San Francisco Uses Computer Algorithm to Dismiss 9,362 Marijuana Convictions

cageymaru

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San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon has teamed up with nonprofit Code For America to use a computer algorithm based on its "Clear My Record" technology to overturn 9,362 marijuana convictions dating back to 1975. The algorithm automated the scanning of many thousands of court records to find cases that were eligible for expungement. California legalized recreational marijuana in 2016 and Proposition 64 allowed for old cases to be overturned. But individuals had to petition the court and the process was confusing, costly and time-consuming. Only 23 cases had been processed in the court system before the computer algorithm was able to perform the task in just minutes. "The cleared records will help people gain employment and be approved for housing and other opportunities they might have been denied because of their criminal records." Code For America says it is hopeful that it can bring the technology to other cities and counties.

"If you are the mom or dad who wants to participate in the kids' school activities and they're being told you can't go to that field trip because you have a felony conviction because you sold a nickel bag in the Tenderloin 10 years ago, that's the people that we care about," said Gascon.

"Contact with the criminal justice system should not be a life sentence, so we've been working to reimagine the record clearance process," Jennifer Pahlka, Code for America founder and executive director, said in a statement."This new approach, which is both innovative and common sense, changes the scale and speed of justice and has the potential to ignite change across the country."
 

AtomClock

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In this life the only thing a person really has are their thoughts and their ability to think... Taking drugs impairs and destroys that one thing that is truly yours... I don't understand the attraction of drugs.

The other thing is that I have heard it said that marijuana and alcohol are the same. In effect this may be true but in reality, if you want to make marijuana illegal then all you have to do is ban any plant that produces THC. On the other hand since almost any food can be made into alcohol the only way to make it illegal is to ban all foods... Not very practical. So with alcohol the best you can do is legalize it and manage it. Simply put, even though alcohol is a narcotic it is not the same as any other drug.
 

sirmonkey1985

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010
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In this life the only thing a person really has are their thoughts and their ability to think... Taking drugs impairs and destroys that one thing that is truly yours... I don't understand the attraction of drugs.

The other thing is that I have heard it said that marijuana and alcohol are the same. In effect this may be true but in reality, if you want to make marijuana illegal then all you have to do is ban any plant that produces THC. On the other hand since almost any food can be made into alcohol the only way to make it illegal is to ban all foods... Not very practical. So with alcohol the best you can do is legalize it and manage it. Simply put, even though alcohol is a narcotic it is not the same as any other drug.
meh it's their choice, not my place to tell people what they should and shouldn't put in their body.
 

KazeoHin

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In this life the only thing a person really has are their thoughts and their ability to think... Taking drugs impairs and destroys that one thing that is truly yours... I don't understand the attraction of drugs.

The other thing is that I have heard it said that marijuana and alcohol are the same. In effect this may be true but in reality, if you want to make marijuana illegal then all you have to do is ban any plant that produces THC. On the other hand since almost any food can be made into alcohol the only way to make it illegal is to ban all foods... Not very practical. So with alcohol the best you can do is legalize it and manage it. Simply put, even though alcohol is a narcotic it is not the same as any other drug.
If an action has no victim, than it is not a crime.
 

Methadras

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Our Courts and Prisons are crammed with weed offenses. That costs more tax dollars than "medical bills for weed addiction".
should there be a limit to tax dollars spent to prosecute crime? And if you limit the money to prosecute the crime, does that negatively impact the quality of a proper defense for a defendant?

Judge: Uh, I see here that we are about to hit a hard budget stop.

Defense atty: But your honor, we can't mount a proper defense on a limited budget from the state. That would be denying my client of due process.

Prosecutor: /Shrug

Is that were this would go?
 

AtomClock

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Our Courts and Prisons are crammed with weed offenses. That costs more tax dollars than "medical bills for weed addiction".
This is one instance where I think we should adopt the Chinese mode. Death penalty for all drug offenses. They learned a hard lesson long ago. China was once a first world country and drugs were legal. Then the excessive drug use in the country effectively destroyed the country.

http://www.historywiz.com/downfall.htm
 

rewted

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This is one instance where I think we should adopt the Chinese mode. Death penalty for all drug offenses. They learned a hard lesson long ago. China was once a first world country and drugs were legal. Then the excessive drug use in the country effectively destroyed the country.

http://www.historywiz.com/downfall.htm
I'm pretty sure communism destroyed the country.
 

