Thursday, May 3, 2018

SB 1437 - Accomplice Liability for Felony Murder

UPDATE: SB 1437 - Accomplice Liability for Felony Murder
SB1437 is a bill to amend the Penal Code sections relating to felony murder.  It also appears that as currently proposed, it would be retroactive and potentially apply to many inmates.

The legislative process is long and tortuous.  During that process bills are often amended. At this time we cannot predict the final result of this legislation, or even if it will eventually become law. Since we do not know what the final form of this legislation will be, we cannot reliably predict how it may affect specific inmates. It will be a case-by-case basis.  This Senate Bill (SB 1437) would certainly offer some hope for resentencing at this time.

For all those anxious people - Keep in mind - there is nothing to do until SB1437 actually becomes law.  Quick Bill update below-->
SB 1437 passed out of Senate Public Safety committee on 4/24/2018.
It will now probably go to Senate Appropriations Committee and put in the Suspense file. The Assembly Appropriations Committee reviews all bills with any fiscal impact after passage by a policy committee. Another unique feature of the Appropriations Committee is the Suspense File, to which the committee sends any bill with an annual cost of more than $150,000 (any fund). Suspense File bills are then considered at one hearing after the state budget has been prepared and the committee has a better sense of available revenue. No testimony is presented – author or witness – at the Suspense File hearing.
The way the Bill is written it could possibly force counties and cities to incur expenses for re-sentencing hearings and if that is the case, the legislature must appropriate funds to send to the municipalities to cover those costs.

This is standard legislative practice.  If it passes Appropriations and the Senate floor it will go to Assembly, where the process starts over again. Everything must be passed and signed by the Gov by mid-September 2018, before possibly taking effect Jan. 1 of 2019

Those who fall under the Bill would most likely have to petition the sentencing court for re-sentencing under this Bill.  At this time, It does not seem to exclude third-strikers, but exactly how the process will go will in part depend on how California Dept. Of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) implements the regulations that will put the Bill into effect, something we won't know for awhile.

This Bill is funneling thru the legislative process now and seems to have considerable support.  it will probably have a harder time in the Assembly, but we stay hopeful that it will pass both the Senate and the Assembly. 

Our Law office will be accepting new cases in January 2019 on this SB1437, if it becomes Law.