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Senate Bill 487 (Song 1975)

Chapter 1069, Statutes of 1975 - SB 487

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Section 1387 of the Penal Code was amended in 1975 following legislative passage of Senate Bill 487, which was a single-section bill affecting section 1387 only.  (See Exhibit A, #1d)  This measure was introduced on February 25, 1975 by Senator Alfred Song for the California State Bar.  (See Exhibit A, #1a and #3, page 1)

Senate Bill 487 was assigned to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice where policy issues raised by the bill were considered.  (See Exhibit A, #3 and #7)  Two amendments were made to Senate Bill 487 as the bill was considered by both Houses.  (See Exhibit A, #1b, #1c and #2)  Subsequent to legislative approval, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., signed Senate Bill 487 on September 25, 1975, and it was recorded by the Secretary of State on September 26, 1975 as Chapter 1069 of the Statutes of 1975.  (See Exhibit A, #1d and #2)

The State Bar letter to Governor Brown, explained its rationale for proposing this legislation:

This bill would prohibit unlimited numbers of refilings, (sic) and would provide that once dismissed for non-timely prosecution of the case, any subsequent failure to bring the matter to trial within the time period would serve to bar any future attempt to prosecute.  An exception would lie where through no fault of the prosecution, new and substantial evidence is discovered.  The prosecution could reinstitute proceedings if such discovery occurred prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

 

The bill is an attempt to implement the philosophy that a trial should be quick and certain by adding sanctions for failure to do so.  The bill is a step toward augmenting that goal and its enactment is urged by the State Bar.

(See Exhibit A, #9, document A-6)