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Tentative Deals On Criminal Justice Reforms As NY Legislative Session Wraps Up

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

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 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 the 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 DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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