A California state prison study found that 93% of the women who had killed their significant others had been battered by them; 67% of these women indicated the homicide resulted from an attempt to protect themselves or their children.
In 2002, the Legislature passed SB 799 by Senator Betty Karnette which allows incarcerated victims of domestic violence who were convicted of crimes relating to their experiences of being abused, where the crime occurred before August 1996, to submit a petition for writ of habeas corpus. As a result of this bill, nearly 30 women have been released due to enough evidence of abuse. Yet, there are still a remaining 50 women whose cases have fallen through the cracks towards injustice.
There are many cases of incarcerated battered women that have yet to be heard or were overlooked due to the inclusion of expert testimony. Judges simply did not have an understanding of what was admissible. AB 593 seeks to address this issue by doing two things: it will allow victims of domestic violence whose expert testimony was limited at their trial court proceedings to re-file for a writ of habeas corpus to allow expert testimony to weigh in on their defense, and it will also give victims more time to receive legal representation by deleting the 2020 sunset date currently in statute.