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SB-467 Trial testimony: expert witnesses: writ of habeas corpus.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 01/20/2022 09:00 PM
SB467:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  January 20, 2022
Amended  IN  Senate  January 03, 2022
Amended  IN  Senate  March 22, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 467


Introduced by Senator Wiener
(Coauthor: Senator Kamlager)

February 16, 2021


An act to amend Section 1473 of the Penal Code, relating to trial testimony.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 467, as amended, Wiener. Trial testimony: expert witnesses: writ of habeas corpus.
Existing law allows a person who is unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty to prosecute a writ of habeas corpus to inquire into the cause of their imprisonment or restraint. Existing law allows a writ of habeas corpus to be prosecuted on the basis of false evidence that is substantially material or probative to the issue of guilt or punishment that was introduced at trial. Existing law defines false evidence for these purposes as including the opinions of experts that have been repudiated by the expert or that have been undermined by later scientific research or technological advances.
This bill would additionally allow a person to prosecute a writ of habeas corpus if expert opinion testimony that was material or probative on the issue of guilt or punishment was introduced and a reasonable dispute within the relevant scientific community as to the validity of the methods, theories, research, or studies upon which the expert based their opinion has developed or further developed after the person’s trial. The bill would also expand the definition of false evidence to include the opinions of experts that are undermined by scientific research that existed at the time of the expert’s testimony and opinions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1473 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

1473.
 (a) A person unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of their liberty, under any pretense, may prosecute a writ of habeas corpus to inquire into the cause of the imprisonment or restraint.
(b) A writ of habeas corpus may be prosecuted for, but not limited to, the following reasons:
(1) False evidence that is substantially material or probative on the issue of guilt or punishment was introduced against a person at a hearing or trial relating to the person’s incarceration.
(2) False physical evidence, believed by a person to be factual, probative, or material on the issue of guilt, which was known by the person at the time of entering a plea of guilty, which was a material factor directly related to the plea of guilty by the person.
(3) (A) New evidence exists that is credible, material, presented without substantial delay, and of such decisive force and value that it would have more likely than not changed the outcome at trial.
(B) For purposes of this section, “new evidence” means evidence that has been discovered after trial, that could not have been discovered prior to trial by the exercise of due diligence, and is admissible and not merely cumulative, corroborative, collateral, or impeaching.
(4) Expert opinion testimony testimony, including the expert’s conclusion or the facts upon which their opinion is based, that was material or probative on the issue of guilt or punishment, regardless of whether it was offered by the prosecution or defense, was introduced and a reasonable dispute within the relevant scientific community as to the validity of the methods, theories, research, or studies upon which the expert based their opinion has developed or further developed after the person’s trial. Disputes under this paragraph include both disputes about the expert’s ultimate conclusion and disputes about facts upon which the expert opinion is based.
(c) Any allegation that the prosecution knew or should have known of the false nature of the evidence referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (b) is immaterial to the prosecution of a writ of habeas corpus brought pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (b).
(d) This section does not limit the grounds for which a writ of habeas corpus may be prosecuted or preclude the use of any other remedies.
(e) (1) For purposes of this section, “false evidence” includes opinions of experts that have either been repudiated by the expert who originally provided the opinion at a hearing or trial or that have been undermined by scientific research, including scientific research that existed at the time the expert’s testimony was given or later scientific research or technological advances.
(2) This section does not create additional liabilities, beyond those already recognized, for an expert who repudiates the original opinion provided at a hearing or trial or whose opinion has been undermined by scientific research, technological advancements, or because of a reasonable dispute within the expert’s relevant scientific community as to the validity of the methods, theories, research, or studies upon which the expert based their opinion.
(f) Notwithstanding any other law, a writ of habeas corpus may also be prosecuted after judgment has been entered based on evidence that a criminal conviction or sentence was sought, obtained, or imposed in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 745 if judgment was entered on or after January 1, 2021. A petition raising a claim of this nature for the first time, or on the basis of new discovery provided by the state or other new evidence that could not have been previously known by the petitioner with due diligence, shall not be deemed a successive or abusive petition. If the petitioner has a habeas corpus petition pending in state court, but it has not yet been decided, the petitioner may amend the existing petition with a claim that the petitioner’s conviction or sentence was sought, obtained, or imposed in violation of subdivision (a) of Section 745. The petition shall state if the petitioner requests appointment of counsel and the court shall appoint counsel if the petitioner cannot afford counsel and either the petition alleges facts that would establish a violation of subdivision (a) of Section 745 or the State Public Defender requests counsel be appointed. Newly appointed counsel may amend a petition filed before their appointment. The court shall review a petition raising a claim pursuant to Section 745 and shall determine if the petitioner has made a prima facie showing of entitlement to relief. If the petitioner makes a prima facie showing that the petitioner is entitled to relief, the court shall issue an order to show cause why relief shall not be granted and hold an evidentiary hearing, unless the state declines to show cause. The defendant shall appear at the hearing by video unless counsel indicates that their presence in court is needed. If the court determines that the petitioner has not established a prima facie showing of entitlement to relief, the court shall state the factual and legal basis for its conclusion on the record or issue a written order detailing the factual and legal basis for its conclusion.