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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 15, 2019 04:32 PM
From: Senator Camera Bartolotta and Sen. Sharif Street
To: All Senate members
Subject: Automatic expungement of criminal history after a pardon
In the near future, we will introduce legislation to automatically expunge any criminal record that is the subject of an executive pardon and records which have resulted in a non-conviction.

Currently in the Commonwealth a person who receives a pardon from the Governor must still approach the courts for the expungement of criminal records. Despite receiving the highest form of forgiveness recognized by Pennsylvania law, the person must file individual petitions of expungement for each docket, accruing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in legal fees and processing. This is a financial obstacle that causes many to abandon the process. This unnecessary hurdle for the offender also consumes the valuable time and resources of the sentencing court.

Additionally, while the Clean Slate law seals convictions after certain periods of time, the collection and storage of non-conviction data, as well as summary convictions, continue to impede access to employment, education, housing, and a host of other services necessary to living a productive and fulfilling life. Automatically expunging records that have not resulted in a conviction, or any record subject to an executive pardon, is in accordance with Pennsylvania's newfound leadership in administering justice in a fair and equitable way. Our bill will streamline the reentry of offenders to the workforce without any harm to public safety.

We hope you will join us in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB883