The lead prosecutor for Los Angeles County announced on Thursday that her office had teamed with a nonprofit tech group to clear 66,000 past marijuana convictions, some going back as long as six decades. Earlier this week, District Attorney Jackie Lacey filed a motion to erase 66,000 felony convictions going back to 1961 and another 4,000 convictions for misdemeanor offenses from 10 cities in Los Angeles County.
The motion was signed by Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta on Tuesday. With the judge’s order, approximately 22,000 offenders will no longer have a felony on the records. Another 15,000 will no longer have any criminal record at all.
“The dismissal of tens of thousands of old cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles County will bring much-needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws,” Lacey said in a statement.
In total, 53,000 people had convictions cleared from their records. Of those, 45% are Latino, 32% are Black, and 20% are white. The district attorney’s office determined that an additional 2,142 convictions identified for possible relief were not eligible because of the offenders’ other criminal convictions.
Rectifying Racial Bias
Lacey said the expungement of criminal records