California Penal Code Section 190.05

190.05. (a) The penalty for a defendant found guilty of murder in the second degree, who has served a prior prison term for murder in the first or second degree, shall be confinement in the state prison for a term of life without the possibility of parole or confinement in the state prison for a term of 15 years to life. For purposes of this section, a prior prison term for murder of the first or second degree is that time period in which a defendant has spent actually incarcerated for his or her offense prior to release on parole.

(b) A prior prison term for murder for purposes of this section includes either of the following:

(1) A prison term served in any state prison or federal penal institution, including confinement in a hospital or other institution or facility credited as service of prison time in the jurisdiction of confinement, as punishment for the commission of an offense which includes all of the elements of murder in the first or second degree as defined under California law.

(2) Incarceration at a facility operated by the Youth Authority for murder of the first or second degree when the person was subject to the custody, control, and discipline of the Director of Corrections.

(c) The fact of a prior prison term for murder in the first or second degree shall be alleged in the accusatory pleading, and either admitted by the defendant in open court, or found to be true by the jury trying the issue of guilt or by the court where guilt is established by a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or by trial by the court sitting without a jury.

(d) In case of a reasonable doubt as to whether the defendant served a prior prison term for murder in the first or second degree, the defendant is entitled to a finding that the allegation is not true.

(e) If the trier of fact finds that the defendant has served a prior prison term for murder in the first or second degree, there shall be a separate penalty hearing before the same trier of fact, except as provided in subdivision (f).

(f) If the defendant was convicted by the court sitting without a jury, the trier of fact at the penalty hearing shall be a jury unless a jury is waived by the defendant and the people, in which case the trier of fact shall be the court. If the defendant was convicted by a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, the trier of fact shall be a jury unless a jury is waived by the defendant and the people.

If the trier of fact is a jury and has been unable to reach a unanimous verdict as to what the penalty shall be, the court shall dismiss the jury and shall order a new jury impaneled to try the issue as to what the penalty shall be. If the new jury is unable to reach a unanimous verdict as to what the penalty shall be, the court in its discretion shall either order a new jury or impose a punishment of confinement in the state prison for a term of 15 years to life.

(g) Evidence presented at any prior phase of the trial, including any proceeding under a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity pursuant to Section 1026, shall be considered at any subsequent phase of the trial, if the trier of fact of the prior phase is the same trier of fact at the subsequent phase.

(h) In the proceeding on the question of penalty, evidence may be presented by both the people and the defendant as to any matter relevant to aggravation, mitigation, and sentence, including, but not limited to, the nature and circumstances of the present offense, any prior felony conviction or convictions whether or not such conviction or convictions involved a crime of violence, the presence or absence of other criminal activity by the defendant which involved the use or attempted use of force or violence or which involved the express or implied threat to use force or violence, and the defendant s character, background, history, mental condition, and physical condition.

However, no evidence shall be admitted regarding other criminal activity by the defendant which did not involve the use or attempted use of force or violence or which did not involve the express or implied threat to use force or violence. As used in this section, criminal activity does not require a conviction.

However, in no event shall evidence of prior criminal activity be admitted for an offense for which the defendant was prosecuted and acquitted. The restriction on the use of this evidence is intended to apply only to proceedings pursuant to this section and is not intended to affect statutory or decisional law allowing such evidence to be used in any other proceedings.

Except for evidence in proof of the offense or the prior prison term for murder of the first or second degree which subjects a defendant to the punishment of life without the possibility of parole, no evidence may be presented by the prosecution in aggravation unless notice of the evidence to be introduced has been given to the defendant within a reasonable period of time as determined by the court, prior to trial. Evidence may be introduced without such notice in rebuttal to evidence introduced by the defendant in mitigation.

In determining the penalty, the trier of fact shall take into account any of the following factors if relevant:

(1) The circumstances of the crime of which the defendant was convicted in the present proceeding and the existence of the prior prison term for murder.

(2) The presence or absence of criminal activity by the defendant which involved the use or attempted use of force or violence or the express or implied threat to use force or violence.

(3) The presence or absence of any prior felony conviction.

(4) Whether or not the offense was committed while the defendant was under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance.

(5) Whether or not the victim was a participant in the defendant s homicidal conduct or consented to the homicidal act.

(6) Whether or not the offense was committed under circumstances which the defendant reasonably believed to be a moral justification or extenuation for his or her conduct.

(7) Whether or not the defendant acted under extreme duress or under the substantial domination of another person.

(8) Whether or not at the time of the offense the ability of the defendant to appreciate the criminality of his or her conduct or to conform his or her conduct to the requirements of law was impaired as a result of mental disease or defect, or the effects of intoxication.

(9) The age of the defendant at the time of the crime.

(10) Whether or not the defendant was an accomplice to the offense and his or her participation in the commission of the offense was relatively minor.

(11) Any other circumstance which extenuates the gravity of the crime even though it is not a legal excuse for the crime.

After having heard and received all of the evidence, and after having heard and considered the arguments of counsel, the trier of fact shall consider, take into account, and be guided by the aggravating and mitigating circumstances referred to in this section, and shall impose a sentence of life without the possibility of parole if the trier of fact concludes that the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating circumstances. If the trier of fact determines that the mitigating circumstances outweigh the aggravating circumstances, the trier of fact shall impose a sentence of confinement in the state prison for 15 years to life.

(i) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the charging of finding of any special circumstance pursuant to Sections 190.1, 190.2, 190.3, 190.4, and 190.5.

(Added by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1510, Sec. 1.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016