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Tentative Deals On Sealing Some Criminal Records, Gun Bills As N.Y. Legislative Session Wraps Up

The New York Capitol Building in Albany
Karen DeWitt
The New York Capitol Building in Albany

An apparent deal has been reached between the New York state Senate and Assembly on several criminal justice measures, including the sealing of some criminal records to give convicts a second chance in life, and a measure to hold gun manufacturers legally liable for people who commit crimes with their guns.

A rally to advocate for the Clean Slate measure turned into a cautious celebration of victory as word came of an agreement on a revised version of the measure between the Assembly and Senate.

It would seal the criminal records — after a waiting period — of those convicted of misdemeanors and many felonies, but the records would not be expunged. The change may satisfy some of the concerns of the state’s district attorneys, who said they were concerned that prior criminal convictions would be erased and could not be taken into consideration if the person commits a new crime.

A second measure would make it harder for someone on parole who commits a technical violation to be sent back to prison.

The two houses have also agreed on a bill that would make gun manufacturers legally liable if weapons they produce are used to endanger public safety or health.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.