Conviction Review 1172.1

The Post Conviction Review Unit is dedicated to promoting fair and just sentencing practices and correcting excessive sentences. Prosecutors have a duty to seek justice and protect public safety, and that also means ensuring people serving excessive sentences are released from prison.

Penal Code section 1172.1 was recently amended to allow the District Attorney to recommend resentencing when a prison sentence is excessive or no longer serves the interest of justice.

Priority for review will be given to those inmates who are:

  1. Racial Justice Act / Pen. Code, § 745 referrals;
  2. Serving sentences over 5 years for non-violent, non-serious felonies;
  3. Serving a sentence under the Three Strikes Law;  
  4. Serving an adult term for a crime committed as a minor;
  5. Done serving half of their sentence; AND/OR
  6. Age 65 years or older.

The following categories will be excluded from review:

  1. Murder and voluntary manslaughter convictions where the victim next of kin opposes resentencing;
  2. Felony sex offenses;
  3. Domestic violence offenses;
  4. Offenders with rule violations for battery or assault of another in the past five years; and
  5. 290 registrants.

An interest of justice exception may be made to these exclusions at the discretion of the District Attorney.  If an application is excluded from review based on the above-listed categories, a letter will be sent to the applicant and the applicant’s attorney, if available.  An applicant who receives an exclusion letter may submit another application for consideration in the future, except in those cases where fixed-category exclusions apply, e.g., categories 2 (felony sex offenses), 3 (domestic violence), and 5 (290 registrants), listed above. 

For eligible applicants, the District Attorney’s Office considers the following factors to decide if it will make resentencing motions:

  • Positive post-conviction conduct, such as a good record of rehabilitation and few, if any, rule violations;
  • Strong reentry plans;
  • Input from the victim;
  • Evidence that reflects whether age, time served and diminished physical condition have reduced the inmate’s risk for future violence; and
  • Evidence that reflects that circumstances have changed since the original sentencing so that continued incarceration is no longer in the interest of justice.  Evidence that the defendant’s incarceration is no longer in the interest of justice includes, but is not limited to, evidence that the defendant’s constitutional rights were violated in the proceedings related to the conviction or sentence at issue, and any other evidence that undermines the integrity of the underlying conviction or sentence.

Other factors considered may include:  (1) whether the applicant (a) experienced psychological, physical, or childhood trauma before or during the offense, (b) was a victim of intimate partner violence or human trafficking before or during the offense, or (b) was a youth at the time of the offense and whether those circumstances ((a) to (c)) were a contributing factor in the commission of the offense; and (2) whether the person received a disparate sentence than others for similar conduct.

The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office accepts applications for relief under section 1172.1 on this website.  Cases may also be identified from within the District Attorney’s Office.

The District Attorney’s Office has established a Resentencing Committee to carefully evaluate whether eligible applicants are appropriate for resentencing. Before an applicant’s case is considered by the Resentencing Committee, notice will be given to counsel for the applicant to provide any additional materials for consideration by the Committee. 

A quorum of the Resentencing Committee (four members including the attorney designated to handle resentencing applications from the Post Conviction Review Unit) considers eligible applications.  If a majority recommends relief, the application will be submitted to the District Attorney, who makes the ultimate decision.  Absent extraordinary circumstances, any decision of the Committee or the District Attorney (whichever is later) should be communicated to the applicant and the applicant’s attorney, if available, within a week of that decision. 

Should the Resentencing Committee deny the application after deliberation, the applicant may submit a written request for reconsideration by the Resentencing Committee.  Additional information may be submitted with that request for the Resentencing Committee to consider. 

See below for the full process to apply.  Only San Francisco cases can be reviewed. 

Application process to be considered for 1172.1 resentencing:

  1. Submit an application. Only completed application forms will be reviewed and considered by our office.
  2. The incarcerated person must sign and return this waiver.
  3. A robust reentry plan must be in place

Due to capacity issues, our office will only review fully completed application forms. Letters or other correspondence that are not attached to an application will not be considered.