Crime victims united june legislative update!


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Crime Victims United
Legislative Update
Legislative Update
June 2011

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Crime victims united june legislative update!

  1. 1. Crime Victims United June Legislative Update! 7/11/11 4:58 PM Crime Victims United Legislative Update Legislative Update June 2011 Upcoming Important Dates: July 15 -August 15: Summer Recess August 26: Fiscal Committee Deadline August 29 -September 9: End of Session - Floor Session October 9: Governors Bill Signing Deadline Death Penalty Ban Bill Moves Forward As expected, Senate Public Safety Chair Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, amended her SB 490 to abolish the death penalty in California. More specifically, SB 490 would abolish the death penalty and instead provide for imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole. Furthermore, it provides for a halt to executions unless the voters fail to approve this legislation. Where a defendant or inmate was sentenced to death prior to the date of the enactment of this legislation, upon voter approval, the defendants or inmates sentence would automatically be converted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. According to Hancock and recent numbers released by researchers, the State spends an estimated $184 million a year on the death penalty even though there is a current statewide moratorium on executions. Hancock claims a ban on executions would not only save the State billions, but spare innocent lives that may be lost due to incorrect application of the death penalty.…1D2ZK2AKWkG4HQLNH-wOhlw7QM6HwxxwOef0nF-xoJ47OyzicckfHuq-3g%3D%3D Page 1 of 4
  2. 2. Crime Victims United June Legislative Update! 7/11/11 4:58 PM In 1978 under the guise of Proposition 7, Californians voted to reinstate the death penalty in California. This law enacted by the people did not provide for amendments by the Legislature; rather under our state constitution, changes to the death penalty law require a vote of the people. While SB 490 provides that abolishment would only be enacted after a vote of the people, such a vote is not likely to occur when a 2010 survey conducted by the Field Poll found 70% of those polled were in favor of the death penalty. Proponents of the measure included Jeanne Woodford, former San Quentin Warden; Don Heller, author of Proposition 7; victims with Crime Victims for Alternatives to the Death Penalty; and many others. Speaking in opposition to the measure were the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA); State Sheriffs Association; Peace Officers Research Association of California; Crime Victims United of California (CVUC); and more. Despite the compelling testimony against the bill, the measure passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee on a 5-2 party-line vote with Democrats support. Proponents arguments were almost exclusively related to the significant costs associated with the death penalty. Opponents of abolishment, however, argued that the retroactivity is beyond unfair to victims who received justice for the heinous crimes against their loved ones; the sentence serves as a deterrent to such heinous crimes; the costs and delays are a result of years of lawsuits and stalling by those that seek to repeal the death penalty, thus providing fuel to their fire for abolishment; and much more. Although the bill is currently moving through the legislative process, it has a number of hurdles yet to overcome. CDAA and CVUC, in particular, are working feverishly to have the bill held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee where it will be heard in mid-August. If it passes, the measure would then go to the Senate and then the Governor, who has a complex history with the death penalty. Brown strongly opposed it when he was younger and vetoed a bill from the Legislature to implement it in 1977. That veto was overridden and the number of crimes punished with death was expanded in the Heller ballot measure the next year. Of note, even if we are successful in defeating the bill, executions have been on hold in California since February 2006 because of a court-imposed moratorium over concerns that the lethal injection procedure constituted cruel and unusual punishment. The matter is not scheduled to be considered by a court until at least next year. As such, justice delayed is continuing to be justice denied for hundreds of victims in California. Stay tuned... Supreme Court Ruling on Prison Overcrowding The Three-Judge Court overseeing prison overcrowding abatement in California issued an order recently setting further deadlines in the overcrowding…1D2ZK2AKWkG4HQLNH-wOhlw7QM6HwxxwOef0nF-xoJ47OyzicckfHuq-3g%3D%3D Page 2 of 4
  3. 3. Crime Victims United June Legislative Update! 7/11/11 4:58 PM matter and requiring California to file interim reports on their progress toward reducing the inmate population with the States 33 institutions. The following are the modified dates and population milestones set by the court (the dates have been pushed back a month): - To no more than 167% of design capacity by December 27, 2011. - To no more than 155% of design capacity by June 27, 2012. - To no more than 147% of design capacity by December 27, 2012. - To no more than 137.5% of design capacity by June 27, 2013. Second, CDCR must file an updated report on or before July 21, 2011, explaining whether funding has been secured for AB 109 and, if so, when AB 109 is intended to go into effect Third, to keep the Court informed of progress, CDCR shall file monthly status reports due on the 15th of each month, beginning on September 15, 2011, until further order. These monthly reports shall list the design capacity, actual population, and population as a percentage of design capacity at each adult institution, as well as aggregate figures for the total inmate population housed in adult institutions. 2011 Legislation AB 648 (Block): Clemency The bill would require that, at least 30 days before the Governor acts upon any application for a pardon or commutation, the application signed by the person applying shall be served upon the district attorney of the county where the conviction was had. Additionally, it would authorize the district attorney to submit a written recommendation to the Governor for or against commutation. It would require the district attorney to notify the victim or victims of the crime or crimes. Sponsor: San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis Location: Senate Appropriations Committee (hearing July 11th) Position: Support AB 898 (Alejo): Crime Victims: Restitution: Fine This bill would increase the current minimum and maximum restitution fines for felony and misdemeanor crimes that would go towards payment of crime victim restitution. The bill is an important step towards addressing the inflationary discrepancy between restitution fines paid by offenders and the cost of counseling, burial services and more for the victims subjected to crime by these offenders. Location: Senate Appropriations Committee (hearing July 11th) Position: Support…1D2ZK2AKWkG4HQLNH-wOhlw7QM6HwxxwOef0nF-xoJ47OyzicckfHuq-3g%3D%3D Page 3 of 4
  4. 4. Crime Victims United June Legislative Update! 7/11/11 4:58 PM SB 9 (Yee): Sentencing Authorizes a prisoner who was under 18 years of age at the time of committing an offense for which the prisoner was sentenced to life without parole to submit a petition for recall and resentencing to the sentencing court. Despite the heart wrenching stories of a number of victims and technical and policy concerns raised by advocates, members of the Assembly Public Safety Committee passed the measure out on a partisan vote. The bill now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration, likely in mid-August. We anticipate that this will again be a fight on the floor of the Assembly in the final days of session. Location: Pending Hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee Position: Oppose SB 26 (Padilla): Prisons: Wireless Communication Devices The bill would provide a person who possesses with the intent to deliver, or delivers, to an inmate or ward in the custody of CDCR any cellular telephone or other wireless communication device, or related components, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Requires that if a person who is visiting an inmate or ward is found to be in possession of a device, that device is subject to confiscation and return the same day. Location: Pending Hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee Position: Support **Please note: These are just a few of the bills CVUC is tracking in the 2011 Legislative Session; the full bill is available on our website at About Us Crime Victims United of California is the only organization of its kind - using education, legislative advocacy and political action to enhance public safety, promote effective crime-reduction measures and strengthen the rights of crime victims. CVU is comprised of two distinct, yet complementary groups - a legislative advocacy arm that works to strengthen victims rights laws and a political action committee that lends its endorsement and financial backing to pro-victim candidates. Forward email This email was sent to by | Update Profile/Email Address | Instant removal with SafeUnsubscribe™ | Privacy Policy. Crime Victims United | 11400 Atwood Rd | Auburn | CA | 95603…1D2ZK2AKWkG4HQLNH-wOhlw7QM6HwxxwOef0nF-xoJ47OyzicckfHuq-3g%3D%3D Page 4 of 4