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AB 1523 UPDATE

AB 1523, as introduced, McKinnor. Youth offender parole hearings. An act to amend Section 3051 of the Penal Code, relating to parole. Status: LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST: Existing law requires the Board of Parole Hearings to conduct a youth offender parole hearing for offenders sentenced to state prison who committed specified crimes when they were under 25 years of age. Existing law makes a person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed when the person was 25 years of age or younger and for which the sentence is a life term of less than 25 years to life eligible for release on parole at a youth offender hearing by the board during the person’s 20th year of incarceration. Existing law makes a person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed when the person was 25 years of age or younger and for which the sentence is a life term of 25 years to life eligible for release on parole at a youth offender hearing by the board during the person’s 25th year of incarceration. Under existing law, a murder perpetrated by specified means or under certain circumstances is defined as murder of the first degree. All other kinds of murder are of the 2nd degree. Existing law, as added by the Briggs Initiative, a measure approved by the voters at the November 7, 1978, statewide general election, requires that persons convicted of first-degree murder be subject to death, life in prison without the possibility of parole, or confinement in the state prison for a term of 25 years to life. Existing law, as approved by the voters as Proposition 67 at the June 7, 1988, statewide primary election, made the 2nd-degree murder of a peace officer, as specified, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for a term of 25 years to life. Existing law, as approved by the voters as Proposition 222 at the June 2, 1998, statewide primary election, prohibits a person convicted of murder from being given credits to reduce a minimum term imposed, and prohibits a person from being released on parole prior to serving the minimum term of confinement, as specified. These acts do not provide for amendment by the Legislature. Existing law, the Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act: Jessica’s Law, adopted by voters as Proposition 83 at the November 7, 2006, statewide general election, requires a habitual sexual offender to be imprisoned in the state prison for 25 years to life. Proposition 83 allows its amendment by a statute passed by 2/3 of both houses of the Legislature. This bill would instead make a person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed when the person was 25 years of age or younger and for which the sentence is a life term of less than 25 years to life or a life term of 25 years to life eligible for release on parole at a youth offender hearing by the board during the person’s 15th year of incarceration. The bill would require the board to complete, by January 1, 2026, all hearings for individuals who are or will be entitled to have their parole suitability considered at a youth offender parole hearing by these provisions. By decreasing the period of incarceration for a person sentenced pursuant to the above initiative statutes, the bill would amend those initiative statutes.


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