ALBANY, NY — Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) joined his legislative colleagues, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C-Pulaski), Assemblyman Angelo Morinello (R,C-Niagara Falls), Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R,C-Staten Island/Brooklyn), and Assemblyman John McGowan (R,C-Rockland), on the Million Dollar Staircase today for a press conference opposing the “Clean Slate” bill (A1029-C). Clean Slate will automatically wipe applicable criminal records of convictions in New York three years after sentencing for misdemeanors and eight years for felonies. The press conference was also led by local law enforcement agents and criminal justice workers who spoke on the effect on victims and families they have seen in the wake of New York’s increasing crime rates.
“Everyone deserves a second chance if they want to turn their lives around after making a bad choice. I personally have assisted people in their rehabilitation efforts and have supported them through the process, but part of rehabilitation is ownership of the process through one’s own corrective actions. The issue with Clean Slate is that it doesn’t reach the core of why a person has made a bad choice, nor does it address how they can avoid doing so again. Clean Slate simply hides the bad choices of criminals with no measures in place to ensure work was done to change their lives or become productive members of their communities. We wouldn’t be doing right by New Yorkers if we pass a bill that will allow child endangerment charges to be hidden by employers and the community. For offenders, the slate may be clean, but for victims, it never will be,” Gray said.