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NEW LEGISLATION FOR PARDONS AND RESTORATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS GRANTED SHOULD INCLUDE THE RIGHT TO HAVE THEIR CONVICTION SEALED BY THE COURT

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A growing number of jurisdictions expunge or seal the entire record once the completion of sentence or the conviction was granted a Criminal Pardon by the Governor. Through criminal rehabilitation proceedings, it restores all the rights and privileges of which the person was deprived by reason of the conviction. Excluded is a permit to own, possess a firearm. Commonwealth State Massachusettes with a Executive Pardon orders the record of conviction to be sealed. Pennsylvania allows for Judicial Expungement. Commonwealth of Virginia or Kentucky do not allow sealing or expungement of record. Ohio, West Virginia and New Jersey allow expungement or sealing after a Granted Pardon. States like Kansas, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, Rhoad Island, South Dakota, Utah and Washington allow certain misdemeanors to be court sealed 5 years after the completion of sentence, 10 years after the completion of sentence for a first time non-violent felony. District of Columbia, North Carolina, Alabama and Florida do not allow record sealing or expungement. All states need to get on board with the same laws. States that do not allow record sealing are unfair and show discrimination of ex-offenders. I have my Restoration of Civil Rights in Virginia, I was given congratulations for my achievement of good citizenship by the wonderful Governor Mark Warner in 2005. I can vote, hold public office, to serve on a jury, and to be a Notary Public, but I cannot get a job to use my Notary Public because of my criminal record. A Simple Pardon in Virginia puts a letter P(for pardon) on your criminal record, but the employer who might hire you and runs the criminal background report on you only sees the conviction, they do not care if you were granted a pardon or restored civil rights, they will not hire you. Due to the struggling economy and worst labor market since the Great Depression, this new law that would apply to all states would help ex-offenders to remove any barrier to employment, housing and state licenses.

President Obama today, with out Congress can pass a bill for young illegal immigrants to apply for legal status and work permits, but I cannot get a job as a American. I am asking Congress to please pass the Governor's Forgiveness Bill for all people who are Americans.

