Ensure Racial Justice for All
Pass AB 256
This past year further exposed what many of us already know, the color of your skin determines your outcome with the law. The California Racial Justice Act (RJA), passed in 2020, prohibits the state from seeking or obtaining a criminal conviction, or from imposing a sentence, based upon race, ethnicity or national origin. The RJA made it possible for a person charged or convicted of a crime to challenge racial bias in their case but it only applies to cases prospectively, from January 1, 2021 onward.
We must extend the protections of the Racial Justice Act to those already impacted by these decisions currently serving out unjust sentences. AB 256 will ensure that everyone is afforded the opportunity to pursue justice. These protections address:
- Intentional bias directed at the defendant by an attorney, judge, juror, law enforcement officer or expert witness.
- Racially coded language used in court, for example, prosecutors comparing the defendant to an animal in a closing argument.
- Racial disparities in charges and convictions.
- Racial disparities in sentences.
RJA for All will ensure that all Black and Brown people have a path to challenge racist sentences – no matter how long ago it was. These individuals deserve justice and they have waited long enough!