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 evidence that is credible, material, and of such decisive force and value that it would have more likely than not changed the outcome at trial.
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:
Section 1473 of the Penal Code is amended to
(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
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) (A) New evidence exists that is credible, material, and of such decisive force and value
18that it would have more likely than not changed the outcome at
20(B) For purposes of this section, “new evidence” means evidence
21that has been discovered after trial, that could not have been
22discovered prior to trial by the exercise of due diligence, and is
P3 1admissible and not merely cumulative, corroborative, collateral,
3(c) Any allegation that the prosecution knew or should have
4known of the false nature of the evidence referred to in paragraphs
5(1) and (2) of subdivision (b) is immaterial to the prosecution of
6a writ of habeas corpus brought pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2)
7of subdivision (b).
8(d) This section does not limit the grounds for which a writ of
9habeas corpus may be prosecuted or preclude the use of any other
11(e) (1) For purposes of this section, “false evidence” includes
12opinions of experts that have either been repudiated by the expert
13who originally provided the opinion at a hearing or trial or that
14have been undermined by later scientific research or technological
16(2) This section does not create additional liabilities, beyond
17those already recognized, for an expert who repudiates his or her
18original opinion provided at a hearing or trial or whose opinion
19has been undermined by later scientific research or technological
Section 1485.5 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
(a) If the district attorney or Attorney General
23stipulates to or does not contest the factual allegations underlying
24one or more of the grounds for granting a writ of habeas corpus
25or a motion to vacate a judgment, the facts underlying the basis
26for the court’s ruling or order shall be binding on the Attorney
27General, the factfinder, and the California Victim Compensation
28and Government Claims Board.
29(b) The district attorney shall provide notice to the Attorney
30General prior to entering into a stipulation of facts that will be the
31basis for the granting of a writ of habeas corpus or a motion to
32vacate a judgment.
33(c) In a contested or uncontested proceeding, the express factual
34findings made by the court, including credibility determinations,
35in considering a petition for habeas corpus, a motion to vacate
36judgment pursuant to Section 1473.6, or an application for a
37certificate of factual innocence, shall be binding on the Attorney
38General, the factfinder, and the California Victim Compensation
39and Government Claims Board.
P4 1(d) For the purposes of this section, “express factual findings”
2are findings established as the basis for the court’s ruling or order.
3(e) For purposes of this section, “court” is defined as a state or
Section 1485.55 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
(a) In a contested proceeding, if the court has granted
7a writ of habeas corpus, or when, pursuant to Section 1473.6, the
8court vacates a judgment, and if the court has found the person is
9factually innocent, that finding shall be binding on the California
10Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board for a claim
11presented to the board, and upon application by the person, the
12board shall, without a hearing, recommend to the Legislature that
13an appropriation be made and the claim paid pursuant to Section
15(b) In a contested or uncontested proceeding, if the court grants
16a writ of habeas corpus and did not find the person factually
17innocent in the habeas corpus proceedings, the petitioner may
18move for a finding of innocence by a preponderance of the evidence
19that the crime with which he or she was charged was either not
20committed at all or, if committed, was not committed by him or
22(c) If the court vacates a judgment pursuant to Section 1473.6,
23on any ground, the petitioner may move for a finding of innocence
24by a preponderance of the evidence that the crime with which he
25or she was charged was either not committed at all or, if committed,
26was not committed by him or her.
27(d) If the court makes a finding that the petitioner has proven
28his or her innocence by a preponderance of the evidence pursuant
29to subdivision (b) or (c), the board shall, without a hearing,
30recommend to the Legislature that an appropriation be made and
31any claim filed shall be paid pursuant to Section 4904.
32(e) A presumption does not exist in any other proceeding for
33failure to make a motion or obtain a favorable ruling pursuant to
34subdivision (b) or (c).
35(f) If a federal court, after granting a writ of habeas corpus,
36pursuant to a nonstatutory motion or request, finds a petitioner
37innocent by no less than a preponderance of the evidence that the
38crime with which he or she was charged was either not committed
39at all or, if committed, was not committed by him or her, the board
40shall, without a hearing, recommend to the Legislature that an
P5 1appropriation be made and any claim filed shall be paid pursuant
2to Section 4904.
3(g) For the purposes of this section, “new evidence” means
4evidence that was not available or known at the time of trial.