Previously, you could be charged with murder under Penal Code Section 189 if you were involved in the commission of an inherently dangerous or enumerated felony and a person died as a result of the felony. It did not matter if you were the person who actually caused the death. However, California recently changed this law – called the felony murder law – to only apply to individuals who:
- Actually killed the victim
- Aided the killing with the intent to kill, or
- Acted with reckless disregard to human life during the course of committing a felony
Importantly, the new law is retroactive. That means that if you or someone you care about was convicted under the old version of the felony murder law, it is possible to apply for resentencing under Penal Code Section 1170.95. If successful, it could result in a reduction to your sentence and/or an early release from custody.
Inmates Already Being Released under the Felony Murder Rule (PC 189)
Hundreds of inmates who were previously convicted under PC 189 may be eligible for resentencing under the updated felony murder rule. Many have already begun the process. At least one inmate, Adnan Khan, had his sentence reduced less than a month after the law became active.
Khan had served 15 years of a sentence of 25 years to life in prison after being convicted of robbing a marijuana dealer. During the robbery, Khan’s partner in the crime stabbed the dealer to death.
In Khan’s case, his sentence had been reduced by Gov. Jerry Brown, making him eligible for parole, but his murder conviction was still in place. The judge, citing the new law, overturned his conviction and reduced his sentence for the robbery to time served and ordered him released from custody, according to the Associated Press.
How Do I Apply for Resentencing under the Felony Murder Rule? (PC 1170.95)
In order to be resentenced under PC 1170.95, you should seek the help of our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich. At the hearing, our law firm will argue that your actions did not fall within the definition of felony murder under the updated PC 189, and that you should therefore have your felony murder conviction overturned. Your attorney will argue that you did not:
- Actually commit the act of killing someone
- Aid the killing with the intent to kill, or
- Act with reckless disregard to human life during the course of the commission of a felony
The prosecutor can oppose your application to overturn your conviction. You can be assured that if he or she does so, your attorney will counter the arguments of the prosecutor, which could be crucial in persuading the judge to overturn your conviction. Our attorneys will fight aggressively for you to try to get you released from your sentence early.
Contact the Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you believe you or someone you love should be eligible for early release under the new felony murder law, you should seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have more than 40 years of experience successfully helping clients facing charges under the felony murder law. Let us help you today.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.