Even as violent crime surges in New York City and elsewhere across the state, the Legislature’s “protect the criminals” caucus is pushing another “reform” in the spirit of the notorious no-bail law.
The “clean slate” bill from state Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Queens) and others would go much further than the 2017 “fair sealing” law, which lets those with no more than one felony and one misdemeanor conviction (or two misdemeanors) get their records sealed if they remain crime-free for at least 10 years. It would automatically seal or expunge 2.3 million criminal histories, i.e., convictions, once eligible felons have finished their sentences to give the ex-offenders a better shot at jobs and careers.
Yet it would also automatically expunge DNA evidence and other biometric information, and withhold info from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, gun registries and other federal databases.
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and others warn against automatically sealing so many crimes, including violent ones and those involving children or other vulnerable populations. The bill would, for example, let sex offenders who moved out of state return after expungement without ever being monitored. Nor would it notify victims or their families of the expungement.
It also blocks info that prospective employers should have access to — such as repeat DWIs for a would-be school-bus driver or theft, embezzlement or bank robbery convictions for an aspiring bank employee.
The state’s District Attorneys Association supports some new second-chance law, but not one that undermines public safety because it was written only to please far-left advocates — just as with the no-bail disaster.
New York doesn’t need yet another unbalanced “reform” rushed into law without the input of the public’s defenders.