Bill Text: CA SB260 | 2013-2014 | Regular Session | Chaptered


Bill Title: Youth offender parole hearings.

Status: (Passed) 2013-09-16 - Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter 312, Statutes of 2013. [SB260 Detail]

Download: California-2013-SB260-Chaptered.html
BILL NUMBER: SB 260	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  312
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  SEPTEMBER 16, 2013
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  SEPTEMBER 16, 2013
	PASSED THE SENATE  SEPTEMBER 10, 2013
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  SEPTEMBER 6, 2013
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  SEPTEMBER 3, 2013
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 12, 2013
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  JUNE 27, 2013
	AMENDED IN SENATE  MAY 24, 2013
	AMENDED IN SENATE  APRIL 4, 2013
	AMENDED IN SENATE  MARCH 18, 2013

INTRODUCED BY   Senator Hancock
   (Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Bloom)
   (Coauthors: Senators De León, Lara, and Steinberg)
   (Coauthors: Assembly Members Bocanegra, Bonta, Hall, Rendon, and
Ting)

                        FEBRUARY 13, 2013

   An act to amend Sections 3041, 3046, and 4801 of, and to add
Section 3051 to, the Penal Code, relating to parole.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 260, Hancock. Youth offender parole hearings.
   Existing law provides that the Secretary of the Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation or the Board of Parole Hearings, or
both, may, for specified reasons, recommend to the court that a
prisoner's sentence be recalled, and that a court may recall a
prisoner's sentence. When a defendant who was under 18 years of age
at the time of the commission of a crime has served at least 15 years
of his or her sentence, existing law allows the defendant to submit
a petition for recall and resentencing, and authorizes the court, in
its discretion, to recall the sentence and to resentence the
defendant, provided that the new sentence is not greater than the
initial sentence.
   This bill would require the Board of Parole Hearings to conduct a
youth offender parole hearing to consider release of offenders who
committed specified crimes prior to being 18 years of age and who
were sentenced to state prison. The bill would make a person eligible
for release on parole at a youth offender parole hearing during the
15th year of incarceration if the person meeting these criteria
received a determinate sentence, during the 20th year if the person
received a sentence that was less than 25 years to life, and during
the 25th year of incarceration if the person received a sentence that
was 25 years to life. The bill would require the board, in reviewing
a prisoner's suitability for parole, to give great weight to the
diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to adults, the
hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and increased
maturity of the prisoner in accordance with relevant case law. The
bill would require that, in assessing growth and maturity,
psychological evaluations and risk assessment instruments, if used by
the board, be administered by licensed psychologists employed by the
board and take into consideration the diminished culpability of
juveniles as compared to that of adults, the hallmark features of
youth, and any subsequent growth and increased maturity of the
individual. The bill would permit family members, friends, school
personnel, faith leaders, and representatives from community-based
organizations with knowledge about the young person prior to the
crime or his or her growth and maturity since the commission of the
crime to submit statements for review by the board.
   Existing law requires the board to meet with each inmate sentenced
pursuant to certain provisions of law during his or her 3rd year of
incarceration for the purpose of reviewing his or her file, making
recommendations, and documenting activities and conduct pertinent to
granting or withholding postconviction credit.
   This bill would instead require the board to meet with those
inmates, including those who are eligible to be considered for parole
pursuant to a youth offender parole hearing, during the 6th year
prior to the inmate's minimum eligible parole release date. The bill
would also require the board to provide an inmate additional,
specified information during this consultation, including
individualized recommendations regarding the inmate's work
assignments, rehabilitative programs, and institutional behavior, and
to provide those findings and recommendations, in writing, to the
inmate within 30 days following the consultation.
   Existing law, added by Proposition 8, adopted June 8, 1982, and
amended by Proposition 36, adopted November 6, 2012, commonly known
as the Three Strikes law, requires increased penalties for certain
recidivist offenders in addition to any other enhancement or penalty
provisions that may apply, including individuals with current and
prior convictions of a serious felony, as specified.
   Existing law, as amended by Proposition 83, adopted November 7,
2006, commonly known as Jessica's Law, requires a person convicted of
certain felonies under specified circumstances to be committed to
prison for a term of years to life.
   This bill would exempt from its provisions inmates who were
sentenced pursuant to the Three Strikes law or Jessica's Law, or
sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The
bill would not apply to an individual to whom the bill would
otherwise apply, but who, subsequent to attaining 18 years of age,
commits an additional crime for which malice aforethought is a
