Los Angeles County prosecutors are partnering with a nonprofit expertise agency to wipe out or scale back as much as 66,000 marijuana convictions that disproportionately impacted minorities over many years.
The trouble comes a number of years after California voters legalized the drug. The county is working with Code for America, which makes use of a program to seek out circumstances amongst decades-old court docket paperwork which might be eligible below this system.
“The dismissal of tens of 1000’s of outdated cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles County will deliver much-needed aid to communities of shade that disproportionately suffered the unjust penalties of our nation’s drug legal guidelines,” District Lawyer Jackie Lacey mentioned in a statement.
On Thursday, a decide granted a request from prosecutors to dismiss 62,000 felony marijuana convictions courting again to 1961. Lacey’s workplace additionally requested the court docket to erase 4,000 misdemeanor marijuana possession circumstances.
Of 53,000 individuals in Los Angeles County who’ve obtained aid below the plan, roughly 45 p.c are Latino, 32 p.c are African American, 20 p.c are white and three p.c are different or unknown.
Studies have proven communities of shade have borne the brunt of marijuana enforcement efforts regardless that whites use and promote marijuana at comparable charges. Blacks are jailed at greater charges in California for marijuana-related crimes regardless that they account for under 6 p.c of the state’s inhabitants.
In an effort to broaden this system, Code for America has supplied its companies to all 58 district attorneys within the state.
“It is a clear demonstration that computerized document clearance is feasible at scale and may help to proper the wrongs of the failed conflict on medication,” Evonne Silva, Code for America’s senior program director of legal justice, mentioned in an announcement.
The pc program identifies eligible circumstances and fills out types to file with courts. It could analyze conviction eligibility for about 10,000 individuals per minute, versus the time it might take staff to dig by data.
With the most recent motion, Code for America can have helped dismiss greater than 85,000 marijuana convictions in 5 counties together with San Francisco, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Contra Costa, officers mentioned.
The Related Press contributed to this report.