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AB-581 Sentencing: members of military: trauma.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/14/2019 09:00 PM
AB581:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 581


Introduced by Assembly Member Levine

February 14, 2019


An act to amend Section 1170.91 of the Penal Code, relating to sentencing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 581, as introduced, Levine. Sentencing: members of military: trauma.
Existing law requires a court, if it concludes that a defendant convicted of a felony offense is or was a member of the United States military who may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of the defendant’s military service, to consider that circumstance as a factor in mitigation when imposing a sentence. Existing law allows a defendant who is currently serving a felony sentence and meets these criteria to petition for resentencing if those criteria were not considered at the time of sentencing and the person was sentenced prior to January 1, 2015.
This bill would allow a defendant meeting these criteria to petition for recall of sentence and resentencing without regard to whether the defendant was sentenced prior to January 1, 2015. The bill would clarify that this relief is available whether or not there was argument or evidence about the defendant’s condition at trial.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1170.91 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

1170.91.
 (a) If the court concludes that a defendant convicted of a felony offense is, or was, a member of the United States military who may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of his or her the defendant’s military service, the court shall consider the circumstance as a factor in mitigation when imposing a term under subdivision (b) of Section 1170. This consideration does not preclude the court from considering similar trauma, injury, substance abuse, or mental health problems due to other causes, as evidence or factors in mitigation.
(b) (1) A person currently serving a sentence for a felony conviction, whether by trial or plea, who is, or was, a member of the United States military and who may be suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of his or her the person’s military service may petition for a recall of sentence, before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in his or her the case, to request resentencing pursuant to subdivision (a) if the person meets both of the following conditions: (A) The circumstance of suffering from sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or mental health problems as a result of the person’s military service was not considered as a factor in mitigation at the time of sentencing. sentencing, whether or not there was argument or evidence about the condition during trial.

(B)The person was sentenced prior to January 1, 2015. This subdivision shall apply retroactively, whether or not the case was final as of January 1, 2015.

(2) If the court that originally sentenced the person is not available, the presiding judge shall designate another judge to rule on the petition.
(3) Upon receiving a petition under this subdivision, the court shall determine, at a public hearing held after not less than 15 days’ notice to the prosecution, the defense, and any victim of the offense, whether the person satisfies the criteria in this subdivision. At that hearing, the prosecution shall have an opportunity to be heard on the petitioner’s eligibility and suitability for resentencing. If the person satisfies the criteria, the court may, in its discretion, resentence the person following a resentencing hearing.
(4) A person who is resentenced pursuant to this subdivision shall be given credit for time served.
(5) Under no circumstances may resentencing Resentencing under this subdivision shall not result in the imposition of a term longer than the original sentence.
(6) This subdivision does not alter or diminish any rights conferred under Section 28 of Article I of the California Constitution (Marsy’s Law).
(7) This subdivision does not diminish or abrogate any rights or remedies otherwise available to the person.
(8) This subdivision does not diminish or abrogate the finality of judgments in any case not falling within the purview of this subdivision.
(9) This subdivision does not impose an obligation on the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide medical or mental health assessments in order to identify potential service-related injuries.