Dr. King’s shouldn’t be only criminal record expunged
I enjoyed the article about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s arrest record getting expunged (“Decades after arrest, King’s Fulton record to be cleared,” News, April 4) and applaud Solicitor General Keith Gammage’s efforts. But the reality is, Georgia’s expungement law is extremely narrow, only allowing arrests that didn’t lead to convictions to be restricted and failing to recognize rehabilitation in the convicted. As a person of faith, I believe in redemption and mercy. God never gives up on us, and we can’t give up on others. Forty-one states expunge convictions, but in Georgia – no matter how long ago or how a person has changed—convictions stay on a person’s record forever, creating lifetime barriers to employment and housing. SB 288 is a first step toward correcting this injustice. I urge the Georgia House to pass it. Dr. King never marched alone. He marched for all. He would not want his record expunged without similar justice for the most powerless.
CAROLE MADDUX, GEORGIA INTERFAITH PUBLIC POLICY CENTER, ATLANTA