Thousands of marijuana convictions in Santa Clara County expunged

Thousands of suspects in marijuana cases in the South Bay had their cases dismissed on Wednesday. 

Inside Santa Clara County Superior Court, Judge Eric Geffon adjudicated thousands of marijuana cases at once. And with the blessing of both prosecutors and defense attorneys, the cases were legally and officially dismissed.
“It is testament to the collaboration between the justice partners in this county to get the point where the people deserving of this relief will be able to get it so effectively,” said Geffon.
Two years ago, Californians passed Proposition 64 into law. Under it, the use and cultivation of specified amounts of marijuana are legal. Defendants previously convicted of possession, cultivation, possession for sale, and the sale of marijuana can have their cases wiped from their records.
“For some of these people, their convictions were as old as 50 years. Many of these people have been waiting for years to remove them from their records conducts which is now socially acceptable,” said James Courtman, a representative from the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office.
Former prosecutor and KTVU legal analyst Steven Clark said this first-of-its-kind action by the court could signal a new way forward, once COVID-19 is behind us.
“The criminal court system can do things more efficiently and quicker,” said Clark. “Every one of these people would get this relief. But it saves having to do court appearances, filing motions, and having people in court unnecessarily.” Added Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, “It’s one fewer obstacle that remains for someone to get a job or to get housing or to get different kinds of assistance.” 
Rosen said previously, each of the filings would have needed to be done manually, taking months. Now, using software, the cases are over, the court has time to focus on other, more serious crimes, at a time when judicial access is limited.