California Passes Legislation to Make Racial Justice Act Retroactive, Remove Permanently Mentally Incompetent Prisoners from Death Row

The Death Penalty Info. Center: “One week before passing the Racial Justice for All Act (discussed in detail in the article), the legislature also passed AB 2657, a bill that requires courts to vacate the death sentences of people who have become permanently incompetent to be executed.”

The article ends by explaining: “The bill is part of a larger national trend toward limiting the use of capital punishment against people with severe mental illness. Ohio and Kentucky passed bills in 2021 and 2022, respectively, to prohibit the death penalty for people with serious mental illness. The California bill, if enacted, would not prohibit people with mental illness from being sentenced to death, but would reduce their sentences to life without parole if their mental illness rendered them permanently incompetent to be executed.”


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Mental Health Courts

Mental health courts (MHCs) are specialized programs designed to address the legal issues and treatment needs of individuals with mental health disabilities and substance use

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