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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20150&cosponId=20172
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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 4, 2016 02:56 PM
From: Representative Ed Gainey
To: All House members
Subject: Expungement for Non-Violent Felony Convictions
 
As we have seen recently, much attention has been given by this body and other state legislatures to address the growing problem of criminal record expungement for those who are deserving of a fresh start and who have effectively demonstrated that their past mistakes do not define them.

I firmly believe there is a growing number of individuals who fit the above description who also have a felony record which haunts them and who, despite all odds, have transformed themselves into worthwhile community members.
In the near future I will be introducing legislation that would effectively expand expungement for certain eligible individuals in PA, specifically those who have been convicted of a non-violent felony.
Parameters for eligibility for expungement are as follows:
  • Clean record for ten (10) years after prior conviction and subsequent release from incarceration;
  • Consistent showing of gainful employment, education, housing and treatment (if needed) for successful transition and reintegration into the community;
  • Has paid or has entered into a payment plan accepted by the court for restitution resulting from prior conviction.
For the purposes of the bill and underlying policy issue, “non-violent offense” is defined as an offense that is not a crime of violence under Title 42, section 9714 (g). Subsection (g) defines a “crime of violence” as murder of the third degree, voluntary manslaughter, assault, manslaughter or criminal homicide of a law enforcement officer, murder of the third degree involving an unborn child, aggravated assault, terrorism, drug delivery resulting in death, trafficking of persons, rape, involuntary sexual deviate intercourse, kidnapping, burglary and robbery with a weapon, attempted murder or conspiracy to commit murder.

Felony non-violent convictions are just as worthy for expungement as lower grade convictions (Summary through M-1). In fact, I would argue they are more necessary, because of the stigma attached to a felony attached to an individual’s record. If they have proved to be a productive member of society, their community and their family, expungement is the only logical answer.

Please consider co-sponsoring this legislation.




Introduced as HB2068