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SB-1137 Habeas corpus: factual innocence.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/19/2020 09:00 PM
SB1137:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 1137


Introduced by Senator Monning

February 19, 2020


An act to amend Sections 851.86, 851.91, 1473, 1485.55, 4903, and 4904 of the Penal Code, relating to criminal procedure.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1137, as introduced, Monning. Habeas corpus: factual innocence.
Existing law allows a person who is unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty to prosecute a writ of habeas corpus to inquire into the cause of their imprisonment or restraint. A writ of habeas corpus may be prosecuted for, among other things, false evidence that is substantially material or probative on the issue of guilt or punishment that was introduced against the person at a hearing or trial relating to their incarceration. Existing law makes a finding of factual innocence by a court in a contested hearing binding on the California Victim Compensation Board for purposes of a claim. Existing law establishes procedures for the board for the hearing of a claim. Existing law requires the court to order records sealed if a person is found to be factually innocent, including records of arrest and detention, upon written or oral motion of any party.
This bill would add factual innocence, as defined, as an additional basis for habeas corpus, and would require a petitioner to establish their factual innocence by clear and convincing evidence, as defined, that no reasonable jury would have found them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The bill would make a finding of factual innocence at an uncontested hearing binding on the California Victim Compensation Board for purposes of a claim. The bill would require the board to order compensation if it finds the claimant has established by a preponderance of the evidence that no reasonable jury would find the person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt had they heard the evidence now before the board. The bill would require the court to include in the sealed records that the person was found factually innocent.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 851.86 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

851.86.
 Whenever a person is convicted of a charge, and the conviction is set aside based upon a determination that the person was factually innocent of the charge, pursuant to Section 4900, paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 1473, or Section 1485.55, the judge shall order that the records in the case indicate that the person was found “factually innocent” of the charge or charges and shall be sealed, including any record of arrest or detention, upon written or oral motion of any party in the case or the court, and with notice to all parties to the case. If such an order is made, the court shall give the defendant a copy of that order and inform the defendant that he or she they may thereafter state he or she was they were not arrested for that charge and that he or she was they were not convicted of that charge, and that he or she was they were found innocent of that charge by the court. The court shall also inform the defendant of the availability of indemnity for persons erroneously convicted pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 4900) of Title 6 of Part 3, and the time limitations for presenting those claims.

SEC. 2.

