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AB-1987 Discovery: postconviction.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/01/2018 09:00 PM
AB1987:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1987


Introduced by Assembly Member Lackey

February 01, 2018


An act to amend Section 1054.9 of the Penal Code, relating to discovery.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1987, as introduced, Lackey. Discovery: postconviction.
Existing law requires, in a case in which a sentence of death or life in prison without the possibility of parole has been imposed, a court to order that a defendant be provided reasonable access to discovery materials upon prosecution of a postconviction writ of habeas corpus or a motion to vacate judgment and a showing that good faith efforts to obtain discovery materials from trial counsel were made and were unsuccessful. Existing law defines “discovery materials” for these purposes as materials in the possession of the prosecuting and law enforcement authorities to which the defendant would have been entitled at time of trial.
This bill would expand this right of access to discovery materials to any case in which a defendant is convicted of a serious or violent felony, a conviction resulting in a sentence of 15 years or more, or a conviction for specified crimes. The bill would specify that the prosecution or law enforcement authorities are under no obligation to search for or obtain materials not currently possessed. By authorizing the court to require local agencies to provide access to physical evidence under certain circumstances, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1054.9 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

1054.9.
 (a) Upon In a case involving a serious felony or a violent felony, a conviction resulting in a sentence of 15 years or more, or a conviction for an offense specified in subdivision (f), upon the prosecution of a postconviction writ of habeas corpus or a motion to vacate a judgment in a case in which a sentence of death or of life in prison without the possibility of parole has been imposed, judgment, or in preparation to file that writ or motion, and on a showing that good faith efforts to obtain discovery materials from trial counsel were made and were unsuccessful, the court shall, except as provided in subdivision (c), order that the defendant be provided reasonable access to any of the materials described in subdivision (b).
(b) For purposes of this section, “discovery materials” means materials in the possession of the prosecution and law enforcement authorities to which the same defendant would have been entitled at time of trial. The prosecution and law enforcement authorities are under no obligation to search for or obtain materials not currently possessed.
(c) In response to a writ or motion satisfying the conditions in subdivision (a), court may order that the defendant be provided access to physical evidence for the purpose of examination, including, but not limited to, any physical evidence relating to the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of the defendant only upon a showing that there is good cause to believe that access to physical evidence is reasonably necessary to the defendant’s effort to obtain relief. The procedures for obtaining access to physical evidence for purposes of postconviction DNA testing are provided in Section 1405, and nothing in this section shall does not provide an alternative means of access to physical evidence for those purposes.
(d) The actual costs of examination or copying pursuant to this section shall be borne or reimbursed by the defendant.
(e) This section does not require the retention of any discovery materials not otherwise required by law or court order.
(f) This section applies to a conviction for a sex offense described in Section 261, 262, 269, 286, 288, 288a, 288.7, or 289, an aggravated assault on a child in violation of Section 273ab, or any conviction that results in a life sentence that results in a life sentence, including, but not limited, a sentence imposed pursuant to Section 667, 667.61, 667.71, or 1170.12.
(g) (1) As used in this section, a “serious felony” is a conviction of a felony enumerated in subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7.
(h) As used in this section, a “violent felony” is a conviction of a felony enumerated in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5.

SEC. 2.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.