This is simply a bad idea

There’s not much I can say except this is a bad idea:

The provision, which passed the Legislature’s Finance Committee 9-6 earlier this week, would expand judges’ authority to expunge criminal convictions. The current law, in effect since 1975, allows judges to expunge a first-time misdemeanor conviction of perpetrators who were 21 or younger. The budget provision would expand that authority, increasing the maximum age to 25 and including some felonies. It also would remove any trace of the conviction from the public record.

Expungement shouldn’t be easy, nor should it be available for felons who’ve committed offenses like possession of illegal drugs with intent to deliver. Governor Doyle got this one wrong, in my humble opinion.

The Reasonable Progressive has more.


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3 thoughts on “This is simply a bad idea

  1. I hope that we can agree that people with hope tend to achieve more. And can we agree that many people give up when they feel that all hope is lost?

    In boot camp (I worked in and around RTC for decades) the WORST offenders were those with no hope. And I bet similar things happen in the prison system and society at large.

    I see this as giving hope to the elligible people that may need it. The “carrot” of expungement just might keep someone on the right path. In contrast, the stick of no hope just may make some people worse.

    But as always, I could be wrong. I’m sure there are many other ways to achieve hope and keep people straight. But this seems like a cheap one that just might work.

  2. Rich, given what I do for a living, I understand all too well how powerful hope can be when it comes to someone who wants to make a change in their life. I’m not advocating for taking away hope; I simply think there should be limits as to who should be eligible for expungement, and I think this move goes just a little too far. I do want to say I support increasing the minimum age, but I just don’t think that some of the felony offenses this would make eligible for expungement should be expungable.

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