fbpx

At long last, “second chance” legislation heads toward final approval

It’s taken much longer than it should have, but it appears that a bipartisan criminal justice bill (emphasis on the word “justice”) with broad support from across the political spectrum (Senate Bill 562) is nearing final passage in Raleigh.

This is from a summary provided by supporters of the bill (which include everyone from the far right Americans for Prosperity to the North Carolina Justice Center – the parent organization of NC Policy Watch):

The Second Chance Act is a bipartisan “clean slate” bill that automatically expunges criminal charges that are dismissed or disposed “not guilty” after July 1, 2020, and allows individuals to petition for expungement of all nonviolent misdemeanor convictions after 7 years of good behavior. The definitions of “nonviolent misdemeanor” and “nonviolent felony” are not changed by this bill. Expunged criminal records are not available to the public, but expunged dismissals and convictions can still be accessed by district attorneys and considered by courts for sentencing if the person re-offends.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously more than a year ago, but has remained stuck in the House for mysterious reasons (rumor had it that Speaker Tim Moore was the roadblock) until it was finally brought back to life this week and passed by the House 119-0 yesterday afternoon.

The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence in minor House amendments. One never can say anything for sure about the process in the always opaque world on Jones Street, but there seems reason to hope that the measure could be on its way to Gov. Cooper for a rare and happy bipartisan signing ceremony as early as next week.

Fingers crossed.

Click here to learn more about the bill.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Rob Schofield
Load More In Commentary

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit that promotes high-quality health systems, publishes a scorecard each year that… [...]

As LGBTQ Pride month came to a close this past week, queer people in North Carolina… [...]

County sheriffs and jailers could challenge violations uncovered during jail inspections conducted by the NC Department… [...]

 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to… [...]

The North Carolina General Assembly brought its 2022 “short session” to a close last week. Well,… [...]

The post SCOTUS and the next explosive case for Democracy appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that Americans no longer have a constitutional right to control… [...]

The United States of America is no longer a free country. Women are no longer full… [...]