In a disappointing move, L.A. county’s DA announced she would not be following the lead of her counterparts in San Francisco and San Diego, who are dismissing or reducing thousands of past misdemeanor and felony marijuana convictions due to the legalization of the substance this year.
This is particularly concerning as the L.A. District Attorney’s Office prosecuted more people for violating marijuana laws than any other prosecutor’s office in the state. By not acting to correct past convictions, the livelihood of thousands of people living in the county is potentially jeopardized as criminal record can disqualify an individual from some jobs and even housing.
San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said he also has no plans to proactively clear people’s records either. His biggest concern, he said in a disturbing statement, is not being able to use those old convictions for sentence enhancements that increase jail time for individuals in the future. Read the articel here.
Alexandra Mallick is the Executive Director of Re:store Justice. Her work in California includes policy and advocacy to advance criminal justice reform. In addition to working on legislation, she works with incarcerated individuals to help change the narrative and shine a light on the power of rehabilitation.