Code Section

Penal Code - PEN

PART 2. OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE [681 - 1620]

  ( Part 2 enacted 1872. )
  

TITLE 12. OF SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS OF A CRIMINAL NATURE [1473 - 1564]

  ( Title 12 enacted 1872. )
  

CHAPTER 1. Of the Writ of Habeas Corpus [1473 - 1509.1]
  ( Chapter 1 enacted 1872. )

  
1509.  

(a) This section applies to any petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by a person in custody pursuant to a judgment of death. A writ of habeas corpus pursuant to this section is the exclusive procedure for collateral attack on a judgment of death. A petition filed in any court other than the court which imposed the sentence should be promptly transferred to that court unless good cause is shown for the petition to be heard by another court. A petition filed in or transferred to the court which imposed the sentence shall be assigned to the original trial judge unless that judge is unavailable or there is other good cause to assign the case to a different judge.

(b) After the entry of a judgment of death in the trial court, that court shall offer counsel to the prisoner as provided in Section 68662 of the Government Code.

(c) Except as provided in subdivisions (d) and (g), the initial petition must be filed within one year of the order entered under Section 68662 of the Government Code.

(d) An initial petition which is untimely under subdivision (c) or a successive petition whenever filed shall be dismissed unless the court finds, by the preponderance of all available evidence, whether or not admissible at trial, that the defendant is actually innocent of the crime of which he or she was convicted or is ineligible for the sentence. A stay of execution shall not be granted for the purpose of considering a successive or untimely petition unless the court finds that the petitioner has a substantial claim of actual innocence or ineligibility. “Ineligible for the sentence of death” means that circumstances exist placing that sentence outside the range of the sentencer’s discretion. Claims of ineligibility include a claim that none of the special circumstances in subdivision (a) of Section 190.2 is true, a claim that the defendant was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime, or a claim that the defendant has an intellectual disability, as defined in Section 1376. A claim relating to the sentencing decision under Section 190.3 is not a claim of actual innocence or ineligibility for the purpose of this section.

(e) A petitioner claiming innocence or ineligibility under subdivision (d) shall disclose all material information relating to guilt or eligibility in the possession of the petitioner or present or former counsel for petitioner. If the petitioner willfully fails to make the disclosure required by this subdivision and authorize disclosure by counsel, the petition may be dismissed.

(f) Proceedings under this section shall be conducted as expeditiously as possible, consistent with a fair adjudication. The superior court shall resolve the initial petition within one year of filing unless the court finds that a delay is necessary to resolve a substantial claim of actual innocence, but in no instance shall the court take longer than two years to resolve the petition. On decision of an initial petition, the court shall issue a statement of decision explaining the factual and legal basis for its decision.

(g) If a habeas corpus petition is pending on the effective date of this section, the court may transfer the petition to the court which imposed the sentence. In a case where a judgment of death was imposed prior to the effective date of this section, but no habeas corpus petition has been filed prior to the effective date of this section, a petition that would otherwise be barred by subdivision (c) may be filed within one year of the effective date of this section or within the time allowed under prior law, whichever is earlier.

(Added November 8, 2016, by initiative Proposition 66, Sec. 6.)