This Sac'to Bill -- On Verge Of Enactment -- Could Stop Courts Statewide From Applying Sentencing Enhancements/small>
|(August 28, 2021, 5:40 a.m.) -- A Sacramento bill -- SB 81 -- has advanced to the verge of legislative passage that could effectively require courts statewide to dismiss sentencing enhancements under various circumstances.
On August 26, SB 81 (authored by Nancy Skinner (D, Berkeley) and joined by co-author Assemblyman Alex Lee (D, San Jose)) passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee and could now be voted-on by the full Assembly from Aug. 30 until Sept. 10. On May 26, SB 81 passed the state Senate on a 27-9 vote with a "yes" vote by state Senator Lena Gonzalez (D, Long Beach-SE LA County) and "no vote recorded" by state Senator Tom Umberg (D, SE LB-west OC.)
SB 81 states in pertinent part that there shall be "a presumption that it is in the furtherance of justice to dismiss an enhancement upon a finding that any of the circumstances [below], inclusive, are true. This presumption shall only be overcome by a showing of clear and convincing evidence that dismissal of the enhancement would endanger public safety."
SB 81 also specifies that if the court has the authority...to strike or dismiss an enhancement, "the court may instead strike the additional punishment for that enhancement in the furtherance of justice..."
SB 31 would apply prospectively, not retroactively.
A May 28 analysis by staff of the Assembly Public Safety committee listed the following supporters/opponents at that time:
An analysis of SB 81 by staff of the Assembly Public Safety Committee (June 29 hearing) listed supporters/opponents as follows:
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