CA Gov. Gavin Newsom signs legislation addressing racial justice

Gavin Newsom
Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons
The three assembly bills signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom intend to address systemic racism in the legal system and to investigate options concerning reparations for slavery. (Photo by Gage Skidmore under CC BY-SA 2.0)

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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.”

Sebastian Cahill is a deputy news editor. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @SebastianCahil1.