SB 1437 is a senate bill that has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, a law that goes into effect on the first day of the new year. What does this mean for convicted felons who are behind bars for a murder that occurred during a burglary, robbery, or other circumstances in which the offender did not directly assist in killing the victim or was not a key participant in the underlying felony who acted with careless negligence to the life of the deceased?
To put it simply, SB 1437 would make it unlawful for a person to be held liable for murder if that person did not act with careless disregard or indifference to human life in regards to the deceased, and did not kill or intend to kill the victim.
According to reports, in San Diego alone there are about 150 cases that could be affected by the new law; those convicted of felony murder could ultimately find themselves free and outside of prison walls should a second chance in court prove successful. In total, up to 800 cases in California might be impacted by this new change to the state’s felony murder law. While some are praising the new law, others believe it goes too far and could put the public’s safety in jeopardy.