California Victim Compensation Board
Open Meeting Minutes
August 24, 2023, Board Meeting
The California Victim Compensation Board (Board) convened its meeting in open session upon the call of the Chair, Gabriel Ravel, General Counsel of the Government Operations Agency, acting for, and in the absence of Amy Tong, Secretary of the Government Operations Agency, at 400 R Street, Room 330, Sacramento, California, on Thursday, August 24, 2023, at 10:02 a.m. Also present was Member Evan Johnson, acting for, and in the absence of, Malia Cohen, Controller. Appearing via Zoom was Member Diana Becton, District Attorney.
Executive Officer Lynda Gledhill, and Chief Counsel Kim Gauthier, attended in person at 400 R Street, Sacramento, California. Board Liaison, Andrea Burrell, was also present and recorded the meeting.
Item 1. PC 4900 Claim No. 23-ECO-31, Daniel Saldana
This presentation was given by Chief Counsel, Kim Gauthier. Ms. Gauthier gave a brief summary of the Penal Code section 4900 claim filed by Daniel Saldana.
On July 24, 2023, Daniel Saldana filed an application as an erroneously convicted person with the California Victim Compensation Board. That application was based on his 1990 convictions for attempted murder and related charges, which were vacated and dismissed during state habeas proceedings in May of 2023. Also, during that same hearing the court granted a motion for a finding of factual innocence pursuant to subdivision (b) of Penal Code section 1485.55.
As mandated by Penal Code section 1485.55, and the finding of factual innocence, the proposed decision recommends compensation in the amount of $1,705,340, which represents $140 per day for each of the 12,181 days Mr. Saldana was wrongfully imprisoned.
Mr. Saldana has been represented throughout these proceedings by Michael Romano of the Three Strikes Project at Stanford Law School. As this claim involves a finding of factual innocence, no appearance was requested by the Office of the Attorney General; however, Deputy Attorney General Dina Petrushenko is present and also prepared to address the Board.
Chairperson Ravel asked that counsel for Mr. Saldana address the Board first. Michael Romano thanked the Board for processing the claim quickly.
Chair Ravel thanked Mr. Romano for appearing before the Board and for his comments and asked if Mr. Saldana wanted to address the Board.
Mr. Saldana just wanted to thank the Board.
Chair Ravel asked if Ms. Petrushenko from the Attorney General’s Office wished to address the Board.
Ms. Petrushenko, who appeared via Zoom, acknowledged that compensation is automatic in this case and noted that the Attorney General had no comments on the merits of the claim. Chairperson Ravel thanked Ms. Petrushenko for appearing before the Board.
Member Becton moved to adopt the Hearing Officer’s Proposed Decision in the Penal Code section 4900 matter of Daniel Saldana. The motion was seconded by Member Johnson. The motion was approved by a unanimous vote of the Board and the Proposed Decision was adopted.
Member Johnson moved for the adjournment of the August Board meeting. Member Becton seconded the motion. The motion was adopted by a unanimous vote of the Board and the meeting was adjourned at 10:08 a.m.
Next Board Meeting
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 14, 2023.