 Section 851.91 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

851.91.
 (a) A person who has suffered an arrest that did not result in a conviction may petition the court to have his or her their arrest and related records sealed, as described in Section 851.92.
(1) For purposes of this section, an arrest did not result in a conviction if any of the following are true:
(A) The statute of limitations has run on every offense upon which the arrest was based and the prosecuting attorney of the city or county that would have had jurisdiction over the offense or offenses upon which the arrest was based has not filed an accusatory pleading based on the arrest.
(B) The prosecuting attorney filed an accusatory pleading based on the arrest, but, with respect to all charges, one or more of the following has occurred:
(i) No conviction occurred, the charge has been dismissed, and the charge may not be refiled.
(ii) No conviction occurred and the arrestee has been acquitted of the charges.
(iii) A conviction occurred, but has been vacated or reversed on appeal, all appellate remedies have been exhausted, and the charge may not be refiled.
(2) A person is not eligible for relief under this section in any of the following circumstances:
(A) He or she They may still be charged with any of the offenses upon which the arrest was based.
(B) Any of the arrest charges, as specified by the law enforcement agency that conducted the arrest, or any of the charges in the accusatory pleading based on the arrest, if filed, is a charge of murder or any other offense for which there is no statute of limitations, except when the person has been acquitted or pursuant to Section 4900, paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 1473, or Section 1485.55 was found factually innocent of the charge.
(C) The petitioner intentionally evaded law enforcement efforts to prosecute the arrest, including by absconding from the jurisdiction in which the arrest occurred. The existence of bench warrants or failures to appear that were adjudicated before the case closed with no conviction does not establish intentional evasion.
(D) The petitioner intentionally evaded law enforcement efforts to prosecute the arrest by engaging in identity fraud and was subsequently charged with a crime for that act of identity fraud.
(b) (1) A petition to seal an arrest shall:
(A) Be verified.
(B) Be filed in the court in which the accusatory pleading based on the arrest was filed or, if no accusatory pleading was filed, in a court with criminal jurisdiction in the city or county in which the arrest occurred.
(C) Be filed at least 15 days prior to the hearing on the petition.
(D) Be served, by copy, upon the prosecuting attorney of the city or county in which the arrest occurred and upon the law enforcement agency that made the arrest at least 15 days prior to the hearing on the petition.
(E) Include all of the following information:
(i) The petitioner’s name and date of birth.
(ii) The date of the arrest for which sealing is sought.
(iii) The city and county where the arrest took place.
(iv) The law enforcement agency that made the arrest.
(v) Any other information identifying the arrest that is available from the law enforcement agency that conducted the arrest or from the court in which the accusatory pleading, if any, based on the arrest was filed, including, but not limited to, the case number for the police investigative report documenting the arrest, and the court number under which the arrest was reviewed by the prosecuting attorney or under which the prosecuting attorney filed an accusatory pleading.
(vi) The offenses upon which the arrest was based or, if an accusatory pleading was filed based on the arrest, the charges in the accusatory pleading.
(vii) A statement that the petitioner is entitled to have his or her their arrest sealed as a matter of right or, if the petitioner is requesting to have his or her their arrest sealed in the interests of justice, how the interests of justice would be served by granting the petition, accompanied by declarations made directly and verified by the petitioner, his or her their supporting declarants, or both.
(2) The court may deny a petition for failing to meet any of the requirements described in paragraph (1).
(3) (A) The Judicial Council shall furnish forms to be utilized by a person applying to have his or her their arrest sealed pursuant to this section. The petition form shall include all of the information required to be included in the petition by paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), shall be available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean, and shall include a statement that the petition form is available in additional languages and the Internet Web site internet website where the form is available in alternative languages. The forms shall include notice of other means to address arrest records, including a determination of factual innocence under Section 851.8 and deeming an arrest a detention under Section 849.5.
(B) (i) A facility at which an arrestee is detained shall, at the request of an arrestee upon release, provide the forms furnished by Judicial Council pursuant to subparagraph (A) to the arrestee.
(ii) A facility at which an arrestee is detained shall post a sign containing the following information: “A person who has been arrested but not convicted may petition the court to have his or her their arrest and related records sealed. The petition form is available on the Internet internet or upon request in this facility.”
(c) A petition to seal an arrest record pursuant to this section may be granted as a matter of right or in the interests of justice.
(1) A petitioner who is eligible for relief under subdivision (a) is entitled to have his or her their arrest sealed as a matter of right unless he or she is they are subject to paragraph (2).
(2) (A) (i) A petitioner may have his or her their arrest sealed only upon a showing that the sealing would serve the interests of justice if any of the offenses upon which the arrest was based, as specified by the law enforcement agency that made the arrest, or, if an accusatory pleading was filed, any of the charges in the accusatory pleading, was one of the following:
(I) Domestic violence, if the petitioner’s record demonstrates a pattern of domestic violence arrests, convictions, or both.
(II) Child abuse, if the petitioner’s record demonstrates a pattern of child abuse arrests, convictions, or both.
(III) Elder abuse, if the petitioner’s record demonstrates a pattern of elder abuse arrests, convictions, or both.
(ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, “pattern” means two or more convictions, or five or more arrests, for separate offenses occurring on separate occasions within three years from at least one of the other convictions or arrests.
(B) In determining whether the interests of justice would be served by sealing an arrest record pursuant to this section, the court may consider any relevant factors, including, but not limited to, any of the following:
(i) Hardship to the petitioner caused by the arrest that is the subject of the petition.
(ii) Declarations or evidence regarding the petitioner’s good character.
(iii) Declarations or evidence regarding the arrest.
(iv) The petitioner’s record of convictions.
(d) (1) At a hearing on a petition under this section, the petitioner, the prosecuting attorney, and, through the prosecuting attorney, the arresting agency may present evidence to the court. Notwithstanding Section 1538.5 or 1539, the hearing may be heard and determined upon declarations, affidavits, police investigative reports, copies of state summary criminal history information and local summary criminal history information, or any other evidence submitted by the parties that is material, relevant, and reliable.
(2) The petitioner has the initial burden of proof to show that he or she the petitioner is entitled to have his or her their arrest sealed as a matter of right or that sealing would serve the interests of justice. If the court finds that petitioner has satisfied his or her their burden of proof, then the burden of proof shall shift to the respondent prosecuting attorney.
(e) If the court grants a petition pursuant to this section, the court shall do all of the following:
(1) Furnish a disposition report to the Department of Justice, pursuant to Section 13151, stating that relief was granted under this section.
(2) (A) Issue a written ruling and order to the petitioner, the prosecuting attorney, and to the law enforcement agency that made the arrest that states all of the following:
(B) The record of arrest has been sealed as to petitioner, the arrest is deemed not to have occurred, the petitioner may answer any question relating to the sealed arrest accordingly, and the petitioner is released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the arrest, except as provided in Section 851.92 and as follows:
(i) The sealed arrest may be pleaded and proved in any subsequent prosecution of the petitioner for any other offense, and shall have the same effect as if it had not been sealed.
(ii) The sealing of an arrest pursuant to this section does not relieve the petitioner of the obligation to disclose the arrest, if otherwise required by law, in response to any direct question contained in a questionnaire or application for public office, for employment as a peace officer, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for contracting with the California State Lottery Commission.
(iii) The sealing of an arrest pursuant to this section does not affect petitioner’s authorization to own, possess, or have in his or her their custody or control any firearm, or his or her their susceptibility to conviction under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) of Division 9 of Title 4 of Part 6, if the arrest would otherwise affect this authorization or susceptibility.
(iv) The sealing of an arrest pursuant to this section does not affect any prohibition from holding public office that would otherwise apply under law as a result of the arrest.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1473 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

