State lawmaker introduces bill pertaining to unsolved homicides

By: Emilie St. John

Contributing Writer

CARSON — Assemblyman Mike Gipson has introduced a bill to address unsolved homicide cases, particularly those in his district.

 “Spurred in part by a number of high-profile violent incidents that have taken place the last few months in the harbor area of our Assembly district, we are announcing the introduction of Assembly Bill 2913, related to bringing justice to victims of violent crimes and homicides,” his office said in a statement.

Gipson said the bill is necessary because more could be done.

“California needs to do more to solve homicides, especially in communities hit hardest by gun violence,” he said. “Right now, there are too many cases left unsolved where families lack hope for justice because departments are no longer pursuing leads.”

AB 2913 would require an applicable law enforcement agency to review the case file regarding an open unsolved murder upon written application by a designated person to determine if a reinvestigation would result in probative investigative leads. 

The bill would define an open unsolved murder as a murder committed more than one year prior to the date of the application for case review, that was investigated by a law enforcement agency, was committed after January 1, 1990, where all probative investigative leads have been exhausted, and for which no suspect has been identified. 

If the review determines a reinvestigation would result in probative investigative leads, the bill would require a reinvestigation. The bill would prohibit a reinvestigation from being conducted by a person who previously investigated the homicide at issue and would allow only one reinvestigation being undertaken at any one time with respect to the same victim. 

By imposing new duties on local law enforcement agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. 

The bill would provide that if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions.

“As law, the California Homicide Victims’ Families’ Rights Act would empower those relatives, because it creates consistent processes to reopen closed cases that would also be available when dealing with a department of any size and location,” Gipson said in a statement.

According to Gipson, AB 2913 should not cost the taxpayers money because money was already set aside for this legislation last year.

Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at