State lawmakers advance bill that would erase some nonviolent criminal records

Posted: Updated:
NORWALK -

State lawmakers advanced the so-called Clean Slate Bill Tuesday, which could automatically erase some people's criminal records.

Under the bill, non-violent misdemeanors would automatically be erased three years after an inmate's release.

Felonies would not be automatic, but they would become easier to erase after five years.

But some landlords oppose the idea, saying ex-cons can be dangerous. Four years ago, a Middlebury tenant with a long rap sheet murdered his landlord.

William Barnett spent more than six years in prison on drug charges. He now works as a delivery man at Wade's Dairy. He says those incidents are isolated cases.

"They've got to give us a chance," Barnett says. "Everybody's not the same. People change, people want better."

The bill would not apply to violent crimes such as murder, robbery, kidnapping or any kind of domestic abuse.

The Clean Slate Act will now head to the full General Assembly.

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