Code Section Group

Penal Code - PEN

PART 3. OF IMPRISONMENT AND THE DEATH PENALTY [2000 - 10007]

  ( Part 3 repealed and added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 106. )

TITLE 6. REPRIEVES, PARDONS AND COMMUTATIONS [4800 - 4906]

  ( Title 6 added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 106. )

CHAPTER 1. Powers and Duties of Governor [4800 - 4813]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 106. )

4800.
  

The general authority to grant reprieves, pardons and commutations of sentence is conferred upon the Governor by Section 8 of Article V of the Constitution of the State of California.

(Amended by Stats. 1969, Ch. 43.)

4801.
  

(a) The Board of Parole Hearings may report to the Governor, from time to time, the names of any and all persons imprisoned in any state prison who, in its judgment, ought to have a commutation of sentence or be pardoned and set at liberty on account of good conduct, or unusual term of sentence, or any other cause, including evidence of intimate partner battering and its effects. For purposes of this section, “intimate partner battering and its effects” may include evidence of the nature and effects of physical, emotional, or mental abuse upon the beliefs, perceptions, or behavior of victims of domestic violence if it appears the criminal behavior was the result of that victimization.

(b) (1) The board, in reviewing a prisoner’s suitability for parole pursuant to Section 3041.5, shall give great weight to any information or evidence that, at the time of the commission of the crime, the prisoner had experienced intimate partner battering, but was convicted of an offense that occurred prior to August 29, 1996. The board shall state on the record the information or evidence that it considered pursuant to this subdivision, and the reasons for the parole decision. The board shall annually report to the Legislature and the Governor on the cases the board considered pursuant to this subdivision during the previous year, including the board’s decisions and the specific and detailed findings of its investigations of these cases.

(2) The report for the Legislature to be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(3) The fact that a prisoner has presented evidence of intimate partner battering cannot be used to support a finding that the prisoner lacks insight into his or her crime and its causes.

(c) When a prisoner committed his or her controlling offense, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 3051, when he or she was 25 years of age or younger, the board, in reviewing a prisoner’s suitability for parole pursuant to Section 3041.5, shall give great weight to the diminished culpability of youth as compared to adults, the hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and increased maturity of the prisoner in accordance with relevant case law.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 684, Sec. 2.5. (SB 394) Effective January 1, 2018.)

4802.
  

In the case of a person twice convicted of felony, the application for pardon or commutation of sentence shall be made directly to the Governor, who shall transmit all papers and documents relied upon in support of and in opposition to the application to the Board of Parole Hearings.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 437, Sec. 2. (AB 648) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4803.
  

When an application is made to the Governor for pardon or commutation of sentence, or when an application has been referred to the Board of Parole Hearings, the Governor or the board may require the judge of the court before which the conviction was had, or the district attorney by whom the action was prosecuted, to furnish the Governor or the board, without delay, with a summarized statement of the facts proved on the trial, and of any other facts having reference to the propriety of granting or refusing said application, together with his or her recommendation for or against the granting of the same and his or her reason for such recommendation.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 437, Sec. 3. (AB 648) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4804.
  

At least 10 days before the Governor acts upon an application for a pardon, written notice of the intention to apply therefor, signed by the person applying, must be served upon the district attorney of the county where the conviction was had, and proof, by affidavit, of the service must be presented to the Governor.

(Added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 106.)

4805.
  

(a) At least 10 days before the Governor acts upon an application for a commutation of sentence, written notice of the intention to apply therefor, signed by the person applying, shall be served upon the district attorney of the county where the conviction was had, and proof, by affidavit, of the service shall be presented to the Governor.

(b) The district attorney may submit a written recommendation to the Governor for or against commutation of sentence.

(c) The district attorney shall make reasonable efforts to notify the victim or victims of the crime or crimes related to the application and the victims’ families who may also submit a recommendation to the Governor for or against commutation of sentence.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 437, Sec. 4. (AB 648) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4806.
  

The provisions of Sections 4804 and 4805 are not applicable:

(a) When there is imminent danger of the death of the person convicted or imprisoned.

(b) When the term of imprisonment of the applicant is within 10 days of its expiration.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 437, Sec. 5. (AB 648) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4807.
  

(a) At the beginning of every regular session of the Legislature, the Governor shall file a written report with the Legislature that shall include each application that was granted for each case of reprieve, pardon, or commutation by the Governor, or his or her predecessor in office, during the immediately preceding regular session of the Legislature, stating the name of the person convicted, the crime of which the person was convicted, the sentence and its date, the date of the reprieve, pardon, or commutation, and the reason for granting the same. The report shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, the written report filed with the Legislature pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be available to the public.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 162, Sec. 133. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2013.)

4807.2.
  

Every application for pardon or commutation of sentence shall be accompanied by a full statement of any compensation being paid to any person for procuring or assisting in procuring the pardon or commutation or the pardon or commutation shall be denied.

(Added by Stats. 1943, Ch. 943.)

4807.3.
  

Every person who receives or agrees to receive any compensation or who receives any gift for procuring or assisting in procuring a pardon or commutation of sentence for any applicant must file with the Governor a full statement of the amount and character of such compensation or gift within 10 days of the receipt thereof. Any failure to file a full statement as required by this section is a misdemeanor.

(Added by Stats. 1943, Ch. 943.)

4810.
  

(a) The Board of Parole Hearings shall succeed to and shall exercise and perform all powers and duties granted to and imposed upon the Advisory Pardon Board by law.

(b) The Advisory Pardon Board is abolished.

(c) The report required of the Board of Parole Hearings by Section 4814 may be included in the report of the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 437, Sec. 7. (AB 648) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4812.
  

Upon request of the Governor, the Board of Parole Hearings shall investigate and report on all applications for reprieves, pardons, and commutation of sentence and shall make such recommendations to the Governor with reference thereto as to it may seem advisable. To that end the board shall examine and consider all applications so referred and all transcripts of judicial proceedings and all affidavits or other documents submitted in connection therewith, and shall have power to employ assistants and take testimony and to examine witnesses under oath and to do any and all things necessary to make a full and complete investigation of and concerning all applications referred to it. Members of the board and its administrative officer are, and each of them is, hereby authorized to administer oaths.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 437, Sec. 8. (AB 648) Effective January 1, 2012.)

4813.
  

In the case of applications of persons twice convicted of a felony, the Board of Parole Hearings, after investigation, shall transmit its written recommendation upon such application to the Governor, together with all papers filed in connection with the application.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 437, Sec. 9. (AB 648) Effective January 1, 2012.)

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