The legislative process can seem complicated and daunting, but it shouldn’t be. Through awareness raising and open education, we believe in providing individuals with the tools they need to make informed decisions for criminal justice reform. An overview of the legislative process can be found here.
SB 1437 will reform the felony murder rule and amend accomplice liability in certain types of second-degree murder. This act retains felony murder liability for the person who kills during the course of certain felonies. It would only abolish felony murder liability for an accomplice: a person who did not personally commit the homicidal act or intend that a homicide occur. This act would also limit judicially-created doctrines for second-degree murder liability.
SB 1391 recognizes that 14 and 15 year olds are developmentally different from adults and should not be treated like adults in the criminal justice system. If they commit crimes, youth fare better and are less likely to commit crimes in the future if they are given age-appropriate services and education. This bill prohibits children age 14 and 15 from being tried as adults in criminal court and being sentenced to time in adult prison.
AB 2845 aims to depoliticize and increase the transparency of the pardon and commutation process by establishing a pardon and commutations panel to investigate and make recommendations on these applications to the Governor’s office. The bill would establish a timeline for the panel to investigate and make recommendations on pardon and commutation requests to the Governor, including an expedited process for pardon requests with urgent issues, such as a pending deportation order. AB 2845 also makes needed improvements to the process for applying for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, which is a court order declaring that a person convicted of a crime is now rehabilitated. Finally, AB 2845 would allow individuals applying for a pardon to submit their application online.
Re:store Justice is pleased to support AB 2533, Indigent Inmate Reform, which helps protect basic civil rights for people in prison by creating a statutory definition of an “indigent inmate.” Under this measure, prisoners who have $25.00 or less in their Inmate Trust Accounts for at least 30 days can access resources for communicating with the courts, and can access medical, dental, and mental health care without being charged a copayment. In addition, the bill requires the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to automatically furnish indigent prisoners with basic hygiene supplies.