Expungement Bill Moves Forward

SB 39, the Senate version of the expungement bill, passed out of committee. The House version passed out as well; so the bill will move forward. This is good news for nonviolent Wisconsinites saddled with life sentences for possession of small amounts of narcotic or other drugs. I’m referring to our prosecutors’ insistence on saddling people who struggle with addiction with misdemeanor and felony convictions for the crime of possessing drugs. If we recognize addiction as a disease, why do we make it a crime? The expungement bill won’t solve that problem; but at least addicts can do their time and be done. The way the law stands today, they are saddled with life sentences with collateral consequences that are wholly out of proportion to their offenses. The expungement bill would mean they still serve their sentences, but once they have done so their records can be cleared, so they have a shot at a fresh start.

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