LOS ANGELES, Oct. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Link to video: Aaron Spolin Analyzes SB 775
After spending months in the California state legislature, Senate Bill 775 was just signed into law yesterday, October 5th, 2021, by Governor Gavin Newsom. This revolutionary new bill will change the lives of hundreds of California inmates, resulting in many individuals leaving prison decades before they would otherwise be free.
Criminal appeals attorney Aaron Spolin explains this new law, how it will affect criminal cases, and how prison inmates can achieve their freedom if their cases fall under the law. Mr. Spolin's analysis has been published in video form, viewable here.
The following information explains the history of the law and some details about its application.
What is Senate Bill 775?
This bill, sponsored by District 13 senator Josh Becker, was introduced to the State Senate on February 19th, 2021, passed by the Senate on June 2nd, and passed by assembly on September 10th. Now, just leaving the Governor's desk, this recently signed bill will serve justice to those wrongly convicted of a killing by expanding on the legal protections stipulated in Senate Bill 1437.
How does Senate Bill 775 differ from Senate Bill 1437?
Senate Bill 1437, passed in 2018, prohibited prosecutors from seeking first or second-degree murder sentences for a "felony murder" case in which the person on trial was "not the actual killer, did not act with the intent to kill, or was not a major participant in the underlying felony who acted with reckless indifference to human life."
Senate Bill 1437, and now its counterpart Senate Bill 775, challenged the previously established "natural and probable consequences doctrine" under which someone's malice was implied solely by their participation in the crime.
As these bills sought to highlight, such a concept had many flaws and fails to consider many very probable scenarios. As a result, those who may have participated in a crime, but were unaware of the killing and had no intent to inflict harm were put behind bars for murder in the first or second degree alongside the killer themself.
However, while Senate Bill 1437 was the first legislation to initially highlight this disparity in the criminal justice system, it did have some holes of its own that Senate Bill 775 hopes to fill and address; among the largest being the expansion of the Senate Bill 1437 protection to those convicted of manslaughter and attempted murder, not just murder.
Prior to the passage of Senate Bill 775, defendants in these situations would oftentimes plead guilty to a lesser charge than murder, like manslaughter, with hopes of a shorter sentence and a chance at a normal life once again. However in doing so, these people cut themselves out of chance to receive the post-conviction relief offered solely to murder convicts under Senate Bill 1437. Additionally, individuals convicted of attempted murder paradoxically received a worse outcome than those convicted of murder.
Senate Bill 775 has changed that, now allowing those with attempted murder and manslaughter convictions to petition to have those crimes (and the corresponding sentences) removed. Having this relief granted is not guaranteed, however, as they and their lawyer will need to convince a judge that they were not a "major participant who acted with reckless indifference to human life."
Learn More About How an Inmate Can Benefit:
To hear criminal appeals attorney Aaron Spolin provide further commentary about yesterday's new law, watch his analysis at the Spolin Law P.C. website. Spolin Law P.C. has already overturned multiple murder convictions through SB 1437 (the parent law of SB 775). The firm is excited to help more inmates with the benefit of this new law.
For further questions or to speak with Aaron Spolin or another attorney at Spolin Law P.C., call (866) 716-2805.
SOURCE Spolin Law P.C.