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DeBare Criticizes Effort to Liberalize RI Expungement (posted May 3, 2003)

Coalition Against Domestic Violence Director Deb DeBare critized current efforts in the Rhode Island General Assembly to liberalize expungement rules. Appearing on the WPRI-TV show "Newsmakers" with Jack White and Scott MacKay, DeBare said expungement was "a huge problem." She pointed out that "domestic violence is a crime where there is a pattern of repeated behavior....One of the best tools for judges is past violations....We are sick and tired of defendants getting a fine because their records have been expunged."

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would reduce the amount of time for which a convicted person would have to wait (from 10 to 5 years) before being eligible to apply for expungement. The proposal has passed the Senate by a vote of 24 to 12 and is awaiting action in the House. Governor Donald Carcieri has indicated he would consider vetoing the bill if it reaches his desk.
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