Action Alert: Confront Racism in California Courts


Racial Justice Act, California, equality, League of Women Voters

After hundreds of emails, phone calls, and hours of tireless advocacy, the California Racial Justice Act (AB 2542) has passed appropriations and is headed for a senate floor vote. If you took action earlier this month and urged your senator to vote YES on AB 2542 – Thank you! Will you help us finish the job and pass the Racial Justice Act?

Let your state senator know that you support this critical step toward bringing fairness and equity to our criminal justice system. The senate is likely to vote on this any day now so don't delay – tell your senator today to vote YES on the Racial Justice Act!

The time is now to confront racism in our criminal justice system. Act now and urge your state senator to vote yes on the California Racial Justice Act (AB 2542). The Racial Justice Act will prohibit racial discrimination in convictions and sentences and create a process to challenge racial discrimination at trial or following a conviction.

For far too long, pervasive, structural racism has led to unfair convictions and disproportionately long sentences for Black and Brown people in our communities. California convictions and sentences are routinely upheld despite:

  • Blatantly racist statements by attorneys, judges, jurors and expert witnesses;
  • The exclusion of all, or nearly all, Black and Brown people from serving on a jury; and
  • Stark statistical evidence showing systemic bias in charging and sentencing.

Courts only reverse convictions in the most extreme cases. 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. The Racial Justice Act is up for votes and we need your help – act now and tell your senator to vote YES on the Racial Justice Act.

Want to know more about the Racial Justice Act?

Check out this California Racial Justice Act Fact Sheet

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Additional materials: 
PDF icon Racial Justice Fact Sheet233.72 KB