers

 
The California State Auditor’s office recently issued a report detailing their review of the health and safety of correctional staff who were subject to a gassing attack at one of three correctional facilities—the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s California Institute for Men, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Men’s Central Jail, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office’s Santa Rita Jail.  This report concluded that each of the three correctional facilities should improve their processes to ensure that they provide all available aftercare to victims of gassing attacks, investigate such attacks more quickly and thoroughly, and better prevent and respond to gassing attacks.  
 
Additionally, the report found that none of the facilities adequately informed victims immediately following the gassing attacks of aftercare services, such as medical and counseling services.  Further, these facilities did not consistently document that they advised victims of their right to request that the inmate who committed the gassing attack be tested for a communicable disease.   Finally, the three correctional facilities did not provide officers sufficient training about how to respond to gassing attacks.
 
For more information, please see http://www.auditor.ca.gov/pdfs/reports/2018-106.pdf.

 

Supreme Court Rules to Keep DNA Samples

 
In late August, the California Supreme Court ruled that juveniles who were reclassified under Proposition 47 are not entitled to have their DNA removed from the state database.  The issue was brought into question in two cases that involved juveniles that were convicted of a felony for theft charges in 2011.  
 
In 2014, under Proposition 47, which reduced many drug and theft-related crime from felonies to misdemeanors, juveniles were able to have such crimes reclassified as misdemeanors.  The court, however, refused to remove their DNA samples from the database.  Proposition 69 allowed for samples to be taken from juveniles as the 2009 measure required the collection of DNA samples from convicted felons and those arrested on a felony charge. Samples were to be discarded only if the defendant was proven innocent or if the charges were dropped.  Justice Carol Corrigan explained that removing the juveniles DNA sample did not advance Proposition 47’s goals of reducing the prison population and they therefore could be retained. 
 
Overall, the impact Proposition 47 has had on crime rates in the state has been a heated debate – one that CVUC has argued is prompting a significant and dangerous rise in crime and victims.  In this regard, CVUC and other stakeholders, including Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Sacramento) are working on an initiative on the 2020 ballot that would repeal portions of Proposition 47 by reclassifying some theft crimes back to felonies, and expand DNA sampling requirements. 
 

Legislation

 
AB 931 (Weber): Criminal Procedure: Use of Force by Peace Officers        DEAD
Current law authorizes a peace officer to make an arrest pursuant to a warrant or based upon probable cause, as specified. This bill would, notwithstanding that provision, require peace officers to attempt to control an incident by using time, distance, communications, and available resources in an effort to deescalate a situation whenever it is safe and reasonable to do so.
Status:  Senate Rules Committee
Position:  Oppose
 
AB 1735 (Cunningham): Protective orders: human trafficking.    SIGNED
Current law requires a court to consider issuing a protective order restraining the defendant from contact with the victim for up to 10 years in all cases in which a criminal defendant has been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence, rape, unlawful sexual intercourse, or any crime requiring registration as a sex offender, including, but not limited to, pimping or pandering a minor, and human trafficking to effect or maintain a violation of specified sex offenses. This bill would additionally require the court to consider issuing a protective order, as provided above, in all cases in which a criminal defendant has been convicted of human trafficking with the intent to obtain forced labor or services, and pimping or pandering without regard to whether the victim is a minor.
Position: Support
 
AB 1746 (Cervantes): Criminal procedure: jurisdiction of public offenses.    SIGNED
Current law provides that if more than one violation of certain specified offenses occurs in more than one jurisdictional territory, and the defendant and the victim are the same for all of the offenses, jurisdiction for any of those offenses and any other properly joinable offenses may be in any jurisdiction where at least one of the offenses occurred. This bill would add the offenses of sexual battery and unlawful sexual intercourse to the list of specified offenses to which that jurisdictional preference applies. This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 784.7 of the Penal Code proposed by SB 1494 to be operative as specified.
Position: Support
 
AB 2013 (Cunningham): Crimes: public records: disclosure of information                 DEAD
Would require, subject to exceptions, disclosure of specified information regarding persons involved in criminal investigations, including the full name of a victim, unless a law enforcement agency determines that disclosure of a particular item of information would endanger the completion of the investigation or a related investigation, or would endanger the safety of a person involved in an investigation, including a victim or witness, pursuant to the California Public Records Act. The bill would authorize a law enforcement agency, when determining if disclosure of a particular item of information would endanger a person involved in the investigation, to consider a request by the person that a particular item of information be withheld from disclosure if the person presents evidence that disclosure would endanger the person’s safety.
Status: Held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File 
Position: Support
 
