What Is Senate Bill 775, and What Does It Do?

Note: I do not usually use this space to explicitly advertise my services. Instead, it is meant as a place for people to learn about criminal justice issues and get a sense of who I am and what I am about if they are considering hiring a lawyer. I am making an exception in this instance because this huge change in the law is going to help a lot of people and I am excited to assist.

It has been another active year in the California legislature for criminal justice reform. There are lots of new laws to talk about, but for today, I want to focus on just one.

On October 5th, Governor Newsome signed Senate Bill 775, which vastly expands the principles of SB 1437, which I write about almost exactly two years ago. SB 1437 did away with numerous theories by which a person who was not the actual killer could be prosecuted for murder and created a process by which people previously convicted under no longer valid theories could petition the court to have their convictions vacated. However, SB 1437 did not change the law as it relates to attempted murder or manslaughter.

SB 775 now expands the changes to attempt murder and manslaughter and allows people convicted of those crimes to petition to have their convictions vacated and to be resentenced. As SB 1437 did for murder, SB 775 now eliminates the natural and probable consequences doctrine and most forms of felony murder (except those in which a non-killer acted with the intent to kill or acted as a major participant in the underlying felony with reckless indifference to human life) in the context of attempt murder and manslaughter.

I can understand that all of this may be a bit confusing for non-lawyers, so here is the bottom line. If you or someone you know was convicted of murder, attempted murder, or manslaughter, and there is an argument that they did not personally commit the killing or attempted killing, call me ASAP.

Petitions under SB 1437 and SB 775 can be legally tricky and the law is still evolving, so it is imperative that you have a zealous lawyer evaluate your case and, if it looks like relief may be warranted, litigate the petition on your behalf.

These new laws will offer the possibility of relief and release to thousands of currently incarcerated people. Call The Law Offices of Frances Prizzia now to see if you or a loved one may be one of them.