Mt. Vernon Register-News

CNHI Special Projects

April 11, 2013

Criminal records bill passes Indiana Senate

INDIANAPOLIS — Legislation that would allow some people with long-ago arrests and convictions in Indiana to wipe clean their criminal record has moved one step closer to the governor’s desk.

House Bill 1482 passed through the Senate Wednesday on a 39-11 vote and was sent back to the House for approval, because it was amended while in the Senate. On Thursday, the House author said he agreed with the changes made to the bill and would urge the House to follow suit.

The bipartisan-backed legislation allows for the court-ordered expungement of criminal records for mostly long-ago, low-level offenses. It’s been labeled as a “second chance” for ex-offenders whose past mistakes are immovable barriers to employment.

“This is a bill that’s really going to affect people for the good,” said Republican state Rep. Jud McMillin, a former deputy prosecutor from Brookville who authored the bill.

The bill had the strong backing of conservative Republicans and key Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane of Anderson.

Indiana currently has a criminal records “sealing” law that allows people with arrests or convictions for low-level, non-violent crimes to get a court order to shield that record from public view after a number of years have passed. But it only applies to certain misdemeanors and some D felonies.

The expungement bill goes further and covers higher-level felonies as well. There are limits: Most sex and violent crimes are excluded and persons seeking to have their record expunged have to show they’ve stayed out of trouble for a number of years.

Prosecutors would have to sign off on the expungement for some higher-level crimes, and public officials who’ve committed a crime would have to meet a higher standard to have that crime expunged.

There are some crimes that can’t be wiped clean under the bill, such as murder or incest. The bill also includes other provisions: Crime victims have an opportunity to object to the record expungement in some cases, and prosecutors will still have access to criminal records that have been expunged from court records.

A critical element of the bill: A potential employer can only ask job applicants if they’ve been arrested or convicted of a crime that has not been expunged by a court. But it also protects employers from being sued if they hire someone who’s had their record expunged, but subsequently commits another crime.

The bill, if approved by the House as McMillin expects it will be, would next head to the desk of Republican Mike Pence for his signature or veto.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

1
Text Only
CNHI Special Projects
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • weightloss.jpg The scales of injustice: Weight loss differs between men, women

    You're not imagining it: There really are differences between the way men and women diet, lose weight and respond to exercise.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drug dealers going corporate

    A top federal official on Tuesday said that 105 banks and credit unions are doing business with legal marijuana sellers, suggesting that federal rules giving financial institutions the go-ahead to provide services to dealers are starting to work.

    August 13, 2014

  • wwimemorial.jpg The benefit of World War I omission on the Washington Mall

    By 1982, when the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened on the National Mall, something had shifted in the way we remember our wars. A national memorial, prominently placed on the nation's most symbolically significant public space, came to seem like an essential dignity offered to veterans, their families and the memory of those who gave their lives. But there is an exception.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • In Japan, ramen aficionados worry their favorite dish is coming off the boil

    "The ramen boom has ended," said Ivan Orkin, a New Yorker who first traveled to Japan in the 1980s and now owns two noodle-soup restaurants in Tokyo. "A boom implies that there are new avenues and new growth to pursue, and that's not the case in Japan anymore."

    August 11, 2014

  • Ronnie Ellis: U.S. Senate race trail long and interesting

    By Ronnie Ellis/CNHI News Service

    FRANKFORT — Last week was a long one, endured under the onslaught of an awful summer cold and played out across the commonwealth. It began in Fancy Farm and ended it in Corbin with a trip to Hazard in between.

    August 9, 2014

  • Senate race becomes family affair

    By LANA BELLAMY
    CNHI NEWS SERVICE
    PAINTSVILLE — U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell got personal on Friday while calling a report inaccurate concerning his wife’s role as a board member in an organization that funds anti-coal efforts.

    August 9, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks