A bill that would have allowed people to get more simple crimes removed from their records is dead ... for now.
Corinth’s Rep. Nick Bain was at the center of the debate around House Bill 658. The bill would have given people convicted of misdemeanors and felonies in Mississippi the opportunity to petition before a judge the expungement of up to three criminal convictions from all public records.
Earlier in the Legislature session both House and Senate members overwhelmingly passed the bill. Gov. Tate Reeves, however, vetoed the bill calling it “well-intentioned” but also a possible “threat to public safety.”
House members attempted to override the governor’s veto of the bill this week, but it was the House Judiciary B Committee led by Bain who acted to dismiss such a move.
Bain told the Daily Corinthian he flavors the bill and believes it will be back in a easier to understand format next year.
“It’s a good overall bill that gives a person a true second chance,” said Bain. “It also falls in line with President Trump’s agenda on criminal justice reform.”
Current state law allows a person to get one felony conviction expunged.
Originally authored by Collins’ Rep. Noah Sanford, House Bill 658 would have revised that number to three.
It would have allowed any person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor that is not a traffic violation, whether after a trial or after entry of a plea, and who is a first offender, the ability to petition the court for an order to expunge any such conviction.
A person who had been convicted of a felony and who had paid all criminal fines and costs of court imposed in the sentence of conviction could also petition the court for an order to expunge any such conviction from all public records five years after the successful completion of all terms and conditions of the sentence for the conviction upon a hearing as determined in the discretion of the court.
The bill did put restrictions in place for people who were convicted of violent crimes, arson, trafficking and third and fourth offense DUI, along with felons in possession of a fireman, failure to register as a sex offender, voyeurism, witness intimidation and abuse, neglect of exploitation of a vulnerable person.