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SB 483 retroactively makes enhancements for prior prison terms and some drug enhancements invalid

Senate Bill No. 483, effective January 1, 2022, makes changes to the law that invalidated enhancements for prior prison terms and certain drug enhancements retroactive. The Bill retroactively applies Senate Bill 180 and Senate Bill 136 to all persons currently serving a prison for these repealed sentence enhancements.

Senate Bill 180 effective January 1, 2018 repealed the 3-year enhancement for prior drug convictions

 SB 180 repealed the three-year sentence enhancement for prior drug convictions, with the exceptions of drug manufacturing and convictions involving a minor. The enhancement was applied consecutively — three years for every prior conviction for possession for sale, sale or similar drug offense to any person currently convicted for a similar offense.

Senate Bill 136 effective January 1, 2020 repealed the 1- year enhancement for each prior prison term

Senate Bill 136 into law, effective January 1, 2020 amended Penal Code § 667.5(b), making the one-year prison prior sentence enhancement applicable only if defendant served a prior prison term for a sexually violent offense as defined under Welfare & Institutions Code § 6600(b).

SB 483 invalidates one-year enhancements for each prior separate prison term or county jail felony term served for a nonviolent felony that were mandated until January 1, 2020.  It similarly invalidates the additional 3-year term for each prior conviction of specified controlled substances crimes that was in effect until January 1, 2018.

Purpose and intent of SB 483 to address systemic racial bias in sentencing

 The bill’s purpose is to ensure equal justice. Moreover, any changes of sentence brought about by the  bill  are not be a basis for the prosecution or court to rescind a plea agreement. The bill adds sections 1171 and 1171.1 to the Penal Code.

Section 1171 makes legally invalid any sentence enhancement pursuant to Health and Safety Code section 11370.2 (prior drug conviction enhancement) that was imposed prior to January 1, 2018.

Section 1171.1 invalidates section 667.5, subdivision (b), enhancements (prior prison term enhancement) imposed prior to January 1, 2020.

Section 1171 is added to the Penal Code:

  1. (a) Any sentence enhancement that was imposed prior to January 1, 2018, pursuant to Section 11370.2 of the Health and Safety Code, except for any enhancement imposed for a prior conviction of violating or conspiring to violate Section 11380 of the Health and Safety Code, is legally invalid.

(b) By no later than March 1, 2022, the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the county correctional administrator of each county shall identify those persons in their custody currently serving a term for a judgment that includes an enhancement described in subdivision (a) and shall provide the name of each person, along with the person’s date of birth and the relevant case number or docket number, to the sentencing court that imposed the enhancement.

(c) Upon receiving the information described in subdivision (b), the court shall, by no later than July 1, 2022, review the judgment and verify that the current judgment includes a sentence enhancement described in subdivision (a). If the court determines that the current judgment includes an enhancement described in subdivision (a), the court shall administratively amend the abstract of judgment to delete that enhancement.

Section 1171.1 is added to the Penal Code:

1171.1. (a) Any sentence enhancement that was imposed prior to January 1, 2020, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 667.5, except for any enhancement imposed for a prior conviction for a sexually violent offense as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 6600 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is legally invalid.

(b) By no later than March 1, 2022, the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the county correctional administrator of each county shall identify those persons in their custody currently serving a term for a judgment that includes an enhancement described in subdivision (a) and shall provide the name of each person, along with the person’s date of birth and the relevant case number or docket number, to the sentencing court that imposed the enhancement.

(c) Upon receiving the information described in subdivision (b), the court shall, by no later than July 1, 2022, review the judgment and verify that the current judgment includes a sentencing enhancement described in subdivision (a). If the court determines that the current judgment includes an enhancement described in subdivision (a), the court shall administratively amend the abstract of judgment to delete that enhancement.

Both new statutes require the CDCR to give each sentencing court information on persons whose sentences include the enhancement. The court must then recall and resentence those defendants according  to the schedule included in the new statutes. The new sentence must be lower than the original unless clear and convincing evidence demonstrates a lower sentence would endanger public safety. In addition, the court is permitted to consider postconviction factors in determining whether the defendant’s risk for future violence has decreased.

A prosecutor or court is prohibited from rescinding a plea agreement based on a change in sentence as a result of this bill. The  Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the county correctional administrator of each county is required to identify those persons in their custody who are serving a sentence that includes one of these enhancements and provide this information to the sentencing court.  The bill would require this information to be provided by March 1, 2022, for those individuals who are currently serving time for the enhancement and by July 1, 2022, for all others. The bill would require the court, after verifying specified information, to recall the sentence and resentence the individual to remove any invalid sentence enhancements. The bill would require the court to grant this relief to those individuals who have served their base term and any other enhancements and are currently serving the enhancement  by October 1, 2022, and all other individuals by December 31, 2023. The resentencing must result in a lesser sentence, unless the court finds that a lesser sentence would endanger public safety. The bill would require the court to appoint counsel for an individual subject to resentencing.

 

 

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