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AG Lynch Opposes Expungement Liberalization (posted May 18, 2003)

Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch is opposed to current efforts to liberalize the rules on expungement. Appearing on the WJAR-TV show "10 News Conference" with Jim Taricani and Bill Rappleye, Lynch noted that Rhode Island has "one of the most liberal laws in the nation" and state law should attempt to balance community interests with the ability of reformed law-breakers to move on with their lives. Speaking as a former prosecutor, the attorney general said he supports the current law allowing requests for expungement of felony convictions after 10 years, not five as called for in legislation under consideration in the General Assembly.

On other issues, Lynch said that he favored the Police Officers Bill of Rights which provides officers with basic procedural protections when charged with wrong-doing. "They are a different class of people," he noted. "They should be protected in a slightly different way."

When asked about his earlier comments complaining about a lack of cooperation from Jeff der Derian or his brother in the Station fire tragedy, Attorney General Lynch said "nothing has changed along those lines....I am comfortable with the comments I made before."
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