66,000 marijuana convictions will be dismissed in Los Angeles county by District Attorney Jackie Lacey, in an attempt to recognize how people of colour are disproportionately affected by drug-related law enforcement.
L.A. Country District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that tens of thousands of marijuana convictions will be dismissed, as she recognizes how people of colour are disproportionately affected by this type of law enforcement. "The dismissal of tens of thousands of old cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles County will bring much-needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws," Lacey noted in a press release. "I am privileged to be part of a system dedicated to finding innovative solutions and implementing meaningful criminal justice reform that gives all people the support they need to build the life they deserve."
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This order will dismiss 62,000 felony convictions for mostly marijuana sales and cultivation, along with almost 4,000 misdemeanor possession cases.Some of the felony convictions date all the way back to 1961. This motion will apply to cases across ten county cities: L.A., Long Beach, Torrance, Pasadena, Inglewood, Burbank, Santa Monica, Hawthorne, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach. As a result, 53,000 people will benefit from conviction relief. The statistics for this number are staggering: 45 percent of these individuals are Latino, 32 percent are black, 20 percent are white, and three percent are "other or unknown." County prosecutors must be notified of all eligible cases by July 1st, after which they will review and determine whether the proposed dismissal or resentencing should be challenged for each case.
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The announcement was made in partnership Code for America, a non-profit group that launched an algorithm to identify convictions eligible for relief under Proposition 64, the law that made the possession and purchase of marijuana within the state legal. "Today’s action marks the completion of our California Clear My Record pilot, through which we will have helped to dismiss and seal more than 85,000 marijuana convictions across the state," Evonne Silva, Code for America's Senior Program Director of Criminal Justice, said in the press release. "This is a clear demonstration that automatic record clearance is possible at scale and can help to right the wrongs of the failed war on drugs. Looking forward, Code for America stands at the ready to help all California counties provide this much needed relief."