Today's Law As Amended


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SB-938 Trial testimony: expert witnesses: writ of habeas corpus.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 802 of the Evidence Code is amended to read:

802.
 (a)  A witness testifying in the form of an opinion may state on direct examination the reasons for his their  opinion and the matter (including, in  upon which it is based, unless they are precluded by law from using those reasons or that matter as a basis for their opinion. In  the case of an expert, his  this includes the expert’s  special knowledge, skill, experience, training, and education) upon which it is based, unless he is precluded by law from using such reasons or matter as a basis for his opinion.  education. An expert opinion based on circular reasoning is not based on matter that is a type that reasonably may be relied upon by an expert in forming an opinion upon a subject to which the expert’s testimony relates.  The court in its discretion may require that a witness before testifying in the form of an opinion be first examined concerning the matter upon which his their  opinion is based.
(b) For purposes of this article, “circular reasoning” refers to any portion of an expert’s opinion that is solely based upon the premise that the expert seeks to conclude. It also includes any portion of the opinion or testimony that is based upon studies, literature, data, or other materials on which the expert relies that accepts the same unproven premise that the studies, literature, data, or other materials on which the expert relies seeks to conclude.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1473 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

1473.
 (a) A person unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of his or her  their  liberty, under any pretense, may prosecute a writ of habeas corpus to inquire into the cause of his or her  their  imprisonment or restraint.
(b) A writ of habeas corpus may be prosecuted for, but not limited to, the following reasons:
(1) False evidence that is substantially material or probative on the issue of guilt or punishment was introduced against a person at a hearing or trial relating to his or her  their  incarceration.
(2) False physical evidence, believed by a person to be factual, probative, or material on the issue of guilt, which was known by the person at the time of entering a plea of guilty, which was a material factor directly related to the plea of guilty by the person.
(3) (A) New evidence exists that is credible, material, presented without substantial delay, and of such decisive force and value that it would have more likely than not changed the outcome at trial.
(B) For purposes of this section, “new evidence” means evidence that has been discovered after trial, that could not have been discovered prior to trial by the exercise of due diligence, and is admissible and not merely cumulative, corroborative, collateral, or impeaching.
(c) Any allegation that the prosecution knew or should have known of the false nature of the evidence referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (b) is immaterial to the prosecution of a writ of habeas corpus brought pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b).
(d) This section does not limit the grounds for which a writ of habeas corpus may be prosecuted or preclude the use of any other remedies.
(e) (1) For purposes of this section, “false evidence” includes opinions of experts that have either been repudiated by the expert who originally provided the opinion at a hearing or trial or that have been undermined by later scientific research or technological advances. scientific research, including scientific research that existed at the time the expert’s testimony was given, technological advances, or the emergence of a reasonable dispute within the expert’s relevant scientific community as to the validity of the methods or theories upon which the expert based their opinion. 
(2) This section does not create additional liabilities, beyond those already recognized, for an expert who repudiates his or her  their  original opinion provided at a hearing or trial or whose opinion has been undermined by later scientific research or technological advancements. scientific research, technological advancements, or the emergence of a reasonable dispute within the expert’s relevant scientific community as to the validity of the methods or theories upon which the expert based their opinion.