Why this petition matters
The current Felony Expungement law is a type of lawsuit in which a first time offender of a prior criminal conviction seeks that the records of that earlier process be sealed, making the records unavailable through the state or Federal repositories.
If successful, the records are said to be "expunged". Black's Law Dictionary defines "expungement of record" as the "Process by which record of criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed from the state or Federal repository." While expungement deals with an underlying criminal record, it is a civil action in which the subject is the petitioner or plaintiff asking a court to declare that the records be expunged.
The Problem however is that Felony convictions are the only criminal charges that are allowed to be expunged. So Simply changing the record from "FELONY" to "EXPUNGED" does almost nothing for the felon, since it still indicates that a felony has been committed. The definition of the word expungement is ERASE or remove COMPLETELY; not change the wording.
When housing and employment and the right to vote require a clean background check, or a certain amount of time 7-10 years to be passed before becoming eligible, a felony conviction could and often does mean life long consequences baring people from access to BASIC needs and their freedom to participate in voting!
Violent felony charges aren't eligible for expungement ie: sex offenses and weapons charges.
However, non violent are viewed in the same light by landlords, and employers and the government and are used as grounds to DISCRIMINATE and not offer services. Once a criminal has served their time and probation and the required time before being able to sue for expungement there should be no record whatsoever. Otherwise, what is the point in doing the time, probation, service to community if you're never actually free from the criminal stigma.
The only way to ensure that people are treated fairly and without discrimination is to make these changes:
1.) All criminal charges should be eligible for expungement from misdemeanor to non-violent felony charges.
2) Once the time served, probation is complete and time lapse allows, the successful suing for expungement should mean REMOVING the record COMPLETELY!
The jail time, prison time, work house time, probation and waiting period should be enough of a punishment. Those factors already stop repeat offenders from gaining their right to re-enter society with actual freedom, while allowing changed felons to prove their commitment to remain law abiding and become a productive member of society.
Stop creating laws that provide loop holes to punish unjustly!