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.
California lawmakers are turning their attention to fixing the state’s crumbling roads. Assembly Republicans threw their plan into the mix Monday.
Governor Jerry Brown signed the California budget with no fanfare Thursday.
California lawmakers will take final votes on the state budget Friday. The houses will also each vote on several trailer bills that dictate how the budget will be implemented.
Advocates for the developmentally disabled are furious after being left out of this year’s California budget deal. They held a tense rally at the Capitol Wednesday.
California tends to rank near the bottom in voter turnout. But some state officials say a bill announced Wednesday could help improve participation.