Post-Conviction & Special Litigation

About Special Operations Unit

The Special Operations unit handles a wide variety of high-profile projects that require specialized attention from veteran prosecutors.


Senate Bill 1437, which came into effect on January 1, 2019, changed the law governing the applicability of the felony murder and natural and probable consequences doctrines to the crime of murder under Penal Code Sections 188 and 189.  Senate Bill 1437 also created Section 1170.95, which gave previously convicted murder defendants an opportunity to petition the court to have their murder convictions vacated under some circumstances.

First, all principals must now have their own malicious intent in order to be charged with murder.  SB 1437 amended Penal Code section 188 by adding a requirement that all principals to murder must act with express or implied malice to be convicted of that crime.  Second, SB1437 amended Penal Code section 189 by adding a requirement to the felony murder theory that defendants who were not the actual killer or a direct aider and abettor must have been a major participant in the underlying felony and acted with reckless indifference to human life.

Yes, it is retroactive indefinitely.  Convictions, regardless of how long ago they took place, may be challenged under Penal Code Section 1170.95.

Please contact the Post-Conviction & Special Litigation Unit at (714) 347-8547.  Please leave a message and your call will be returned.

Except where a defendant is statutorily ineligible for relief, cannabis-related convictions are being vacated and dismissed or reduced following the mandates of Health & Safety Code section 11361.8 and 11361.9.