AB 2124 (Rubio): Human trafficking: vertical prosecution program.        DEAD
Current law establishes the Office of Emergency Services, which is required to, among other things, allocate and award funds to communities developing and providing ongoing citizen involvement and crime resistance programs. This bill would require the office, to the extent funds are available for this purpose and until January 1, 2023, to allocate and award funds to up to 11 district attorney offices that employ a vertical prosecution methodology for the prosecution of human trafficking crimes and that meet other specified criteria, including minimum staffing levels for the program.
Status: Held on Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File 
Position: Support
 
AB 2201 (Mayes): Court fees: name changes: exemption.    SIGNED
When a proceeding for a change of name is commenced by the filing of a petition, current law requires the court to issue an order reciting the filing of the petition, the name of the person by whom it is filed, and the name proposed. Current law provides that if a petition for a change of name establishes that the petitioner is an active participant in an address confidentiality program, as specified, and the petition alleges the reason for the change of name is to avoid domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault, the action for a change of name is exempt from this publication requirement. This bill would add avoiding human trafficking as a reason to exempt an action for a change of name from the publication requirement. The bill would prohibit a court from charging a minor a court fee for a proceeding for a change of name if the action is exempt from the publication requirement.
Position: Support
 
AB 2290 (Gallagher): Restraining orders: minor witness: visitation        DEAD
Would require the court to consider issuing an order restraining a criminal defendant who has been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence from any contact with a minor who is a witness, as defined. The bill would allow the order to include an order authorizing a family or juvenile court to make a subsequent order for safe and appropriate visitation with the defendant’s minor child who is a witness, as provided, and would require this order to have precedence in enforcement over a civil court order against the defendant, except as provided. Because a violation of the protective order would be a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Status: Held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File
Position: Support
 
AB 2768 (Melendez): Threats: Schools & Places of Religious Worship.        DEAD
Would make it a crime to willfully threaten to commit a crime that will result in death or great bodily injury to persons at any school or place of religious worship, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes the administrators of that school or place of religious worship reasonably to be in sustained fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate membership.
Status: Held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File
Position: Support
 
AB 2823 (Nazarian): Violent Felonies       DEAD
Current law generally imposes an additional one-year term for a felony and a 3-year term for a violent felony for each prior separate prison term served for a felony or a violent felony, respectively. The Legislature may amend these initiative statutes by a statute passed in each house by a 2/3 vote. This bill would additionally define human sex trafficking as a violent felony. By changing the sentence of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Status: Held on the Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File
Position: Support
 
AB 3118 (Chiu): Sexual assault: investigations.     SIGNED
This bill would require all law enforcement agencies, medical facilities, crime laboratories, and any other facilities that receive, maintain, store, or preserve sexual assault evidence kits to conduct an audit of all untested sexual assault evidence kits in their possession and report certain data to the Department of Justice by no later than July 1, 2019.
Position: Support
 
AB 3129 (Rubio): Firearms: Prohibited Persons.    SIGNED
Current law prohibits a person who has been convicted of a felony from possessing a firearm. A violation of that prohibition is a felony. Current law also prohibits a person who has been convicted of a specified misdemeanor from possessing a firearm for a period of 10 years. A violation of that prohibition may be punished as either a misdemeanor or a felony. This bill would prohibit a person who is convicted on or after January 1, 2019, of a misdemeanor violation of willful infliction of corporal injury upon a spouse, cohabitant, or other specified person, from ever possessing a firearm. The bill would make the violation of that prohibition punishable as either a misdemeanor or as a felony.
Position: Support
 
SB 10 (Hertzberg): Bail: Pretrial Release    SIGNED
Creates a risk-based non-monetary pre-arraignment and pretrial release system for people arrested for criminal offenses, including preventative detention procedures for persons determined to be too high a risk to assure public safety, if released.  Assembly amendments made a host of changes from prior versions of the bill, including requiring booking and release for most people charged with misdemeanors within 12 hours; requiring release by a pretrial pre-arraignment release for some medium risk defendants, high risk defendants may be released at arraignment if conditions are found safe for release; preventative detention of high risk defendants is permitted if no conditions of supervision can reasonably assure public safety and return to court; providing a person cannot be charged for conditions of release; requiring courts to establish a pretrial assessment service and adopt local rules of court; requiring courts to provide Judicial Council data related to the implementation of the law; and more.
Position: Oppose
 