Lakados

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I'd prefer my kids to stay away from people who used to sell drugs. At the time they did it it was still illegal.
But at the same time I demonize the people who sell them yet I pity the people who use them, one I look at with disdain the other empathy.... They are really just two sides of the same problem
 

Smoeki

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Maybe when you are paying their medical bills through your taxes... You might rethink that stance.
If that is your stance shouldn't you be advocating to stop that theft and transfer of wealth? Violating someone's right to self ownership in order to feel better that your money is being stolen and your unable or unwilling to fight back doesn't make it ok.
 

Aireoth

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In this life the only thing a person really has are their thoughts and their ability to think... Taking drugs impairs and destroys that one thing that is truly yours... I don't understand the attraction of drugs.

The other thing is that I have heard it said that marijuana and alcohol are the same. In effect this may be true but in reality, if you want to make marijuana illegal then all you have to do is ban any plant that produces THC. On the other hand since almost any food can be made into alcohol the only way to make it illegal is to ban all foods... Not very practical. So with alcohol the best you can do is legalize it and manage it. Simply put, even though alcohol is a narcotic it is not the same as any other drug.
Your analogy is terrible and your hard nose mentality makes me wonder if you really use that brain of yours.

The war on drugs isn't and did not work, it's time to tackle this problem from a different angle. Your thinking just distracts, what we should be doing is putting the revenue from legal alchol, tobacco and weed (Canadian here) into social programs to treat and prevent addiction. Sadly the government will likely just churn it all into general revenue.
 
Joined
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691
meh it's their choice, not my place to tell people what they should and shouldn't put in their body.
you dont really think this do you? i know you wouldn't tell that to a 13 year old coming to you for advice and being pressured into trying drugs. a pregnant woman? a homeless person? its hard to believe you would not tell them to avoid drugs. its possible you would i guess but i don't think people are generally bad, they just say silly things sometimes.
 

ChoGGi

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you dont really think this do you? i know you wouldn't tell that to a 13 year old coming to you for advice and being pressured into trying drugs. a pregnant woman? a homeless person? its hard to believe you would not tell them to avoid drugs. its possible you would i guess but i don't think people are generally bad, they just say silly things sometimes.
I'd tell them, but it's still their choice.
 

SamuelL421

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This is one instance where I think we should adopt the Chinese mode. Death penalty for all drug offenses. They learned a hard lesson long ago. China was once a first world country and drugs were legal. Then the excessive drug use in the country effectively destroyed the country.
Your take on world history is lacking.

1. I believe China has some sort of death penalty on the books for trafficking but that does not equate to "Death penalty for all drug offenses."

2. Greed, complacency, corruption and the fact that they were governed by inept royalty are all factors that led to the republic of China.

3. Also, China was never "destroyed" - at various points the government changed significantly but the people / culture have been from the same lineage for about 2000 years under different names.

/rant
 

Methadras

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Messages
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This is one instance where I think we should adopt the Chinese mode. Death penalty for all drug offenses. They learned a hard lesson long ago. China was once a first world country and drugs were legal. Then the excessive drug use in the country effectively destroyed the country.

http://www.historywiz.com/downfall.htm
If you aren't getting the death penalty for pedophiles, there is zero way you're getting one for drug offenses. Not to mention that even if a death penalty was proper for drug offenses, you'd still have people sitting on death row for decades. The death penalty in the majority of this country is a joke. Justice delayed is justice denied.
 

Messy

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Feb 11, 2004
Messages
163
i don't care what people ingest so long as they are responsible for the results. that includes long term health care and near term things like broken bones from falls or whatever impairment leads to. once anyone becomes my burden i become the boss. at least i strongly feel that it should work that way

i mean this to apply to those who can legally be responsible for themselves - ie: 18+
 

Hatriot

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Jan 18, 2018
Messages
157
The real takeaway from this story is that government employees are so incompetent and resistant to keeping up with the times that they had to hire an outside party to run a SQL query to update a database. Side note...I wish I could go get addicted to something so I could dump my adult responsibilities and problems on others and play the victim. Sorry but f them.
 

