California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several pieces of legislation Wednesday intended to advance racial justice and end systemic racism in the legal system.
Two of the items are by Assemblymember Shirley Weber. One, AB 3121, establishes a task force to inform Californians about enslavement and explore state reparation options. The second, AB 3070, will strengthen jury selection procedures and ensure attorney challenges that exclude potential jurors are not discriminatory.
The final assembly bill signed by Newsom is AB 2542, by Assemblymember Ash Kalra. The bill, called the California Racial Justice Act, prohibits the use of race, ethnicity or national origin to seek or obtain convictions or sentence impositions.
“I am grateful to Governor Newsom for signing AB 2542 and his commitment to rooting out racism from our courts,” said Kalra in a press release. “Although there is still much more work to do in fixing our broken criminal justice system, the Racial Justice Act is an historic foundational step in upholding Constitutional protections for everyone and moving us closer to a system that truly reflects justice for all.”