Bill Text

Bill Information


Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-2266 Death penalty: moratorium.(2005-2006)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
AB2266:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2005–2006 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2266


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Lieber, Koretz
(Coauthor(s): Assembly Member Leno)

February 22, 2006


An act to amend Section 3700 of, and to add Section 3700.2 to, the Penal Code, relating to sentencing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2266, as introduced, Lieber. Death penalty: moratorium.
Existing law establishes the sentence of death as the penalty for certain crimes under particular circumstances, as specified.
This bill would place a moratorium on the carrying out of any executions, as specified, until certain criteria are met. The bill would make findings and state declarations of the Legislature relative to the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, as specified.
This bill would provide that it shall become effective only when submitted to, and approved by, the voters of California.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


The Legislature finds and declares the following:

SECTION 1.

 
(a) Pursuant to Senate Resolution 44, on August 27, 2004, the Senate resolved to establish the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice.
(b) The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice will study and review the administration of justice in California to determine the extent to which that process has failed in the past, resulting in wrongful executions or the wrongful conviction of innocent persons. The commission will examine ways of providing safeguards and making improvements in the way the criminal justice system functions and make any recommendations and proposals designed to further ensure that the application and administration of criminal justice in California is just, fair, and accurate.
(c) The commission will be conducting its work and must complete its study and make any recommendations for reform by December 31, 2007.
(d) There are currently more than 640 inmates on death row in California, more than any other state in the country, and of those 640, more than 20 have appeals pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the final procedural step before execution dates are set for those inmates whose convictions and sentences are affirmed.
(e) Because of the mature state of the appeals and habeas proceedings in so many death penalty appeals, it is highly likely that prior to December 31, 2007, dozens of execution dates will be set, clemency proceedings will occur in those cases, clemency decisions will need to be made, and if clemency is not granted, executions will occur, all without the benefit of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice’s findings and recommendations.
(f) In light of the final and irrevocable nature of the death penalty, and to ensure that no innocent person is ever executed in this state, it is necessary to place a moratorium on executions until the work of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice is completed and the Legislature has considered that work and determined whether the moratorium should remain in place or be ended.

SEC. 2.

 Section 3700 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3700.
 No judge, court, or officer, other than the Governor, can suspend the execution of a judgment of death, except the warden of the State prison to whom he is delivered for execution, as provided in the six succeeding sections this chapter, unless an appeal is taken.

SEC. 3.

 Section 3700.2 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

3700.2.
 (a) There is hereby imposed a moratorium on the carrying out of executions in this state. The warden of the state prison to whom an inmate is delivered for execution shall not carry out any executions during the moratorium period.
(b) The moratorium period shall commence upon the date this section becomes effective, and shall continue until the Legislature has fully considered any recommendations of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice and has enacted legislation ending the moratorium period.
(c) Once the moratorium has ended, any date for an execution shall be set as provided by Section 1227.

SEC. 4.

 The provisions of this bill affect an initiative statute and shall become effective only when submitted to, and approved by, the voters of California, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 10 of Article II of the California Constitution.