Santa Clara County, California officials are expected today to reduce or expunge more than 11,500 backlogged cannabis convictions for more than 9,000 people, NBC Bay Area reports.
Presiding Judge Deborah A. Ryan said she hopes the process “will provide a sense of closure to those individuals” impacted by the reforms. Cannabis convictions that involved firearms possession, child endangerment, or destruction of the environment are not subject to the criminal reform provisions under the state’s legalization law.
“Having a clear record also will assist those seeking employment, an issue that is especially important as businesses begin the process of reopening.” – Ryan in a statement via NBC Bay Area
In 2018, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to help streamline cannabis conviction record expungement. Experts estimate up to 220,000 cases could be converted to a lesser charge or removed from records.
Last year, Los Angeles County worked with Code for America to expunge 62,000 felony cannabis convictions and 4,000 misdemeanor convictions dating back to 1961. The tech firm also worked with the city of San Francisco to expunge 9,362 felony and misdemeanor cannabis convictions dating from as far back as 1975.
The process of identifying convictions eligible for expungement or reduction was completed through a collaboration between the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender, the Santa Clara County Technology Services and Solutions, and the Superior Court Information Services Bureau.
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