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SB 775 UPDATE

SB 775 – (Becker) Status: 09/01/2021 Read third time and amended. (Amended official citation for People v. Lewis (2021)) Legislative Counsel’s Digest: Existing law authorizes a person who has been convicted of felony murder or murder under the natural and probable consequences theory to file a petition for the court to vacate the person’s sentence and resentence them when specified conditions apply, including that the complaint, information, or indictment was filed against the petitioner that allowed the prosecution to proceed under a theory of felony murder or murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine. This bill would expand the authorization to allow a person who was convicted of murder under any theory under which malice is imputed to a person based solely on that person’s participation in a crime, attempted murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine, or who was convicted of manslaughter when the prosecution was allowed to proceed on a theory of felony murder or murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine, to apply to have their sentence vacated and be resentenced if, among other things, the complaint, information, or indictment was filed to allow the prosecution to proceed under a theory of felony murder, murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine or other theory under which malice is imputed to a person based solely on that person’s participation in a crime, or attempted murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine. Existing law requires the court to review the petition and determine that the petitioner has made a prima facie showing that the petitioner falls within the resentencing provisions. Existing law requires the court to appoint counsel to represent the petitioner if the petitioner requests counsel. Existing law requires the court to issue an order to show cause if the petitioner has made a prima facie showing that they are entitled to relief. This bill would require a court to hold a prima facie hearing to determine whether the petitioner has made a prima facie case for relief. The bill would require the court to appoint counsel, upon the petitioner’s request, when receiving a petition in which the required information is set forth or readily ascertainable by the court. The bill would require a court that declines to make an order to show cause to provide a statement fully setting forth its reasons for doing so. Existing law requires the court to hold a hearing to determine if the petitioner is entitled to relief under these provisions. This bill would specify that a finding that there is substantial evidence to support a conviction for murder, attempted murder, or manslaughter is insufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the petitioner is ineligible for resentencing. This bill would authorize a person convicted of murder, attempted murder, or manslaughter whose conviction is not final to challenge the validity of that conviction upon direct appeal.


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