Petition To Seek Re-Sentencing Of Felony Offense Under Senate Bill 6164

June 16, 2020 Written by
Washington Senate Bill 6164 Washington Senate Bill 6164 Washington Defense Attorney Jennifer Witt

 

Effective June 11th, a new re-sentencing option was enacted through Senate Bill 6164. This bill allows for a Prosecutor to petition the sentencing court to ask for a lesser sentence.

 

Important facts to know before the petition can be made.

 

1.  Under the Bill, the Prosecutor can petition for a reduction if, “the person’s sentence no longer advances interests of justice. The purpose of sentencing is to advance public safety through punishment, rehabilitation, and restorative justice. When a sentence includes incarceration, this purpose is best served by terms that are proportionate to the seriousness of the offense and provide uniformity with the sentences of offenders committing the same offense under similar circumstances.”


2.  The review applies to sentencing on a felony offense.


3.  The Prosecutor shall make reasonable efforts to notify victims and survivors of victims of the petition for resentencing and the date of the hearing.


4.  The sentencing Court has discretion. This means the Court may deny the request and not hear the Prosecutor’s petition.

 

According the Bill, there are certain relevant post-conviction factors that the Court will consider.

 

1.  The inmate’s disciplinary record and record of rehabilitation will be reviewed.


2.  The Prosecutor can provide evidence that the inmate’s age, time served, and diminished physical condition have reduced the inmate’s risk for future violence.


3.  The Prosecutor can provide evidence that reflects “changed circumstances” since original sentencing that substantiates the fact that the current sentence no longer serves the interest of justice.

 

Clearly, the key to this petition is having a willing and available department at your local prosecutor’s office to handle such matters. In King County, the Prosecutor has released this statement on their website:

 

“We, at the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (KCPAO) are excited at the enactment of this law and to announce the creation of a new unit, the Sentence Review Unit, to manage this work in our office. This new law allows us to continue and strengthen our existing criminal justice reform efforts. For the past thirteen years, the KCPAO has reviewed old cases with an emphasis on “Three Strikes” cases where a person was sentenced to life for committing a robbery in the 2nd degree. The purpose of the review of old cases is to determine if the sentence is consistent with current principles of justice. For example, 2nd degree robbery is no longer counted as a strike under Washington law.”

 

When we learn how Pierce or Kitsap Counties are proceeding with these petitions, we will update our website. If you have any additional questions, contact our office at 360.792.1000.