Wisconsin legislators are looking to reform current law governing the expungement of criminal records. Among other things, SB-39 would allow those convicted of crimes for which the maximum term of imprisonment is six years or less (including some felonies) to ask a judge to expunge their convictions even if they fail to do so at the time of sentencing, as is currently required. It would also allow those older than age 25 at the time of an offense to request expungement, and expressly provide that an expunged record cannot be considered a conviction for purposes of employment. The standard under present law would be carried forward, which lets judges grant expungement if they determine “that the person will benefit and society will not be harmed.”
The rationale for the bill, which has broad bipartisan support, is to give those who have made minor mistakes a fresh start, including supposedly enhanced employment opportunities. It is one of several current proposals to expand the availability of expungement.
ByCameron Smith/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism |
The Center’s Cameron Smith explores the ways in which residents are dissuaded or prevented from voting by the photo ID requirement, which has been the subject of years of litigation, some of it still pending.
ByPawan Naidu / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism |
Wisconsin might not have the most money in its elections, because there are some states with no limits at all on individual campaign contributions. But critics say it is awash in “dark money,” contributions that are not required to be reported to any governmental agency.
Congratulations to Nicole Ki and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism for the excellent story on the decline of democracy in Wisconsin. The essence of the decline can be traced to Scott Walker’s use of “divide and conquer” style of governance.
The following statement was written by Sue Cross, CEO and executive director of the Institute for Nonprofit News, in response to a call last week from The Boston Globe, to remind readers of the value of America’s free press. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a founding member of INN, a network of more than 170 independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit news organizations dedicated to strengthening the sources of trusted news for thousands of communities.
ByNicole Ki / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism |
Extreme partisanship and approval of legislation despite widespread opposition have left Wisconsin residents feeling increasingly powerless, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has found.