Editorial: ‘Second chance’ arrest and conviction bill warrants a second look

Aurora Sentinel: State lawmakers are lining up for the right reasons to support a bill that goes the wrong way about trying to solve the problem of giving people a second chance after criminal convictions and allegations.

Impetus from House Bill 1214 comes from Aurora Democratic State Rep. Mike Weissman, who illustrated a serious problem in Colorado. People who in the past have run afoul of the law pay a virtual life sentence for petty crimes and even no crimes at all.

Shoplifting allegations, bar fights and other similar infractions remain permanently affixed to people, often causing them lost job opportunities and more for the rest of their lives. Weissman, and a growing number of state lawmakers, want the state criminal justice system to automatically shield an ocean of criminal records from the public in a well-meaning effort to give people an opportunity to move beyond their mistakes and not be dragged down for the rest of their lives.

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