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SB 1437: Prosecutor Must Prove Guilt BRD

People v. Fortman Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: B304567 (Second Appellate District), Opinion Date: May 13, 2021. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's order denying defendant's Penal Code section 1170.95 petition and remanded for a new evidentiary hearing under section 1170.95, subdivision (d). The court joined other Courts of Appeal in holding that, at the hearing contemplated by section 1170.95, subdivision (d), the People are required to prove to the trial court beyond a reasonable doubt that the petitioner is guilty of murder on a theory of murder valid after SB 1437's enactment. Because the trial court did not apply this standard, the court remanded for a new hearing at which the People may seek to prove to the trial court beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was the actual killer, aided and abetted the actual killer with the intent to kill, or was a major participant who acted in reckless disregard for human life.


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