Criminal Records Law Presents Limited Scope
Norvell, Kim, St. Joseph News-Press
A short list of criminal records that are eligible to be expunged is just the stepping stone for many others to follow, officials say.
It's something Buchanan County Prosecutor Dwight Scroggins says needs to be done in order for other non-violent offenders to be given a second chance.
Earlier this month, Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill into law, HB1647, that will expunge criminal records for offenders who meet certain minimum requirements. But both Mr. Scroggins and State Rep. Pat Conway, D-St. Joseph, said the list represents a very limited scope to what should included.
The 10 crimes included are: felony or misdemeanor passing bad check; fraudulent stopping payment or fraudulent use of credit card; misdemeanor negligent burning, exploding or setting fire; second- degree tampering; second-degree property damage; first-degree trespass; trespass; gambling; private peace disturbance; drunkenness or intoxication; or any Class B or C misdemeanor peace disturbance.
Mr. Conway said most of the crimes that made the cut were probably created by a legislator whose constituent was wanting to reapply for a hunting or fishing permit, instead of as part of a broader discussion as to what crimes or offenders are worthy of clean records.
"If somebody brings it up again next year, I think we'll find a little bit more discussion, maybe a little bit wider interpretation of what criminal activities might be able to go back to the original judge for expungement,' he said. …