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AB-1618 Plea bargaining: benefits of later enactments.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 10/09/2019 09:00 PM
AB1618:v94#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 1618
CHAPTER 586

An act to add Section 1016.8 to the Penal Code, relating to plea bargains.

[ Approved by Governor  October 08, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State  October 08, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1618, Jones-Sawyer. Plea bargaining: benefits of later enactments.
Existing law specifies the pleas that may be made to an indictment, information, or complaint charging a misdemeanor or infraction, including the pleas of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere. Existing law defines “plea bargaining” as any bargaining, negotiation, or discussion between a criminal defendant, or their counsel, and a prosecuting attorney or judge, whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty or nolo contendere, in exchange for any promises, commitments, concessions, assurances, or consideration by the prosecuting attorney or judge relating to any charge against the defendant or to the sentencing of the defendant.
This bill would make a provision of a plea bargain that requires a defendant to generally waive future benefits of legislative enactments, initiatives, appellate decisions, or other changes in the law that may retroactively apply after the date of the plea, void as against public policy.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1016.8 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

1016.8.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) The California Supreme Court held in Doe v. Harris (2013) 57 Cal.4th 64 that, as a general rule, plea agreements are deemed to incorporate the reserve power of the state to amend the law or enact additional laws for the public good and in pursuance of public policy. That the parties enter into a plea agreement does not have the effect of insulating them from changes in the law that the Legislature has intended to apply to them.
(2) In Boykin v. Alabama (1969) 395 U.S. 238, the United States Supreme Court held that because of the significant constitutional rights at stake in entering a guilty plea, due process requires that a defendant’s guilty plea be knowing, intelligent, and voluntary.
(3) Waiver is the voluntary, intelligent, and intentional relinquishment of a known right or privilege (Estelle v. Smith (1981) 451 U.S. 454, 471, fn. 16, quoting Johnson v. Zerbst (1938) 304 U.S. 458, 464). Waiver requires knowledge that the right exists (Taylor v. U.S. (1973) 414 U.S. 17, 19).
(4) A plea bargain that requires a defendant to generally waive unknown future benefits of legislative enactments, initiatives, appellate decisions, or other changes in the law that may occur after the date of the plea is not knowing and intelligent.
(b) A provision of a plea bargain that requires a defendant to generally waive future benefits of legislative enactments, initiatives, appellate decisions, or other changes in the law that may retroactively apply after the date of the plea is void as against public policy.
(c) For purposes of this section, “plea bargain” has the same meaning as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1192.7.