4 new laws set to change CA criminal justice in January

4 new laws set to change CA criminal justice in January

The new year will be provide quite a few improvements to how prison justice is utilized in California.

Prosecutors will no longer be equipped to use rap lyrics as proof, defense attorneys will be barred from disclosing a person’s immigration standing in open court, and the criminal offense of loitering for the function of prostitution will come off the textbooks.

Here’s a speedy rundown:

Prosecutors can no longer use rap lyrics as evidence

Setting up in the new yr, courts will no longer be in a position to use a person’s resourceful expressions, these types of as rap lyrics, towards them in most criminal proceedings.

Assembly Bill 2799, by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, helps prevent prosecutors from making use of resourceful expressions as character evidence towards a defendant unless of course they can be tied to a precise crime or presents details otherwise not readily available to the general public.

“California has long held that the use of creative expression as proof at trial must only occur in incredibly certain conditions supplied the option for bias from a defendant. Unfortunately, there are still conditions where by artistic expressions are employed in trial in a way that incites explicit or implicit bias,” Jones-Sawyer stated in a statement of assistance for the invoice.

It is no more time a criminal offense to loiter for the purpose of intercourse perform

One particular of 2022’s most controversial payments, Senate Bill 357, by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, really was handed by the California Legislature in 2021 but was held, at Wiener’s ask for, for practically a year so that the coalition guiding the bill could establish assistance for the governor’s signature.

The bill decriminalizes loitering for the reasons of prostitution.

Wiener argued that existing law authorized law enforcement to “to concentrate on and arrest individuals if they are wearing restricted dresses or a ton of make-up.”

Often, those qualified by the existing legislation are transgender ladies of coloration, Wiener additional.

The invoice met rigid opposition from Republicans, average Democrats and anti-human trafficking advocates, who argued that it would hinder regulation enforcement initiatives to battle intercourse trafficking.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, in signing the invoice into law very last summer season, warned that the point out “must be cautious about its implementation.”

“My administration will watch criminal offense and prosecution trends for any attainable unintended effects and will act to mitigate any these types of impacts,” Newsom said in his signing assertion.

Courts are now barred from disclosing someone’s immigration standing

Courts are now prohibited from disclosing a person’s immigration status in open up courtroom, except the presiding judge determines that the make any difference is admissible in a listening to held in chambers.

Senate Bill 836, by Sen. Wiener, reenacts provisions that have been repealed on Jan. 1, 2022.

In a assertion of aid for the monthly bill, Wiener explained that it was to reduce scenarios these types of as defense attorneys “exposing the immigration status of witnesses and victims of crimes in California courthouses.”

“In addition, there ended up experiences of immigration agents all over the region monitoring and detaining people today at courthouses,” Wiener claimed.

SB 836 passed with an urgency clause, this means it grew to become law as shortly as Gov. Newsom signed it in August.

Inmates can make no cost cellphone phone calls

Starting January, condition prisons, youth detention facilities and city and county jails will be needed to supply cellular phone providers to inmates totally free of demand.

Senate Invoice 1008, by Sen. Josh Becker, D-San Mateo, prohibits authorities organizations from profiting on the provision of communication expert services to inmates.

Prior to SB 1008 becoming regulation, the fee for in- and out-of-state cellphone calls was $.025 a moment, online video phone calls was $.20 per minute and sending or acquiring emails is $.05 for every concept. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation also provided 15 minutes of free of charge mobile phone calls and 15 minutes of free of charge video calls just about every two weeks to all inmates.

This tale was at first published December 20, 2022 4:00 AM.

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4 new laws set to change CA criminal justice in January

Andrew Sheeler covers California’s exceptional political local climate for The Sacramento Bee. He has covered crime and politics from interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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