A bill in California backed by state Democrats could require judges to take race into account when they sentence a convicted criminal.
Bill 852, which was introduced by Democratic Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer in February, aims to ‘rectify racial bias’ in the justice system.
‘It is the intent of the Legislature to rectify the racial bias that has historically permeated our criminal justice system as documented by the California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans,’ the bill read.
The piece of legislation – which would see judges weighing how persecuted minorities have been – passed in the California House in May.
The controversial bill comes as the state continues to consider the cost and overall implications of paying black residents reparations for slavery and racism. Some groups have touted up to $800billion to be handed to black people as reparations.
If passed by the California Senate and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, the bill would add a section to the Penal Code of California.
‘This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to rectify racial bias, as specified. The bill would require courts, whenever they have discretion to determine a sentence, to consider the disparate impact on historically disenfranchised and system-impacted populations,’ the bill read.
The bill added that race as a factor when making a judgment will help to determine the ‘appropriate sentence according to relevant statutes.’
The goal is to lessen the burden and ‘rectify’ the justice system’s issues with ‘historically disenfranchised and system-impacted populations.’
A representative for Jones-Sawyer’s office – which represents South Central Los Angeles – did not comment on the controversy surrounding the bill but said it would not be proceeding this year.
The spokesperson did not confirm if there were future plans to pursue it again.
Republican Assembly Member Tom Lackey told Fox News Digital he vehemently disagrees with the bill and believes the courts should be color-blind.
‘Our justice system is intended to focus on accountability for behavior without racial considerations,’ said Lackey.
‘The voice of victims and any potential repercussions for public safety should be our highest consideration when making decisions that directly impact California communities,’ the Republican continued.