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Bill would allow new trials for defendants convicted on basis of flawed expert testimony


SACRAMENTO, California — The state Assembly has approved a bill that would allow new trials for defendants who are convicted using false or outdated expert testimony.

SB1058 passed Monday on a 59-1 vote. It is expected to head to the governor's desk after Senate lawmakers approve amendments.

The bill by Democratic Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco responds to a California Supreme Court decision denying a new trial for a man who argued that false expert testimony led to his conviction.

Republican Assemblyman Brian Maienschein of San Diego told lawmakers the bill would not guarantee overturned convictions. Instead, it allows judge to consider false expert opinions as a reason for a new trial.

The bill also includes provisions that protect experts from lawsuits if they testified in good faith.

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