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SB-516 Evidence of participation in a criminal street gang.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/25/2019 09:00 PM

Amended  IN  Senate  March 25, 2019


Senate Bill
No. 516

Introduced by Senator Skinner

February 21, 2019

An act to amend add Section 27 of the Penal 352.2 to the Evidence Code, relating to crimes.


SB 516, as amended, Skinner. Crimes: punishment. Evidence of participation in a criminal street gang.
Under existing law, a person who actively participates in any criminal street gang with knowledge that its members engage in, or have engaged in, a pattern of criminal gang activity, and who willfully promotes, furthers, or assists in any felonious criminal conduct by members of that gang is guilty of a crime. Existing law authorizes a court, in its discretion, to exclude evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by the probability that its admission will either necessitate undue consumption of time or create substantial danger of undue prejudice, confusing the issues, or misleading the jury.
This bill would require a case in which a person is charged with actively participating in a criminal street gang, as described above, and other criminal charges to be tried in phases that separate the trier of fact’s determination of the person’s guilt of participation with the criminal street gang and guilt of the other criminal charges, as specified.

Existing law specifies the persons who are liable to punishment under the laws of this state, including, among others, all persons who commit any crime within the state, and all who commit any specified offense outside the state and bring the stolen or embezzled property within the state, as specified.

This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


 Section 352.2 is added to the Evidence Code, to read:

 A case in which a gang enhancement is charged under Section 186.22 of the Penal Code shall be tried in separate phases as follows:
(a) The question of the defendant’s guilt shall be first determined. If the trier of fact finds the defendant guilty of the underlying offense and gang membership is an element of the offense, it shall at the same time determine the truth of the gang enhancement, notwithstanding Section 352.
(b) If the defendant is found guilty of the crime charged and there is an allegation of an enhancement under Section 186.22 of the Penal Code, there shall thereupon be further proceedings to the trier of fact on the question of the truth of the enhancement. Evidence of the gang enhancement shall be bifurcated from the trial on the underlying offense.
(c) If a defendant is charged with a violation of subdivision (a) of Section 186.22 of the Penal Code, this count shall be tried separately from all other counts that do not otherwise require gang evidence as an element of the crime.

SECTION 1.Section 27 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

(a)The following persons are liable to punishment under the laws of this state:

(1)All persons who commit, in whole or in part, any crime within this state.

(2)All persons who commit any offense without this state that, if committed within this state, would be larceny, carjacking, robbery, or embezzlement under the laws of this state, and bring the property stolen or embezzled, or any part of it, or are found with it, or any part of it, within this state.

(3)All persons who, being without this state, cause or aid, advise or encourage, another person to commit a crime within this state, and are afterwards found therein.

(b)Perjury, in violation of Section 118, is punishable also when committed outside of California to the extent provided in Section 118.