Dead Parrot

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Maybe when you are paying their medical bills through your taxes... You might rethink that stance.
If they are locked up up in jail, we are paying 100% of their medical care + 100% of room and board + some very expensive supervision. If they are released, there is a chance they can do something somewhat productive. If they are already out but have that felony record, clearing it might give them a chance to further improve themselves. Before the computer made searching someone's past fairly trivial, there was a US tradition of being able to recover from past miss-deeds and reinvent yourself.
 

panhead

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Maybe when you are paying their medical bills through your taxes... You might rethink that stance.
If you are going to go down that road then start looking at people that are over weight, that don't exercise, don't sleep enough. At least marijuana is taxed heavily and exactly what medical problems are caused by marijuana? Plenty of medical issues caused from the behaviors I mentioned.
 

schizrade

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should there be a limit to tax dollars spent to prosecute crime? And if you limit the money to prosecute the crime, does that negatively impact the quality of a proper defense for a defendant?

Judge: Uh, I see here that we are about to hit a hard budget stop.

Defense atty: But your honor, we can't mount a proper defense on a limited budget from the state. That would be denying my client of due process.

Prosecutor: /Shrug

Is that were this would go?
This is fun. You put words into my mouth.

I am not talking about limiting tax dollars to prosecute crimes, I am talking about the fact that we have record low crime globally but the US is locking people up at increasing rates. The prison industry is shamefully large in the US. The Devil Weed is part of that problem.

Also we punish small time offenders for the rest of their lives. That's what this article is about.
 

schizrade

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4,819
If you are going to go down that road then start looking at people that are over weight, that don't exercise, don't sleep enough. At least marijuana is taxed heavily and exactly what medical problems are caused by marijuana? Plenty of medical issues caused from the behaviors I mentioned.
By the logic of some here, fat people should die like drug offenders. We will let the benevolent government decide who is fat and who is not, then willingly let them execute 50% of the population.
 

schizrade

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Messages
4,819
If they are locked up up in jail, we are paying 100% of their medical care + 100% of room and board + some very expensive supervision. If they are released, there is a chance they can do something somewhat productive. If they are already out but have that felony record, clearing it might give them a chance to further improve themselves. Before the computer made searching someone's past fairly trivial, there was a US tradition of being able to recover from past miss-deeds and reinvent yourself.
Criminal justice in this nation is so broken we forget the end result should be to try and reform people, not brand them for life and destroy them for what is usually small offenses.
 

Nolan7689

[H]ard|Gawd
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Cool, so we’re just handing out mulligans for felonies? I’m curious, when Prohibition ended did the known and wanted bootleggers suddenly become unwanted?
 

AtomClock

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Jul 7, 2018
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Your analogy is terrible and your hard nose mentality makes me wonder if you really use that brain of yours.

The war on drugs isn't and did not work, it's time to tackle this problem from a different angle. Your thinking just distracts, what we should be doing is putting the revenue from legal alchol, tobacco and weed (Canadian here) into social programs to treat and prevent addiction. Sadly the government will likely just churn it all into general revenue.
Never have I read a comment so devoid of thought. Your entire premise is based on the assumption the "War on Drugs" failed. Simply put if you had spent any time at all thinking you would have realized there never was a war on drugs. Yes, there was a federal and state policy stating that we were fighting a war on drugs but there never was an actual attempt to curtail illegal drugs.

Let me lay it out for you. The war on drugs was nothing more than an increase in spending to federal and state law enforcement to prevent drugs from entering this country and to intercede at the point of sale. In very simple terms we spent money to bolster our defenses. It is axiomatic that in both sports and war you cannot defend your way to victory. Since all we did was bolster our defenses it should be no surprise that it has failed. If we were actually to wage a war on drugs, the drugs would be stopped. First, we would recognize the majority of the drugs originate in foreign countries. Then we would employ our armed forces to do things like use air power to fire bomb the fields where the drugs are being grown and deploy ground forces to kill the people who are growing the crops. And many other things. Simply put, we would carry the fight to the enemy which would cut the supply of drugs off at its source.

So based on your solution, if you or your wife are getting raped and you can't stop the rapist, you should just charge him for the ride and then create some social program to help him understand that he is bad. Brilliant thinking on your part. You must be from French Canada.
 

bugleyman

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Messages
1,227
Our Courts and Prisons are crammed with weed offenses. That costs more tax dollars than "medical bills for weed addiction".
Don't you mean NON-EXISTENT medical bills for weed addiction?

The sheer number of people who can't or won't separate "illegal" from "immoral" never ceases to astound me. Just look at all the "law and order" lunacy in this thread.
 
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