necessary element of the crime or for which the individual is
sentenced to life in prison.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  The Legislature finds and declares that, as stated by
the United States Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama (2012) 183
L.Ed.2d 407, "only a relatively small proportion of adolescents" who
engage in illegal activity "develop entrenched patterns of problem
behavior," and that "developments in psychology and brain science
continue to show fundamental differences between juvenile and adult
minds," including "parts of the brain involved in behavior control."
The Legislature recognizes that youthfulness both lessens a juvenile'
s moral culpability and enhances the prospect that, as a youth
matures into an adult and neurological development occurs, these
individuals can become contributing members of society. The purpose
of this act is to establish a parole eligibility mechanism that
provides a person serving a sentence for crimes that he or she
committed as a juvenile the opportunity to obtain release when he or
she has shown that he or she has been rehabilitated and gained
maturity, in accordance with the decision of the California Supreme
Court in People v. Caballero (2012) 55 Cal.4th 262 and the decisions
of the United States Supreme Court in Graham v. Florida (2010) 560
U.S. 48, and Miller v. Alabama (2012) 183 L.Ed.2d 407. Nothing in
this act is intended to undermine the California Supreme Court's
holdings in In re Shaputis (2011) 53 Cal.4th 192, In re Lawrence
(2008) 44 Cal.4th 1181, and subsequent cases. It is the intent of the
Legislature to create a process by which growth and maturity of
youthful offenders can be assessed and a meaningful opportunity for
release established.
  SEC. 2.  Section 3041 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   3041.  (a) In the case of any inmate sentenced pursuant to any
law, other than Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 1170) of Title 7
of Part 2, the Board of Parole Hearings shall meet with each inmate
during the sixth year prior to the inmate's minimum eligible parole
release date for the purposes of reviewing and documenting the inmate'
s activities and conduct pertinent to both parole eligibility and to
the granting or withholding of postconviction credit. During this
consultation, the board shall provide the inmate information about
the parole hearing process, legal factors relevant to his or her
suitability or unsuitability for parole, and individualized
recommendations for the inmate regarding his or her work assignments,
rehabilitative programs, and institutional behavior. Within 30 days
following the consultation, the board shall issue its positive and
negative findings and recommendations to the inmate in writing. One
year prior to the inmate's minimum eligible parole release date a
panel of two or more commissioners or deputy commissioners shall
again meet with the inmate and shall normally set a parole release
date as provided in Section 3041.5. No more than one member of the
panel shall be a deputy commissioner. In the event of a tie vote, the
matter shall be referred for an en banc review of the record that
was before the panel that rendered the tie vote. Upon en banc review,
the board shall vote to either grant or deny parole and render a
statement of decision. The en banc review shall be conducted pursuant
to subdivision (e). The release date shall be set in a manner that
will provide uniform terms for offenses of similar gravity and
magnitude with respect to their threat to the public, and that will
comply with the sentencing rules that the Judicial Council may issue
and any sentencing information relevant to the setting of parole
release dates. The board shall establish criteria for the setting of
parole release dates and in doing so shall consider the number of
victims of the crime for which the inmate was sentenced and other
factors in mitigation or aggravation of the crime. At least one
commissioner of the panel shall have been present at the last
preceding meeting, unless it is not feasible to do so or where the
last preceding meeting was the initial meeting. Any person on the
hearing panel may request review of any decision regarding parole for
an en banc hearing by the board. In case of a review, a majority
vote in favor of parole by the board members participating in an en
banc review is required to grant parole to any inmate.
   (b) The panel or the board, sitting en banc, shall set a release
date unless it determines that the gravity of the current convicted
offense or offenses, or the timing and gravity of current or past
convicted offense or offenses, is such that consideration of the
public safety requires a more lengthy period of incarceration for
this individual, and that a parole date, therefore, cannot be fixed
at this meeting. After the effective date of this subdivision, any
decision of the parole panel finding an inmate suitable for parole
shall become final within 120 days of the date of the hearing. During
that period, the board may review the panel's decision. The panel's
decision shall become final pursuant to this subdivision unless the
board finds that the panel made an error of law, or that the panel's
decision was based on an error of fact, or that new information
should be presented to the board, any of which when corrected or
considered by the board has a substantial likelihood of resulting in
a substantially different decision upon a rehearing. In making this
determination, the board shall consult with the commissioners who
conducted the parole consideration hearing. No decision of the parole
panel shall be disapproved and referred for rehearing except by a
majority vote of the board, sitting en banc, following a public
