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AB-1927 Witness testimony in sexual assault cases: inadmissability in a separate prosecution. (2019-2020)

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Date Published: 09/30/2020 02:00 PM
AB1927:v95#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 1927
CHAPTER 241

An act to add Section 1324.2 to the Penal Code, relating to criminal process.

[ Approved by Governor  September 29, 2020. Filed with Secretary of State  September 29, 2020. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1927, Boerner Horvath. Witness testimony in sexual assault cases: inadmissability in a separate prosecution.
Existing law makes it a crime to commit various acts of sexual assault, including sexual battery and rape. Existing law makes it a crime to possess or use various controlled substances or for a person who is under 21 years of age to purchase or consume alcohol, as specified. Existing law provides, with respect to specified proceedings or investigations regarding felony offenses, that if a person refuses to answer a question or produce evidence on the ground that the person may be incriminated and if the person is ordered to comply but would have been privileged to withhold the answer given or the evidence produced except for the order, the person shall not be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for, or on account of, any fact or act concerning which the person was required to answer or produce evidence, except as specified. Under existing law, a district attorney or other prosecuting agency may request an order granting use immunity or transactional immunity to a witness compelled to give testimony or produce evidence.
This bill would make the testimony of a victim or witness in a felony prosecution for a violation or attempted violation of specified crimes of sexual assault that states that the victim or witness, at or around the time of the violation or attempted violation, unlawfully possessed or used a controlled substance or alcohol inadmissible in a separate prosecution of that victim or witness to prove illegal possession or use of that controlled substance or alcohol. The bill would specify that evidence that the testifying witness unlawfully possessed or used a controlled substance or alcohol is not excluded from use in the felony prosecution for a violation or attempted violation of specified crimes of sexual assault. The bill would specify that evidence that a witness received use immunity for testimony is not excluded in the felony prosecution of a violation or attempted violation of specified crimes of sexual assault.
The California Constitution provides for the Right to Truth-In-Evidence, which requires a 2/3 vote of each house of the Legislature to exclude any relevant evidence from any criminal proceeding, as specified.
Because this bill would exclude from a criminal action a person’s statement regarding their use of controlled substances or alcohol that would otherwise be admissible, it requires a 2/3 vote of each house of the Legislature.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1324.2 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

1324.2.
 (a) Testimony of a victim or witness in a felony prosecution for a violation or attempted violation of Section 220, 243.4, 261, 261.5, 286, 287, 288, or 289, that states that the victim or witness, at or around the time of the violation or attempted violation, unlawfully possessed or used a controlled substance or alcohol is inadmissible in a separate prosecution of that victim or witness to prove illegal possession or use of that controlled substance or alcohol.
(b) Evidence that the testifying witness unlawfully possessed or used a controlled substance or alcohol is not excluded in the felony prosecution of a violation or attempted violation of Section 220, 243.4, 261, 261.5, 286, 287, 288, or 289.
(c) Evidence that a witness received use immunity for testimony pursuant to subdivision (a) is not excluded in the felony prosecution of a violation or attempted violation of Section 220, 243.4, 261, 261.5, 286, 287, 288, or 289.