1473.
 (a) A person who is 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.
(4) Factual innocence.
(A) “Factual innocence” means that petitioner has established by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable jury would have found the petitioner guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
(B) “Clear and convincing” means that it is highly probable that the fact is true.
(C) If a court grants relief under this section, the court shall dismiss the case with prejudice and the petitioner shall be ordered immediately released.
(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.
(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.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1485.55 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

1485.55.
 (a) In a contested or uncontested proceeding, if the court has granted a writ of habeas corpus or when, pursuant to Section 1473.6, the court vacates a judgment, and if the court has found that the person is factually innocent, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 1473, that finding shall be binding on the California Victim Compensation Board for a claim presented to the board, and upon application by the person, the board shall, without a hearing, recommend to the Legislature that an appropriation be made and the claim paid pursuant to Section 4904.
(b) In a contested or uncontested proceeding, if the court has granted a writ of habeas corpus or vacated a judgment pursuant to Section 1473.6 or paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 1473.7, the person may move for a finding of factual innocence by a preponderance of the evidence that the crime with which they were charged was either not committed at all or, if committed, was not committed by the petitioner. no reasonable jury would find the person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt had they heard the evidence now before the court.
(c) If the court makes a finding that the petitioner has proven their factual innocence by a preponderance of the evidence pursuant to subdivision (b), the board shall, without a hearing, recommend to the Legislature that an appropriation be made and any claim filed shall be paid pursuant to Section 4904.
(d) A presumption does not exist in any other proceeding for failure to make a motion or obtain a favorable ruling pursuant to subdivision (b).
(e) If a federal court, after granting a writ of habeas corpus, pursuant to a nonstatutory motion or request, finds a petitioner factually innocent by no less than a preponderance of the evidence that the crime with which they were charged was either not committed at all or, if committed, was not committed by the petitioner, the board shall, without a hearing, recommend to the Legislature that an appropriation be made and any claim filed shall be paid pursuant to Section 4904.

SEC. 5.

 Section 4903 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

4903.
 (a) Except as provided in Sections 851.865 and 1485.55, the board shall fix a time and place for the hearing of the claim. At the hearing the claimant shall introduce evidence in support of the claim, and the Attorney General may introduce evidence in opposition thereto. The claimant shall prove the facts set forth in the statement constituting the claim, including the fact that the crime with which they were charged was either not committed at all, or, if committed, was not committed by the claimant, and the injury sustained by them through their erroneous conviction and incarceration. The board shall order compensation if it finds that the claimant has established by a preponderance of the evidence that no reasonable jury would find the person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt had they heard the evidence now before the board.
(b) In a hearing before the board, the factual findings and credibility determinations establishing the court’s basis for granting a writ of habeas corpus, a motion for new trial pursuant to Section 1473.6, or an application for a certificate of factual innocence as described in Section 1485.5 shall be binding on the Attorney General, the factfinder, and the board.
(c) The board shall deny payment of any claim if the board finds by a preponderance of the evidence that a claimant pled guilty with the specific intent to protect another from prosecution for the underlying conviction for which the claimant is seeking compensation.

SEC. 6.

 Section 4904 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

4904.
 If the evidence shows that the crime with which the claimant was charged was either not committed at all, or, if committed, was not committed by the claimant, that the claimant has established by a preponderance of the evidence that no reasonable jury would find the person guilty beyond a reasonable doubt had they heard the evidence, and that the claimant has sustained injury through his or her their erroneous conviction and imprisonment, the California Victim Compensation Board shall report the facts of the case and its conclusions to the next Legislature, with a recommendation that the Legislature make an appropriation for the purpose of indemnifying the claimant for the injury. The amount of the appropriation recommended shall be a sum equivalent to one hundred forty dollars ($140) per day of incarceration served, and shall include any time spent in custody, including in a county jail, that is considered to be part of the term of incarceration. That appropriation shall not be treated as gross income to the recipient under the Revenue and Taxation Code.