(a) Upon the prosecution of a postconviction writ of habeas corpus or a motion to vacate a judgment in a case in which a sentence of death or of life in prison without the possibility of parole has been imposed, and on a showing that good faith efforts to obtain discovery materials from trial counsel were made and were unsuccessful, the court shall, except as provided in subdivision (c), order that the defendant be provided reasonable access to any of the materials described in subdivision (b).
(b) For purposes of this section, “discovery materials” means materials in the possession of the prosecution and law enforcement authorities to which the same defendant would have been entitled at time of trial.
(c) In response to a writ or motion satisfying the conditions in subdivision (a), court may order that the defendant be provided access to physical evidence for the purpose of examination, including, but not limited to, any physical evidence relating to the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of the defendant only upon a showing that there is good cause to believe that access to physical evidence is reasonably necessary to the defendant’s effort to obtain relief. The procedures for obtaining access to physical evidence for purposes of postconviction DNA testing are provided in Section 1405, and nothing in this section shall provide an alternative means of access to physical evidence for those purposes.
(d) The actual costs of examination or copying pursuant to this section shall be borne or reimbursed by the defendant.
(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 1105, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018