California’s legal system is plagued by racial disparities and discrimination in arrest, trial and sentencing. For far too long pervasive, structural racism has led to unfair convictions and lengthy sentences for those who are Black, Brown, Indigenous, Native and people of color. Courts only reverse convictions in the most extreme cases, when there is strong evidence of intentional discrimination. In most cases, the courts don’t act, or worse yet, condemn discrimination but call it “harmless error.”
Racial discrimination in our criminal legal system is not inevitable, it is not unfixable, and it is not harmless. AB 2200, the California Racial Justice Act, introduced by Assemblymember Ash Kalra, will prohibit racial discrimination in convictions and sentences and create a process to challenge racial discrimination at trial or following conviction. You can find more information in this fact sheet.
Please join us in support of AB 2200 (Kalra) by taking these simple steps:
- Submit your support letter for AB 2200 by Tuesday, March 31. Here’s a sample support letter to download and customize with your organization’s letterhead.
– Share a signed copy of your letter with Amber-Rose Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Submit your letter through the Online Portal: calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates
– Share Facebook graphics and Twitter graphics through social media with the hashtag #ConfrontRacism
To have a better sense of the discrimination faced by those impacted by the criminal legal system, we are asking people who were formerly incarcerated about experiences during court proceedings and sentencing. If you experienced racial bias in your legal process, please fill out this survey. If not, please share it with your networks. We appreciate your help, consideration, and feedback.
Thank you for your support. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
*On behalf of the co-sponsoring organizations American Friends Service Committee, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the League of Women Voters of California, and NexGen California.