New York Senate Bill S338 is an act to amend the correction law, the general obligations law, and the civil rights law in relation to enacting the “second chance act.”
The purpose of the act is to make it the public policy of New York to promote forgiveness and redemption of an individual where conviction of a criminal act could subject that person to loss of employment or the ability to practice a trade or profession through which they earn their livelihood.
With some exceptions, criminals convicted of one or more criminal offenses can’t be denied housing, employment, or licenses based on his/her record. Lack of good moral character won’t matter either.
Rob Astorino, a former gubernatorial candidate in New York and current radio producer, discussed it on the radio today. A lawyer called in to talk about why he’s biased when it comes to this law.
The caller said that one of the people he worked with was a legal aide. He was a pleasant young black man. The only time he wasn’t was when you asked him to do something, or he didn’t like what you said. Then he became angry.
One day the caller was reading an article in the paper about some teenage boys who had been running around killing people. They had just been released. One of them had the same first name as this fellow he worked with and it was a very unusual name. After serving ten years in juvenile detention, he was released on a special program. When the caller checked the dates and his friend’s names, he realized it was the same person. He was working with a killer. He said he was scared of him. That is what we’re going to have to deal with here in New York.
Not only do we have to worry about people not being arrested for crimes and then not prosecuted when they are arrested but now we won’t know who’s a criminal and who’s not. We may hire them, or they may live in our rentals, and we’ll never know.
What could go wrong?
Expect lawsuits or worse, much worse.