Democrats Are Going Wild! Newsom Want To Help Criminals Hide Their Records

California’s new Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, signed a measure on Thursday to shield people’s criminal records from most background checks.

Among other things, the new bill, SB-731, would make a person with a felony charge entitled to “automatic conviction relief.” Those convicted of a serious or violent felony would be exempted from the bill’s provisions. Additionally, the individual must have gone four years without being convicted of a new felony after completing probation.

Additionally, “arrest record relief” is available to those who meet other criteria, such as not having any prior convictions for the same crime.

The convicted felon cannot be currently incarcerated or show an “indication of pending criminal accusation.” In addition, he or she cannot have any pending criminal charges. Starting on July 1 of next year, it will be mandatory.

To determine who is eligible for “automatic conviction record relief,” the Justice Dept. must review criminal histories and “identify those with convictions that fulfill the criteria.

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According to the San Francisco Chronicle, while the bill does not expunge a person’s criminal record, it would enable those who have been convicted or convicted in the past to seal their records digitally. In spite of this, El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson indicated in August that the law would result in the immediate closure of these records because of its extreme nature.

Concerned about potential problems, several people have expressed their opposition to the move. The bill’s congressional summary says it would allow criminal records to be considered when hiring for public school teaching positions. But it would also restrict the use of a “record of a conviction for possession of certain controlled substances” older than five years “for which relief was obtained” in credentialing decisions.

Senator Shannon Grove (R-CA) voted nay on the bill, as did her fellow Republicans and the lone Democrat in the Senate because she believed its provisions would be abused by those who commit domestic violence.

The acts in question “are pretty violent things even if they are not listed as serious and violent in the penal code,” Grove stated back in August.

There would be “little deterrent to conduct another crime” if convicts were released with their records expunged, according to a statement issued to the Chronicle by the Peace Officers Research Association of California. They also pointed out that the measure’s wording doesn’t explicitly forbid some forms of violent crime.

The first automatic system for expunging felony records was implemented in California. In 2019, Newsom signed a bill allowing “clean slate” permanent record relief in California, becoming the third state to do so.

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