Help Us Pass AB 256: CA Racial Justice Act for ALL

Help Us Pass AB 256: CA Racial Justice Act for ALL

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MSW 521 Students started this petition to California State House and

AB 256 was introduced on January 14, 2021, as an extension to the California Racial Justice Act of 2020. The California Racial Justice Act (RJA) was enacted in 2020 to prevent the state from “seeking or obtaining a criminal conviction, or from imposing a sentence, based upon race, ethnicity or national origin.” The California RJA is a prospective law which means it is only applicable to cases where the court judgment was not final before January 1, 2021. 

RJA allows defendants to file a motion during the trial or post-conviction if they believe racial bias played a role in their case. If discrimination is proven, the case can be retried, or the judge can adjust sentencing or charges. While this bill is certainly a step in the right direction towards achieving racial justice, it does not retroactively change cases that may have been impacted by discrimination.

Research shows that Black men who are convicted of a felony are 42% more likely to be sentenced to prison than white men convicted of a felony. Similarly, Latino men who are convicted of a felony are 32.5% are more likely to be sent to prison.
A person convicted of a crime has to challenge a racial bias; they are not awarded an equal opportunity to pursue justice

AB 256 is a retroactive bill that would extend these protections of the RJA to all individuals who believe racial bias played a role in their conviction. AB 256 would allow individuals who may have been harmed by unfair convictions and sentences, an opportunity to pursue justice. This bill is important because of the long history of over-policing and overrepresentation of black and brown people in the incarcerated population. 

 

Join us on our fight to achieve racial justice! To learn more about AB 256 click here:

AB 256 Advocacy Points

https://aclucaaction.org/ab-256-racial-justice-for-all/

https://www.initiatejustice.org/project/ab256/

 

References:

CA State Assembly Democratic Caucus. (2021, January 15). Assemblymember Kalra Announces New California Racial Justice Act for All. CA State Assembly Democratic Caucus. https://asmdc.org/press-releases/assemblymember-kalra-announces-new-california-racial-justice-act-all

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB256

https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.naswca.org/resource/resmgr/files/2021lld/AB256FactSheet.pdf

 

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