In a case that sparked outrage, a defense psychologist last year convinced a Texas judge that a teenage drunk driver, who killed four people, should get probation instead of prison time because he had an overly indulgent upbringing.
Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto says his bill would even the playing field for sentencing in cases like this.
“The wealthy will always be able to afford better lawyers,” says Gatto. “But there are certain things we can change. The laws can be made to knock out some of these defenses that are a little hard for us to believe.”
If the bill passes, it would make California the first state to ban the so-called “affluenza” court defense.
The Assembly Rules Committee has passed the bill on to the Public Safety Committee.
The California Legislature is expected to adjourn its two-year session just past midnight Friday. It's an early end to what has so far been a surprisingly calm final week.
California's Senate passed a bill that would require public institutions of higher education to adopt procedures to prevent campus sexual assault and domestic violence, and to assist victims.
A bill that would require toy guns to be painted with markings to show they are fake has passed the state legislature.
The California Legislature’s “gut-and-amend” process is highly criticized, but lawmakers defend it as necessary.
Sources tell Capital Public Radio that a deal has been reached for legislation that would tighten regulations for ride-sharing companies.