Senate Bill 1050 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. The bill provides three new laws regarding exonerated inmates. These are:
- A person does not have to register as a sex offender if exonerated of a crime;
- The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation must assist an exonerated inmate with certain transitional services (including enrolling the inmate is such programs like Medi-Cal); and,
- An exonerated inmate must be paid $1,000.
SB 1050 says that a person is “exonerated” if:
- His conviction is reversed on the basis of insufficient evidence;
- The criminal charges in his case are dismissed; and/or,
- The person was given a pardon by the Governor.
These laws mark a slight departure form the laws in place prior to SB 1050.
Senate Bill 1050 and Sex offender Registration
SB 1050 relieves a person from having to register as a sex offender (because of a conviction of a certain sex crime) if he is exonerated of that crime.
Prior to SB 1050, a person still had to register as a sex offender (because of a conviction of a sex crime) even if the conviction was dismissed. The only exception was for those persons that:
- Obtained a certificate of rehabilitation; and,
- Were no longer in custody, on parole, or on probation.
Senate Bill 1050 and Provision of Services
Under SB 1050, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation must assist an exonerated inmate with such transitional services as:
- Housing assistance,
- Job training, and
- Mental health services.
This assistance must be given within the first week of exoneration and then again within the first 30 days of exoneration.
Further, the same entity must assist an exonerated inmate with enrolling in such programs as:
- Medi-Cal, and
Prior to SB 1050, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation did have to assist an exonerated person with the same transitional services. However, this assistance was provided only at the time of exoneration. Further, the entity did not have to assist an exonerated inmate with enrolling in any specific programs.
Senate Bill 1050 and Payment of Money
SB 1050 requires that each exonerated person be paid $1,000 upon release.
Prior to SB 1050, this payment was not required at all.
Senate Bill 1050 and Definition of “Exonerated”
SB 1050 states that “exonerated” means a person has been convicted and after the conviction one of the following has occurred:
- The person's conviction was reversed on appeal because of insufficient evidence to support the charges;
- The criminal charges for which the person was convicted were dismissed; or,
- The person was given an absolute pardon by the Governor on the basis that the person was innocent.
The basis for Senate Bill 1050 is to inject a sense of fairness within the criminal system for inmates that are later exonerated of a crime. SB 1050 also affords certain relief and benefits to exonerated inmates that is designed to help them with transitioning back into civilian life.
The bill was introduced by Senators De León, Hernandez, and Pan. SB 1050 amends Sections 290.007 and 3007.05 of the California Penal Code.