meeting.
   (c) For the purpose of reviewing the suitability for parole of
those inmates eligible for parole under prior law at a date earlier
than that calculated under Section 1170.2, the board shall appoint
panels of at least two persons to meet annually with each inmate
until the time the person is released pursuant to proceedings or
reaches the expiration of his or her term as calculated under Section
1170.2.
   (d) It is the intent of the Legislature that, during times when
there is no backlog of inmates awaiting parole hearings, life parole
consideration hearings, or life rescission hearings, hearings will be
conducted by a panel of three or more members, the majority of whom
shall be commissioners. The board shall report monthly on the number
of cases where an inmate has not received a completed initial or
subsequent parole consideration hearing within 30 days of the hearing
date required by subdivision (a) of Section 3041.5 or paragraph (2)
of subdivision (b) of Section 3041.5, unless the inmate has waived
the right to those timeframes. That report shall be considered the
backlog of cases for purposes of this section, and shall include
information on the progress toward eliminating the backlog, and on
the number of inmates who have waived their right to the above
timeframes. The report shall be made public at a regularly scheduled
meeting of the board and a written report shall be made available to
the public and transmitted to the Legislature quarterly.
   (e) For purposes of this section, an en banc review by the board
means a review conducted by a majority of commissioners holding
office on the date the matter is heard by the board. An en banc
review shall be conducted in compliance with the following:
   (1) The commissioners conducting the review shall consider the
entire record of the hearing that resulted in the tie vote.
   (2) The review shall be limited to the record of the hearing. The
record shall consist of the transcript or audiotape of the hearing,
written or electronically recorded statements actually considered by
the panel that produced the tie vote, and any other material actually
considered by the panel. New evidence or comments shall not be
considered in the en banc proceeding.
   (3) The board shall separately state reasons for its decision to
grant or deny parole.
   (4) A commissioner who was involved in the tie vote shall be
recused from consideration of the matter in the en banc review.
  SEC. 3.  Section 3046 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   3046.  (a) No prisoner imprisoned under a life sentence may be
paroled until he or she has served the greater of the following:
   (1) A term of at least seven calendar years.
   (2) A term as established pursuant to any other provision of law
that establishes a minimum term or minimum period of confinement
under a life sentence before eligibility for parole.
   (b) If two or more life sentences are ordered to run consecutively
to each other pursuant to Section 669, no prisoner so imprisoned may
be paroled until he or she has served the term specified in
subdivision (a) on each of the life sentences that are ordered to run
consecutively.
   (c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), a prisoner found
suitable for parole pursuant to a youth offender parole hearing as
described in Section 3051 shall be paroled regardless of the manner
in which the board set release dates pursuant to subdivision (a) of
Section 3041, subject to subdivision (b) of Section 3041 and Sections
3041.1 and 3041.2, as applicable.
   (d) The Board of Prison Terms shall, in considering a parole for a
prisoner, consider all statements and recommendations which may have
been submitted by the judge, district attorney, and sheriff,
pursuant to Section 1203.01, or in response to notices given under
Section 3042, and recommendations of other persons interested in the
granting or denying of the parole. The board shall enter on its order
granting or denying parole to these prisoners, the fact that the
statements and recommendations have been considered by it.
  SEC. 4.  Section 3051 is added to the Penal Code, to read:
   3051.  (a) (1) A youth offender parole hearing is a hearing by the
Board of Parole Hearings for the purpose of reviewing the parole
suitability of any prisoner who was under 18 years of age at the time
of his or her controlling offense.
   (2) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions
shall apply:
   (A) "Incarceration" means detention in a city or county jail, a
local juvenile facility, a mental health facility, a Division of
Juvenile Justice facility, or a Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation facility.
   (B) "Controlling offense" means the offense or enhancement for
which any sentencing court imposed the longest term of imprisonment.
   (b) (1) A person who was convicted of a controlling offense that
was committed before the person had attained 18 years of age and for
which the sentence is a determinate sentence shall be eligible for
release on parole at a youth offender parole hearing by the board
during his or her 15th year of incarceration, unless previously
released pursuant to other statutory provisions.
   (2) A person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was
committed before the person had attained 18 years of age and for
which the sentence is a life term of less than 25 years to life shall
be eligible for release on parole by the board during his or her
20th year of incarceration at a youth offender parole hearing, unless
previously released or entitled to an earlier parole consideration
hearing pursuant to other statutory provisions.
