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California Prison & Criminal Justice News & Events + 3 Strikes Do you have news relating to California's Prison or Ciminal Justice System and related efforts? Post them here! Also discuss 3 Strike laws.

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  #1  
Old 03-09-2018, 12:25 AM
PapaSmurf PapaSmurf is offline
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Default SB 1437 Questions

Outlined Below as the Senate Bill for the continuation of SCR 48

leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1437

ARC is behind this (Yay ARC )

My questions are for this situation / case:

1) The Primary took a 1st Degree Murder as a Plea Bargain
2) The Accessory (Non Primary) took a deal for a Second Degree Murder as the Plea Bargain.
3) The First Degree Murderer admitted he killed the victim.
4) Nothing ever went to trial.

Based on this law change, there is no way for the second guy to get a 1st degree murder or even a second degree murder (Due to many different laws)

The question is, based on the TEXT of the new legislation, what time would the second guys time be re sentenced to?

It is clear in this specific instance that the Second guy did not kill the victim and was part of the felony murder concept.
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:10 PM
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The question is, based on the TEXT of the new legislation, what time would the second guys time be re sentenced to?
Wish I knew... I am guessing the person would be re-sentenced only to the underlying felony charge that made it felony murder (ie. robbery, etc).

But I'd sure love to hear our PTO legal experts chime in on this!
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:38 PM
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The details of the plea and the prior record would factor here. Without knowing those, we can't put a number (even with, we'd be guessing).

The text indicates that:
"This bill would prohibit a participant or conspirator in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of one of the specified first degree murder felonies in which a death occurs from being liable for murder, unless the person personally committed the homicidal act, the person acted with premeditated intent to aid and abet an act wherein a death would occur, or the person was a major participant in the underlying felony and acted with reckless indifference to human life."

So it's not a cut and dry, if you didn't commit the act you're off the hook for murder. If you participated and the prosecution can show intent or reckless indifference, you're still eligible for the charge of murder.

Further, if there were prior strikes involved, this bill does not allow the court to remove those as a factor in sentencing.

It looks like it's still making its way through committees which leaves time for amendments. I would hold off on conjecture and specific sentence forecasting until in its final form.

Last edited by miamac; 05-11-2018 at 01:48 PM.. Reason: format
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:52 PM
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It looks like it's still making its way through committees which leaves time for amendments. I would hold off on conjecture and specific sentence forecasting until in its final form.

Every inmate in that position would want to try for re-sentencing. Which would cost the courts and CDCR a lot of time and money just processing the requests. A lot more money having the actual hearings for those who qualify. I bet millions of $ impact. A lot of opponents are going to chirp about that.

We might start hearing noise in the press especially if it passes the senate and on to assembly hearings. If it does get that far inmates will hear and start talking about it. I'm gonna track and see if makes progress.
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Old 05-11-2018, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by gvalliant View Post
Every inmate in that position would want to try for re-sentencing. Which would cost the courts and CDCR a lot of time and money just processing the requests. A lot more money having the actual hearings for those who qualify. I bet millions of $ impact. A lot of opponents are going to chirp about that.

Any chance proponents will have the ability to prove a financial offset with reduced sentencing? I never know how that works as the budgets are completely separate, though funded by the same taxpayers. Individual counties would be affected disproportionately and the corrections budget is a state issue.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:04 PM
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Any chance proponents will have the ability to prove a financial offset with reduced sentencing? I never know how that works as the budgets are completely separate, though funded by the same taxpayers. Individual counties would be affected disproportionately and the corrections budget is a state issue.
Those are issues that can be brought up in any hearing by politicos and the public during testimony. When the bill lands in the Senate Appropriations (and later Assembly Appropriations) committees they will (should) discuss, analyze, and try to quantify those exact issues.

How much potential cost to CDCR etc to administer / transport inmates etc?

How much savings to CDCR from reduced sentencing?

So a good question and we should watch for how those committees address it. I think LAO will weigh in also.

There is some cost threshold (over $100K I think) where a bill goes into what they call suspense. That can be a problem. Some senator or assemblymember or group then has to step forward and get funding for it. Which takes guts most of them don't have. So bills often die if they go into suspense / cost money.

Easy for politicians to support something if it doesn't cost anything right?
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:05 AM
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Default Video of Senate Appropriations hearing on SB 1437



Lots of mentions of the savings it could bring. Also, it passed Appropriations 7-0.
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Last edited by qwerty; 05-17-2018 at 10:40 AM..
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:08 AM
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Their back of the napkin math said hundreds of millions savings per year. They glossed over cost for re-sentencing, guesstimating one time cost of $7 million. Not as precise as you would hope from a committee charged with appropriations. Their "WAG'" at numbers seem overwhelmingly favorable nonetheless.

To suspense file. Budget for it and move it to Assembly who I believe are not as Liberal as Senate. Good so far.
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:38 AM
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Their back of the napkin math said hundreds of millions savings per year. They glossed over cost for re-sentencing, guesstimating one time cost of $7 million. Not as precise as you would hope from a committee charged with appropriations. Their "WAG'" at numbers seem overwhelmingly favorable nonetheless.

To suspense file. Budget for it and move it to Assembly who I believe are not as Liberal as Senate. Good so far.
I agree with your assessment here. The Assembly is a tad more conservative, so we shall see. I am getting the sense that Skinner is not going to let this die on the vine if she can help it.

What is strange to me is the additional language in the actual bill that seems (to me) to be making it harder for prosecutors to plea bargain. It does not relate to felony murder cases, just serious felonies in general. Another example of the legislature cobbling two oddly unrelated things together...?
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