On October 2, National Wrongful Conviction Awareness Day, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 701 which is co-sponsored by CACJ and Exonerated Nation. When a wrongfully convicted individual is exonerated and released from prison, the bill requires the State of California to cover the cost of the exoneree's housing for up to 4 years. California becomes the first state in the country with this requirement.
"There is nothing perhaps more tragic than when our criminal justice system breaks down and wrongfully convicts someone of a crime they did not commit." Says Jacqueline Goodman, President CACJ, "The least the State of California should do is help exonerees transition to a place to live after spending years or decades in prison. CACJ is proud to co-sponsor this legislation and is grateful for Governor Newsom's commitment to helping exonerees."
CACJ has spent several years working on legislation to address wrongful convictions. CACJ previously sponsored legislation to report prosecutors to the State Bar of California for Brady violations. CACJ also sponsored a new law making it a felony for a prosecutor to withhold exculpatory evidence.