Amended in Assembly July 16, 2015

Amended in Assembly July 2, 2015

Senate BillNo. 694


Introduced by Senator Leno

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(Coauthor: Senator Anderson)

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February 27, 2015


An act to amend Sections 1473, 1485.5, and 1485.55 of the Penal Code, relating to evidence.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 694, as amended, Leno. New evidence: habeas corpus: motion to vacate judgment: indemnity.

Existing law allows every person who is unlawfully imprisoned or restrained of his or her liberty to prosecute a writ of habeas corpus to inquire into the cause of his or her imprisonment or restraint. Existing law allows a writ of habeas corpus to be prosecuted for, but not limited to, false evidence that is substantially material or probative to the issue of guilt or punishment that was introduced at trial and false physical evidence which was a material factor directly related to the plea of guilty of the person.

This bill would additionally allow a writ of habeas corpus to be prosecuted on the basis of new evidencebegin delete which would raise a reasonable probability of a different outcome if a new trial were granted.end deletebegin insert that is credible, material, and of such decisive force and value that it would have more likely than not changed the outcome at trial.end insert

Existing law requires the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board to recommend an appropriation be made by the Legislature for the purpose of indemnifying a person if the evidence shows that a crime with which the person was charged was either not committed at all, or, if committed, was not committed by that person. Existing law requires that the appropriation recommended shall be a sum equivalent to $100 per day of incarceration served subsequent to the person’s conviction. If a court grants a writ of habeas corpus or vacates a judgment on the basis of new evidence and finds that the new evidence points unerringly to innocence, existing law requires the board to recommend an appropriation to the Legislature pursuant to these provisions without a hearing.

This bill would require the board to recommend an appropriation to the Legislature if the court finds that the person is factually innocent. The bill would make additional clarifying and technical changes.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

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

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 1473 of the Penal Code is amended to
2read:

3

1473.  

(a) Every person unlawfully imprisoned or restrained
4of his or her liberty, under any pretense, may prosecute a writ of
5habeas corpus to inquire into the cause of his or her imprisonment
6or restraint.

7(b) A writ of habeas corpus may be prosecuted for, but not
8limited to, the following reasons:

9(1) False evidence that is substantially material or probative on
10the issue of guilt or punishment was introduced against a person
11at a hearing or trial relating to his or her incarceration.

12(2) False physical evidence, believed by a person to be factual,
13probative, or material on the issue of guilt, which was known by
14the person at the time of entering a plea of guilty, which was a
15material factor directly related to the plea of guilty by the person.

16(3) begin insert(A)end insertbegin insertend insert New evidence existsbegin delete which would raise a reasonable
17probability of a different outcome if a new trial were granted.end delete
begin insert that
18is credible, material, and of such decisive force and value that it
19would have more likely than not changed the outcome at trial.end insert

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20(B) For purposes of this section, “new evidence” means
21evidence that has been discovered after trial, that could not have
22been discovered prior to trial by the exercise of due diligence, and
23is admissible and not merely cumulative, corroborative, collateral,
24or impeaching.

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P3    1(c) Any allegation that the prosecution knew or should have
2known of the false nature of the evidence referred to in paragraphs
3(1) and (2) of subdivision (b) is immaterial to the prosecution of
4a writ of habeas corpus brought pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2)
5of subdivision (b).

6(d) This section does not limit the grounds for which a writ of
7habeas corpus may be prosecuted or preclude the use of any other
8remedies.

9(e) (1) For purposes of this section, “false evidence” includes
10opinions of experts that have either been repudiated by the expert
11who originally provided the opinion at a hearing or trial or that
12have been undermined by later scientific research or technological
13advances.

14(2) This section does not create additional liabilities, beyond
15those already recognized, for an expert who repudiates his or her
16original opinion provided at a hearing or trial or whose opinion
17has been undermined by later scientific research or technological
18advancements.

19

SEC. 2.  

Section 1485.5 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

20

1485.5.  

(a) If the district attorney or Attorney General
21stipulates to or does not contest the factual allegations underlying
22one or more of the grounds for granting a writ of habeas corpus
23or a motion to vacate a judgment, the facts underlying the basis
24for the court’s ruling or order shall be binding on the Attorney
25General, the factfinder, and the California Victim Compensation
26and Government Claims Board.

27(b) The district attorney shall provide notice to the Attorney
28General prior to entering into a stipulation of facts that will be the
29basis for the granting of a writ of habeas corpus or a motion to
30vacate a judgment.

31(c) In a contested or uncontested proceeding, the express factual
32findings made by the court, including credibility determinations,
33in considering a petition for habeas corpus, a motion to vacate
34judgment pursuant to Section 1473.6, or an application for a
35certificate of factual innocence, shall be binding on the Attorney
36General, the factfinder, and the California Victim Compensation
37and Government Claims Board.

38(d) For the purposes of this section, “express factual findings”
39are findings established as the basis for the court’s ruling or order.

P4    1(e) For purposes of this section, “court” is defined as a state or
2federal court.

3

SEC. 3.  

Section 1485.55 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

4

1485.55.  

(a) In a contested proceeding, if the court has granted
5a writ of habeas corpus, or when, pursuant to Section 1473.6, the
6court vacates a judgment, and if the court has found the person is
7factually innocent, that finding shall be binding on the California
8Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board for a claim
9presented to the board, and upon application by the person, the
10board shall, without a hearing, recommend to the Legislature that
11an appropriation be made and the claim paid pursuant to Section
124904.

13(b) In a contested or uncontested proceeding, if the court grants
14a writ of habeas corpus and did not find the person factually
15innocent in the habeasbegin insert corpusend insert proceedings, the petitioner may
16move for a finding of innocence by a preponderance of the evidence
17that the crime with which he or she was charged was either not
18committed at all or, if committed, was not committed by him or
19her.

20(c) If the court vacates a judgment pursuant to Section 1473.6,
21on any ground, the petitioner may move for a finding of innocence
22by a preponderance of the evidence that the crime with which he
23or she was charged was either not committed at all or, if committed,
24was not committed by him or her.

25(d) If the court makes a finding that the petitioner has proven
26his or her innocence by a preponderance of the evidence pursuant
27to subdivision (b) or (c), the board shall, without a hearing,
28recommend to the Legislature that an appropriation be made and
29any claim filed shall be paid pursuant to Section 4904.

30(e) A presumption does not exist in any other proceeding for
31failure to make a motion or obtain a favorable ruling pursuant to
32subdivision (b) or (c).

33(f) If a federal court, after granting a writ of habeas corpus,
34pursuant to a nonstatutory motion or request, finds a petitioner
35innocent by no less than a preponderance of the evidence that the
36crime with which he or she was charged was either not committed
37at all or, if committed, was not committed by him or her, the board
38shall, without a hearing, recommend to the Legislature that an
39appropriation be made and any claim filed shall be paid pursuant
40to Section 4904.

P5    1(g) For the purposes of this section, “new evidence” means
2evidence that was not available or known at the time of trial.



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