SACRAMENTO — The Senate on Thursday rejected a bill--prompted by the verdicts in the Rodney G. King beating case--that would introduce racial demographics as a factor when a judge picks a different site for a criminal trial.
The author, Sen. Milton Marks (D-San Francisco), took steps to revive the measure, but it could be running out of time as the Legislature's 1992 session winds down.
Marks' proposal would require a judge, when deciding to transfer a felony case, to hold a hearing to determine the location.
Among the factors the judge could consider would be the racial and gender makeup of the counties likely to be given the case. "It just provides two more items that a judge can consider," said a Marks aide. "We still invest enormous discretion with the judge."