Senate Bill 1437 – Eliminating Felony Murder in California

Senate Bill 1437 Senate Bill 1437 would amend the penal code to more equitably sentence offenders according to their involvement in the crime. Specifically, to be convicted of murder, the prosecution would need to prove that a participant in a crime acted with “malice.” Senate Bill 1437 aims to ensure …

Senate Bill 620 Relaxes California’s Firearm Enhancements

Senate Bill 620 Signed into Law Senate Bill 620 was signed into law on October 11, 2017. The law gives judges the authority to strike or dismiss a firearm enhancement at sentencing. Judges may dismiss or strike enhancements if it is “in the interests of justice.” What is an Enhancement? …

Can Police Search if They Smell Marijuana?

Can Police Search Me if They Smell Marijuana? With some exceptions, police may not search a suspect or his/her property solely because they smell marijuana. Proposition 64, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, was enacted November 9, 2016. It prohibits a search based on legal possession or use …

SCR 48: Resolution to Reform Felony Murder Rule

SCR 48 – Senate Concurrent Resolution SCR 48 is a senate concurrent resolution passed on September 22, 2017. It recognized the need for statutory reform to more equitably sentence offenders according to their involvement in the crime. Although SCR 48 did not make any changes to existing law, it laid …

Using Penal Code 1473 To Remove Past Convictions

Withdrawal Of Plea Using Penal Code 1473 Penal Code 1473.7 allows a person no longer imprisoned to vacate a conviction or a sentence. Undocumented person who are in danger of deportation may file a motion in order to clear their record of criminal convictions. If the conviction is overturned, the …

Proposition 57 Parole For Nonviolent Inmates

Proposition 57 Proposition 57, “The Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act of 2016,” allows parole consideration for people convicted of nonviolent felonies after they have completed the full term for their primary offense. The goal of the law is to stop the revolving door of crime by better preparing inmates to …

California Becomes A Sanctuary State

California Becomes A “Sanctuary State” On October 5, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Values Act. The “sanctuary state” law aims to protect California’s 2.3 million undocumented citizens from federal immigration authorities (ICE). Currently local authorities may release inmate information, including citizenship status, to federal immigration authorities. When the …

Proposition 47 Early Release From Prison

Proposition 47 – Reducing Charges Proposition 47 reduces the punishment for certain felony drug and property offense charges under $950 to a misdemeanor. It does not apply to registered sex offenders and people with prior convictions for serious or violent crimes. Re-sentencing For Inmates Prop 47 permits re-sentencing for people …