2009 California Government Code - Section 68660-68666 :: Chapter 2.3. California Habeas Corpus Resource CenterGOVERNMENT CODE
68660. As used in this chapter, "center" means the California Habeas Corpus Resource Center, and "board" means the board of directors of the center. 68661. There is hereby created in the judicial branch of state government the California Habeas Corpus Resource Center, which shall have all of the following general powers and duties: (a) To employ up to 34 attorneys who may be appointed by the Supreme Court to represent any person convicted and sentenced to death in this state who is without counsel, and who is determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be indigent, for the purpose of instituting and prosecuting postconviction actions in the state and federal courts, challenging the legality of the judgment or sentence imposed against that person, and preparing petitions for executive clemency. An appointment may be concurrent with the appointment of the State Public Defender or other counsel for purposes of direct appeal under Section 11 of Article VI of the California Constitution. (b) To seek reimbursement for representation and expenses pursuant to Section 3006A of Title 18 of the United States Code when providing representation to indigent persons in the federal courts and process those payments via the Federal Trust Fund. (c) To work with the Supreme Court in recruiting members of the private bar to accept death penalty habeas corpus case appointments. (d) To establish and periodically update a roster of attorneys qualified as counsel in postconviction proceedings in capital cases. (e) To establish and periodically update a roster of experienced investigators and experts who are qualified to assist counsel in postconviction proceedings in capital cases. (f) To employ investigators and experts as staff to provide services to appointed counsel upon request of counsel, provided that when the provision of those services is to private counsel under appointment by the Supreme Court, those services shall be pursuant to contract between appointed counsel and the center. (g) To provide legal or other advice or, to the extent not otherwise available, any other assistance to appointed counsel in postconviction proceedings as is appropriate when not prohibited by law. (h) To develop a brief bank of pleadings and related materials on significant, recurring issues that arise in postconviction proceedings in capital cases and to make those briefs available to appointed counsel. (i) To evaluate cases and recommend assignment by the court of appropriate attorneys. (j) To provide assistance and case progress monitoring as needed. (k) To timely review case billings and recommend compensation of members of the private bar to the court. (l) The center shall report annually to the Legislature, the Governor, and the Supreme Court on the status of the appointment of counsel for indigent persons in postconviction capital cases, and on the operations of the center. On or before January 1, 2000, the Legislative Analyst's Office shall evaluate the available reports. 68662. The Supreme Court shall offer to appoint counsel to represent all state prisoners subject to a capital sentence for purposes of state postconviction proceedings, and shall enter an order containing one of the following: (a) The appointment of one or more counsel to represent the prisoner in postconviction state proceedings upon a finding that the person is indigent and has accepted the offer to appoint counsel or is unable to competently decide whether to accept or reject that offer. (b) A finding, after a hearing if necessary, that the prisoner rejected the offer to appoint counsel and made that decision with full understanding of the legal consequences of the decision. (c) The denial to appoint counsel upon a finding that the person is not indigent. 68663. No counsel appointed to represent a state prisoner under capital sentence in state postconviction proceedings shall have previously represented the prisoner at trial or on direct appeal in the case for which the appointment is made, unless the prisoner and counsel expressly requests continued representation. 68664. (a) The center shall be managed by an executive director who shall be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the center. (b) The executive director shall be chosen by a five-member board of directors and confirmed by the Senate. Each Appellate Project shall appoint one board member, all of whom shall be attorneys. However, no attorney who is employed as a judge, prosecutor, or in a law enforcement capacity shall be eligible to serve on the board. The executive director shall serve at the will of the board. (c) Each member of the board shall be appointed to serve a four-year term, and vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. Members of the board shall receive no compensation, but shall be reimbursed for all reasonable and necessary expenses incidental to their duties. The first members of the board shall be appointed no later than February 1, 1998. (d) The executive director shall meet the appointment qualifications of the State Public Defender as specified in Section 15400. (e) The executive director shall receive the salary that shall be specified for the executive director in Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 11550) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2. 68665. The Judicial Council and the Supreme Court shall adopt, by rule of court, binding and mandatory competency standards for the appointment of counsel in death penalty direct appeals and habeas corpus proceedings. 68666. (a) The Supreme Court may compensate counsel representing indigent defendants in automatic appeals arising out of a judgment of death or for state postconviction proceedings in those cases, at a rate of at least one hundred twenty-five dollars ($125) per allowable hour, as defined by the court's Payment Guidelines for Appointed Counsel Representing Indigent Criminal Appellants. However, nothing in this section is intended to prohibit the hiring of counsel under a flat-fee arrangement. (b) The Supreme Court may set a guideline limitation on investigative and other expenses allowable for counsel to adequately investigate and present collateral claims of up to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) without an order to show cause. (c) It is the intent of the Legislature that payments to appointed counsel be made within 60 days of submission of a billing.
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