AB651: Whitewashing serious crime
Erika Aguilar | SCPR/KPCC
…The California state Senate is considering a bill that would give people convicted of a so-called “realignment crime” (non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual offense) an opportunity to ask a judge to expunge their criminal conviction. Expungements don’t erase a conviction from someone’s criminal record — instead, it’s listed as dismissed and expunged on a background check.
If an ex-con is granted an expungement, he or she can check the “no” box when answering questions about past convictions on private employment applications.
The bill’s author, Assembly Member Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), told lawmakers during testimony in April that the proposed legislation would help bring down jail recidivism rates. He testified that employers often refuse to consider any applicant that answers yes to that question, even if the candidate is qualified for the job…
Under the proposed legislation, an ex-con sentenced under realignment would have had to complete the jail sentence, including county mandatory supervision if it’s ordered, and wait up to two years before applying for a petition. A judge would decide whether to hear the expungement petition and whether to grant one.
An expunged conviction can eventually disappear from someone’s criminal record after 10 years if that person isn’t convicted of another crime. In certain situations, a person could get a felony conviction dropped to a misdemeanor…
The bill is scheduled for a third vote on the state Senate floor that could take it up on Friday…(Full text at SCPR/KPCC)