Today's Law As Amended


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AB-580 Commutations of sentence.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 4805 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

4805.
 (a) At  Except as provided in subdivision (b), 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) At least 30 days before the Governor acts upon an application for a commutation of a sentence of death, written notice of the intent 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) (c)  The district attorney may submit a written recommendation to the Governor for or against commutation of sentence.
(c) (d)  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.
(e) Upon request to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and verification of the identity of the requester, notice of any application for commutation of a sentence of death shall be given by telephone, certified mail, regular mail, or electronic mail, using the method of communication selected by the requesting party, if that method is available, by the Board of Parole Hearings at least 25 days before the Governor acts upon any application for commutation of a sentence of death to any family member of the victim. The requesting party shall keep the board apprised of their contact information in order to receive the notice. As used in this subdivision, the term “victim” and family member of the victim has the meaning specified in subdivision (e) of Section 28 of Article I of the California Constitution.
(f) Before the Governor acts upon an application for a commutation of a sentence of death, the Governor shall ensure the victim’s family has been provided with the notice by the Board of Parole Hearings in accordance with subdivision (e) and had an opportunity to submit a recommendation to the Governor for or against the commutation of sentence pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (e). This paragraph does not supersede the responsibility of the district attorney in subdivision (d) to make reasonable efforts to notify the family of the victim.
(g) Prior to the commutation of a sentence of death, a family member of a victim may request a public hearing before the Board of Parole Hearings regarding the proposed commutation. This hearing shall be held within 90 days of the request.
(1) The board shall submit a recommendation to the Governor within 30 days of the hearing. The recommendation shall include any written letters by the victim’s family members.
(2) A commutation of a death sentence shall not take effect until the board has submitted its recommendation to the Governor, or 30 days after the hearing, whichever is earlier.