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1 hour ago
Lois I. from Knoxville, TN writes:
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There are so many young men who made the mistake of sleeping with a girl 1 year younger then himself and got charged for statutory rape, It's so sad to completely ruin a young man's life for making a mistake that many of you have made. My nephew unforturnately grew up with ignorance, and I'm not sure he was mature enough at the time to even know what he did was breaking the law. However, he saw her picture on the news the next morning as a runaway, and trying to do the right thing, called the police in Enterprise, Alabama. There again, not mature enough to know better. They took him to jail, forced him to confess, and threw the book at him. He was charged as a sex-offender!!!!! Really, you have to be kidding. These kids are not sex offenders, but they have to live with it stamped on their drivers license and go by all the same rules that real sex offenders follow. It ruined his life; he can't get a job; it destroyed any self esteem he might have had. What a shameful situation that this is allowed to go on in a civilized country. He was paroled by the Governor of Alabama, but is still labeled as a sex offender! That's no help to him at all.
just now
Mike from Raeford, NC writes:
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20yr plus misdemeanor. Law abiding ever since. Loss of 2A rights for life. Difficult to find a decent job...This is unconstitutional. Period.
January 6, 2017
Someone from Barton, NY writes:
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I have several non violent drug felonies that date back to 2001-2006. I was hired for a minimum wage paying job then quickly sent home on orientation day after a background check disqualified me for a CLEANING POSITION. I was open and honest about my charges on my application and at my interview but I feel I was only hired so the company couldn't get in any legal trouble for discriminating against a felon. It's been over ten years since my release from prison. Something needs to change. When I was released from prison I was a 33yr old single widow trying to raise two children on my own PLUS pay my cost and fines. I'm now 43, still trying to do the same thing and still struggling. If addiction is a disease then why am I being punished for life for having it?
January 1, 2017
Someone from Pearland, TX writes:
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I live in Texas and in Texas if you have a conviction, you must get a pardon by the Governor and then get the conviction record expunged. Getting a pardon from the governor is an almost impossible task and it usually does not happen unless for some type of political reasons. it does not matter if the conviction was for a misdemeanor or a felony, it was a conviction you must first get a pardon to expunge or seal the record. How unfair is this process, where one person has sole authority over someone else's life? In America, a nation that was said to be founded on Christian beliefs....and yes, forgiveness is a trademark that belief system. If you make a financial mistake and go into debt, that debt can be forgiven every 7-10 years, depending on the kind of debt. Not so with a criminal conviction and it should be. I am in favor of legislation that would require ALL STATES to forgive convictions of individuals so long as the crime was not for murder, rape, child molestation or any crimes involving crimes against children and the elderly. If people have turned their life around and rehabilitated themselves through education, civic responsibilities or any other method, they should be giving another chance. A study by Emory University found that: Ex-offenders who complete some high school courses have recidivism rates around 55 percent. Vocational training cut recidivism to approximately 30 percent. An associate degree drops the rate to 13.7 percent. A bachelor’s degree reduces it to 5.6 percent. A master’s brings recidivism to 0 percent. Unless society is made to allow ex-offenders an opportunity at gainful employment that offers an economic value, they will not do it. These comments need to be heard by all legislators and human resource professionals; to urge them to consider carefully the consequences of hiring decisions that are rooted in fear and prejudice. Not only are they closing the door on the future of an individual, but they are diminishing the talent pool and depleting the strength your organization while destroying the American communities, because the workforce refuse to absorb individuals with criminal convictions. The only way this will stop is if they are made to through new legislation requiring expungement and/or sealing of criminal records after a certain period, once the time is completed. Then, the background check companies need to be held criminal and civil liable if they publish old information concerning someone's criminal conviction once expunged and/or sealed.
December 17, 2016
Pro 2. from Saint George, UT writes:
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When the people have done everything to turn here lives around and are Law abiding citizens over 10 years, the federal gun ban applies disarming from right to bear arms. The lautenberg law is truly a big mess and discrimination is being applied. Who is looking out for the people in making sure our constitutional rights are protected? Maybe Trump is in place for a reason. If it's true, the law does not supersede our constitution right to bear arms including the first. So therefore, the laws currently being applied has been unconstitutional making this a case for millions of people. It seems like for who wants to make it right by doing the right things in life, land a good job and protect your family would only cause road blocks for life. That's dehumanizing people and again the laws that were created are infringing on our constitutional rights making it impossible and the scare tactics remain. That is not the American Dream nor exercise your rights. I hope that 2017 will be a good start in this topic that the new congress and presidential line up will chip away and make it right for the people. The past leaders keep violating our civil rights and that needs to stop.
November 28, 2016
J s. from Virginia Beach, VA writes:
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My road to redemption, has not been easy and respectfully it shouldn’t be if I got in trouble. But once a person proves that they are rehabilitated, they should be provided a chance to be productive person in society. I have been offered 4 jobs in the past month, for them all to come back and state my 2008 misdemeanor (false application) is a barrier to hiring me, despite me gaining two degrees, becoming a notary, volunteering, and first and foremost never getting in trouble again, as the lessoned was learned. As I researched other state laws it seems to be a real issue with Virginia. I even attempted to contact a lawyer to help me with a simple pardon to at least get a job and basically was told I decided to get in trouble in the wrong state and how important it is to know the laws for the state you live in. By no way was the lawyer consigning breaking laws but believe in second chances and state my best bet may be relocating to a state that believes in second chances. I have a wealth of school loans, and just daily bills that need to get paid and having employment is critical to my livelihood. I wish everyone luck and I understand the pain.
November 27, 2016
Keith J. from Lake Wales, FL writes:
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I received a full pardon, was issued a firearm permit but I still can't go buy a firearm because I don't pass a background check. I received my pardon 16 years ago and have been a outstanding citizen now since I was charged 36 years ago.
November 26, 2016
Tommy B. from Rustburg, VA writes:
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If a court of law does not condem a person for life then neither should the society they rejoin either. Some people prove themselves worthy everyday of second chances. Now imagine people who are actually innocent and cannot prove it because they were convicted with no actual evidence. It is a living hell that I wake to every morning.
November 19, 2016
Melba H. from Newport News, VA signed.
2 months ago
Kevin R. from Richmond, VA writes:
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It saddens me to see how man takes God's world and do whatever they want to it it still enslaving God's people through bondage and greed.But the bible warns of these such people and also for sure us that the rich and hatred will be last,But we will over come one thing about African American family's is we know how to survive if God is for us you can never be against us,united we stand you restore a man or woman's rights give pardons to some and then don't seal the criminal record through a system of trust liberty and judgement how unconstitutional so on this day I petition to Congress to for these vital orchestrated changes