DISCUSSIONS: 5 – (MAY 26) Minor criminal records should be expunged from person’s past

How would you like to wear that notice forever?

Is it time that the criminal justice system became more sensitive to people? After all, this is 2017, not the dark ages.

 Rather like the lesser punishment called the stocks, the pillory consisted of hinged wooden boards forming holes through which the head and/or various limbs were inserted; then the boards were locked together to secure the captive. Pillories were set up to hold people in marketplaces, crossroads, and other public places. They were often placed on platforms to increase public visibility of the person. Often a placard detailing the crime was placed nearby; these punishments generally lasted only a few hours.

This form of public humiliation for having committed a crime was used long ago, in medieval, Renaissance and colonial American.

Was it abolished or has its form merely been changed to “criminal records?”

 

“criminal record” is a label which is attached to a person’s public record for anyone to see. If this person applies for a job, a criminal record check reveals it to the potential employer? If a person travels, border officials have access to the information. The repercussions are obvious.

However, should these records be retained and be made available forever for minor criminal offences? Laws change, but the criminal record may be retained. For example, Canada’s marijuana laws will be changed in 2018. Should those who have a criminal record for using marijuana before legalization have their records continue or should their slates be wiped clean? What about other offences: one-time impaired driving conviction; one-time careless driving conviction?

What do you think?

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