Please help us support Lamont Kellum by advocating for the passage of “Kellum’s Law,” which would help Lamont Kellum and many other inmates who are in similar circumstances to him. To read the full text of the law, download it here: Draft Legislation – Kellum’s Law.
(a) A person convicted of felony murder or murder under a natural and probable consequences theory may file a petition with the court that sentenced the petitioner to have the petitioner’s murder conviction vacated and to be resentenced on any remaining counts when all of the following conditions apply:
(1) A complaint, information, or indictment was filed against the petitioner that allowed the prosecution to proceed under a theory of felony murder, or murder under the natural and probable consequences doctrine, or murder involving an implied malice doctrine where proof of explicit intent to kill is not required.
(2) The petitioner was convicted of first degree or second degree murder following a trial or accepted a plea offer in lieu of a trial at which the petitioner could be convicted for first degree or second degree murder.
(3) The petitioner could not be convicted of first or second degree murder because of changes to Section 188 or 189 made effective January 1, 2019.
(b) (1) The petition shall be filed with the court that sentenced the petitioner and served by the petitioner on the district attorney, or on the agency that prosecuted the petitioner, and on the attorney who represented the petitioner in the trial court or on the public defender of the county where the petitioner was convicted. If the judge that originally sentenced the petitioner is not available to resentence the petitioner, the presiding judge shall designate another judge to rule on the petition. The petition shall include all of the following:
(A) A declaration by the petitioner that he or she is eligible for relief under this section, based on all the requirements of subdivision (a).
(B) The superior court case number and year of the petitioner’s conviction.
(C) Whether the petitioner requests the appointment of counsel.
(2) If any of the information required by this subdivision is missing from the petition and cannot be readily ascertained by the court, the court may deny the petition without prejudice to the filing of another petition and advise the petitioner that the matter cannot be considered without the missing information.
(c) The court shall review the petition and determine if the petitioner has made a prima facie showing that the petitioner falls within the provisions of this section. If the petitioner has requested counsel, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the petitioner. The prosecutor shall file and serve a response within 60 days of service of the petition and the petitioner may file and serve a reply within 30 days after the prosecutor response is served. These deadlines shall be extended for good cause. If the petitioner makes a prima facie showing that he or she is entitled to relief, the court shall issue an order to show cause.
(d) (1) Within 60 days after the order to show cause has issued, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether to vacate the murder conviction and to recall the sentence and resentence the petitioner on any remaining counts in the same manner as if the petitioner had not been previously been sentenced, provided that the new sentence, if any, is not greater than the initial sentence. This deadline may be extended for good cause.
(2) The parties may waive a resentencing hearing and stipulate that the petitioner is eligible to have his or her murder conviction vacated and for resentencing. If there was a prior finding by a court or jury that the petitioner did not act with reckless indifference to human life or was not a major participant in the felony, the court shall vacate the petitioner’s conviction and resentence the petitioner.
(3) At the hearing to determine whether the petitioner is entitled to relief, the burden of proof shall be on the prosecution to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the petitioner is ineligible for resentencing. If the prosecution fails to sustain its burden of proof, the prior conviction, and any allegations and enhancements attached to the conviction, shall be vacated and the petitioner shall be resentenced on the remaining charges. The prosecutor and the petitioner may rely on the record of conviction or offer new or additional evidence to meet their respective burdens.
(e) If petitioner is entitled to relief pursuant to this section, murder was charged generically, and the target offense was not charged, the petitioner’s conviction shall be redesignated as the target offense or underlying felony for resentencing purposes. Any applicable statute of limitations shall not be a bar to the court’s redesignation of the offense for this purpose.
(f) This section does not diminish or abrogate any rights or remedies otherwise available to the petitioner.
(g) A person who is resentenced pursuant to this section shall be given credit for time served. The judge may order the petitioner to be subject to parole supervision for up to three years following the completion of the sentence.
(h) A second or successive 1170.95 petition will be considered on the merits for any petitioner who was denied relief under the former text of this law but who would now be eligible for relief under the current text.
Please sign the petition to support Lamont Kellum and others who have wrongfully been denied relief under the law. A full copy of the proposed law can be downloaded here: Draft Legislation – Kellum’s Law.