Never-Ending Punishment

We propose that the “forever rules” be replaced by rules that provide for the expiration of a criminal record. We believe it is unreasonable for someone to be hounded by a single arrest or conviction that happened more than 20 years earlier — and for many kinds of crimes, the records should be sealed even sooner. The state, as well as private employers, should face a heavy burden to demonstrate the need for any rule that imposes consequences on someone who has remained crime-free decades after a single offense. Yes, there are legitimate exceptions for high-security positions in law enforcement and national security — and there can be exemptions in particular cases; banks cannot afford to hire someone convicted of financial fraud. [Read more]