   (3) A person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was
committed before the person had attained 18 years of age and for
which the sentence is a life term of 25 years to life shall be
eligible for release on parole by the board during his or her 25th
year of incarceration at a youth offender parole hearing, unless
previously released or entitled to an earlier parole consideration
hearing pursuant to other statutory provisions.
   (c) An individual subject to this section shall meet with the
board pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 3041.
   (d) The board shall conduct a youth offender parole hearing to
consider release. At the youth offender parole hearing, the board
shall release the individual on parole as provided in Section 3041,
except that the board shall act in accordance with subdivision (c) of
Section 4801.
   (e) The youth offender parole hearing to consider release shall
provide for a meaningful opportunity to obtain release. The board
shall review and, as necessary, revise existing regulations and adopt
new regulations regarding determinations of suitability made
pursuant to this section, subdivision (c) of Section 4801, and other
related topics, consistent with relevant case law, in order to
provide that meaningful opportunity for release.
   (f) (1) In assessing growth and maturity, psychological
evaluations and risk assessment instruments, if used by the board,
shall be administered by licensed psychologists employed by the board
and shall take into consideration the diminished culpability of
juveniles as compared to that of adults, the hallmark features of
youth, and any subsequent growth and increased maturity of the
individual.
   (2) Family members, friends, school personnel, faith leaders, and
representatives from community-based organizations with knowledge
about the individual before the crime or his or her growth and
maturity since the time of the crime may submit statements for review
by the board.
   (3) Nothing in this section is intended to alter the rights of
victims at parole hearings.
   (g) If parole is not granted, the board shall set the time for a
subsequent youth offender parole hearing in accordance with paragraph
(3) of subdivision (b) of Section 3041.5. In exercising its
discretion pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) and
subdivision (d) of Section 3041.5, the board shall consider the
factors in subdivision (c) of Section 4801. No subsequent youth
offender parole hearing shall be necessary if the offender is
released pursuant to other statutory provisions prior to the date of
the subsequent hearing.
   (h) This section shall not apply to cases in which sentencing
occurs pursuant to Section 1170.12, subdivisions (b) to (i),
inclusive, of Section 667, or Section 667.61, or in which an
individual was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of
parole. This section shall not apply to an individual to whom this
section would otherwise apply, but who, subsequent to attaining 18
years of age, commits an additional crime for which malice
aforethought is a necessary element of the crime or for which the
individual is sentenced to life in prison.
   (i) The board shall complete all youth offender parole hearings
for individuals who become entitled to have their parole suitability
considered at a youth offender parole hearing on the effective date
of this section by July 1, 2015.
  SEC. 5.  Section 4801 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   4801.  (a) The Board of Parole Hearings may report to the
Governor, from time to time, the names of any and all persons
imprisoned in any state prison who, in its judgment, ought to have a
commutation of sentence or be pardoned and set at liberty on account
of good conduct, or unusual term of sentence, or any other cause,
including evidence of intimate partner battering and its effects. For
purposes of this section, "intimate partner battering and its
effects" may include evidence of the nature and effects of physical,
emotional, or mental abuse upon the beliefs, perceptions, or behavior
of victims of domestic violence if it appears the criminal behavior
was the result of that victimization.
   (b) (1) The board, in reviewing a prisoner's suitability for
parole pursuant to Section 3041.5, shall give great weight to any
information or evidence that, at the time of the commission of the
crime, the prisoner had experienced intimate partner battering, but
was convicted of an offense that occurred prior to August 29, 1996.
The board shall state on the record the information or evidence that
it considered pursuant to this subdivision, and the reasons for the
parole decision. The board shall annually report to the Legislature
and the Governor on the cases the board considered pursuant to this
subdivision during the previous year, including the board's decisions
and the specific and detailed findings of its investigations of
these cases.
   (2) The report for the Legislature to be submitted pursuant to
paragraph (1) shall be submitted pursuant to Section 9795 of the
Government Code.
   (3) The fact that a prisoner has presented evidence of intimate
partner battering cannot be used to support a finding that the
prisoner lacks insight into his or her crime and its causes.
   (c) When a prisoner committed his or her controlling offense, as
defined in subdivision (a) of Section 3051, prior to attaining 18
years of age, the board, in reviewing a prisoner's suitability for
parole pursuant to Section 3041.5, shall give great weight to the
diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to adults, the
hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and increased
maturity of the prisoner in accordance with relevant case law.

feedback