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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

The not-so-permanent record

Anybody think this is a good idea?

— After waiting at least five years after their convictions, Hoosiers who commit minor crimes could have those convictions expunged, or removed, from their court records under a bill headed toGov. Mike Pence’s desk.

The Indiana House voted 78-19 Monday to send House Bill 1482 on to Pence’s desk, where the Republican will decide whether to veto it or allow the measure to become law. The Senate had already approved the bill, 39-11.

“When somebody’s made a mistake, they shouldn’t necessarily have to live with it forever. And if they can show atonement for that and they can prove to somebody that they’re ready to get back into society, we should give them that chance,” said the measure’s author, Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville.

Given the wide margins it passed by in both the House and Senate, maybe I'm being unduly alarmist. And this is certainly better than the mess we have now, which basically allows offenders to have two sets of records and actually lie to prospective employers. But "they shouldn't have to live with it forever" seems to grant a dispensation none of the rest of us get. The things you do do follow you forever. Yes, I think people deserve a second chance, especially if they've stayed clean for a number of years. But I'm not sure letting them hide what they've done is the best approach.


Tue, 04/23/2013 - 7:57pm

I believe I read that DWI's are on the list.  I really find that wrong, I don't have any sympathy for those caught at that and think the penalties ought to be stronger and the wiggle room to get the charges reduced eliminated.  Some things are more than, "I made a little mistake".