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 John Kucko: Little Mill Creek in Wayland, NY

Letter to the Editor: NY Clean Slate Act seeks to end “perpetual punishment”

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“…this Act will reduce recidivism”

Dear Editor:

Redemption is a concept that most people subscribe to EXCEPT when it means putting the words into action.

Take for instance Gov. Hochul’s new bill, the Clean Slate Act, which could seal conviction records for some convicted citizens. The Act is getting push back from the Right, as they would rather these people carry their conviction as a ball and chain for the rest of their lives. Or as one former ‘convict’ termed it, perpetual punishment.

This is different from clemency or expungement.

The Act, however, does NOT seal ALL records. Only for those with clean records following their release from incarceration. Three years for those with misdemeanor convictions and eight years for felonies. And the records would NOT be sealed for certain categories, such as any conviction resulting in a possible registration as a sex offender, nor are murderers eligible, nor domestic terrorists, nor others convicted of non-drug Class A felonies.

The records would only become shielded when a person applies for schooling, jobs and housing. The records would still be available to the police and the courts.

By allowing for those who have served their time to re-integrate in the community and work to improve their social position, this Act will reduce recidivism.

Let those who have paid their debt pick up the pieces and put their lives back together productively for the benefit of all.

Sincerely,

Ly Kesse, Representative

Alfred, NY District 1

Allegany County Democratic Committee

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