Reverse racial discrimination in the CA justice system: Pass AB256

Reverse racial discrimination in the CA justice system: Pass AB256

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Cierra Ashdown started this petition to California State Senate and

In the United States, biases related to race, ethnicity, and nationality have historically impacted court rulings, disproportionately and negatively affecting people of color. Research has demonstrated that Black and Latino men have a greater chance of being sentenced to prison than a white male who committed a similar felony offense by 42% and 32.5%, respectively. While some Supreme Court justices have acknowledged this disparity, the McCleskey v. Kemp ruling asserted that unless a defendant could prove that intentional and explicit discrimination impacted their case, they could not challenge the outcome. This ruling, however, required the defendant to demonstrate the presence of explicit bias and did not account for the presence of the implicit bias that is often present in legal proceedings.

The California Racial Justice Act of 2020 banned any future sentencing or convictions that resulted from bias related to race, ethnicity, or nationality. It enabled individuals who have been charged or convicted of a crime to challenge their case if they suspect that the presence of bias impacted the outcome. This legislation paved the way for people of color to seek justice and racial equity in the court system; however, this legislation is only applicable to people who receive sentences or convictions after January 1, 2021. This prospective approach is a notable improvement but prevents the attainment of rightful justice for Americans who were wrongly charged, convicted, and sentenced before this date. In order to work toward true equity, this legislation must be expanded to include all Americans impacted by racial injustice in the criminal justice system.

For more information on AB256 or to contact your local representative, go to:

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

http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

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

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