Sunday, March 26, 2006

Life Is No 'Do Over'

I hate to be the one to tell you this but, unlike children's games, there are no 'do overs' in real life.

Our legislators are talking about easing our expungement laws. Simply put, expungement is a lie about the past. What happened happened. We can't make it un-happen with an eraser.

On the other hand we should do everything in our power to help a person to reclaim his or her life and to allow for a second chance.

The rights of individuals are protected by our Bill of Rights and other amendments to the U. S. Constitution

Amendment XV

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

I'm no lawyer but perhaps imprisonment for a crime could be considered a " ... previous condition of servitude", in which case it would be a violation of our US Consitution to discriminate against persons who have paid for their crime (or are on probation for less serious crimes).

It would be a much better way to protect the rights of individuals if we added similar language to our own Rhode Island laws than to pretend that something did not happen when, in fact, it did.

We have enough laws, let's use them.

But, maybe it's just me