SB 757 (Glazer): Prostitution: sex offender registration and DNA collection.       DEAD
Would add the offense of soliciting, or agreeing to engage in, or engaging in, an act of prostitution with a minor in exchange for providing money or compensation to the minor, except as specified, to the list of offenses requiring registration as a tier one offender on the sex offender registry commencing January 1, 2021. By imposing additional duties on local authorities, and by expanding the scope of persons who would be committing a crime by failing to register as a sex offender, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
Status: Held in the Assembly Public Safety Committee 
Position: Support
 
SB 1146 (Stone): Prisoners Rights              DEAD
Current law authorizes a court to issue a restraining order or protective order enjoining the restrained party from contacting the protected party, as specified. Under current law, violation of the terms of a restraining order is punishable as a misdemeanor and subsequent violations are punishable as a misdemeanor or felony. This bill would authorize prison authorities to open and inspect outgoing mail for purposes of enforcing a restraining order or protective order against an inmate, but would prohibit prison authorities from opening or inspecting outgoing confidential correspondence between a prisoner and his or her attorney.
Status: Held in the Assembly Public Safety Committee
Position: Support
 
SB 1242 (Newman): Parole       DEAD
Would establish additional requirements for parole hearings for an inmate with a life sentence that are required to be met before parole is granted. The bill would require the inmate to have, among other things, remorse and insight into the nature of the crime the inmate committed, that the inmate has been free from disciplinary actions for a reasonable period of time prior to the hearing, and that the inmate has developed realistic post release plans, as specified.
Status: Held in the Assembly Public Safety Committee
Position: Support
 
SB 1279 (Bradford): Sentencing: Double the Base Term.        DEAD
Existing law requires a person convicted of 2 or more felonies to be sentenced to an aggregate term of imprisonment for all convictions at a sum of the principal term, the subordinate term, and any additional term imposed for applicable enhancements, prior convictions, and prior prison terms. This bill would, with exceptions, as specified, limit the maximum term of imprisonment to twice the number of years imposed by the trial court as the base term.
Status: Assembly Second Reading File – Assembly Floor
Position: Oppose
 
SB 1391 (Lara): Juveniles: Fitness for Juvenile Court    SIGNED
Would repeal the authority of a district attorney to make a motion to transfer a minor from juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction in a case in which a minor is alleged to have committed a specified serious offense when he or she was 14 or 15 years of age, unless the individual was not apprehended prior to the end of juvenile court jurisdiction, thereby amending Proposition 57. By increasing the number of minors retained under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Position: Oppose
 
SB 1392 (Mitchell): Sentencing       DEAD
Current law imposes an additional 3-year sentence for each prior separate prison term served by a defendant where the prior and current offense was a violent felony, as defined. If that provision does not apply, current law instead imposes a one-year term for each prior separate prison term or county jail felony term under the law, except under specified circumstances.This bill would delete the provision that requires an additional one-year term. The bill would make additional technical, nonsubstantive changes.
Status: Held on the Senate Floor 
Position: Oppose
 
SB 1393 (Mitchell): Sentencing    SIGNED
Current law requires the court, when imposing a sentence for a serious felony, in addition and consecutive to the term imposed for that serious felony, to impose a 5-year enhancement for each prior conviction of a serious felony. Existing law generally authorizes a judge, in the interests of justice, to order an action dismissed, but precludes a judge from striking any prior serious felony conviction in connection with imposition of the 5-year enhancement. This bill would delete the restriction prohibiting a judge from striking a prior serious felony conviction in connection with imposition of the 5-year enhancement described above and would make conforming changes.
Position: Oppose
 
SB 1437 (Skinner): Accomplice liability for felony murder.    SIGNED
Current law defines murder as the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought. Current law defines malice for this purpose as either express or implied and defines those terms. This bill would prohibit malice from being imputed to a person based solely on his or her participation in a crime. The bill would prohibit a participant in the commission or attempted commission of a felony inherently dangerous to human life to be imputed to have acted with implied malice, unless he or she personally committed the homicidal act.
Position: Oppose
 
***NOTE: These measures are just a few of the measures CVUC was tracking and taking action on in 2018.  For the full list of bills, please see www.gov.ca.gov/legislation