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The Human Rights of Ex-Offenders

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Presentation on theme: "The Human Rights of Ex-Offenders"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Human Rights of Ex-Offenders

2 International Treaties I
Maryland Constitution: Declaration of Rights Article II "The Constitution of the United States, and the Laws made, or which shall be made, in pursuance thereof, and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, are, and shall be the Supreme Law of the State; and the Judges of this State, and all the People of this State, are, and shall be bound thereby; anything in the Constitution or Law of this State to the contrary notwithstanding."

3 International Treaties II
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 23: “Everyone has the right work” International Covention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Art. 5 “parties [to treaty] undertake to prohibit and to eliminate racial discrimination in all its forms and to guarantee…the enjoyment of the…the right to work” OAS Declaration of the Rights & Duties of Man, Art. XIV: “Every person has the right to work”

4 Maryland Constitution
Article 27: “That no conviction shall work corruption of the blood or forfeiture of estate.” Forfeiture of Estate = loss of land Loss of livelihood? Corruption of Blood = sins of parents visited on the children

5 Maryland Court of Appeals I
Singer v. State, 72 Md. 464, 19A (1890) “ No one questions the right of every person in this country to follow any legitimate business or occupation he may see fit. This is a privilege open alike to every one. His own labor, and the right to use it as a means of livelihood is a right as sacred and fully protected by the law as any other personal or private right.” Singer, at 1045.

6 Maryland Court of Appeals II
Singer again: State can qualify the right “The nature and extent of the qualifications required must primarily depend on the judgement of the state as to their necessity. If they are appropriate to the calling or profession, and attainable by reasonable application, no objection to their validity can be raised.”

7 Title VII of Civil Rts Act
Can’t discriminate on the basis of Race Neutral Tests—like criminal records screening, can be considered to be racial discrimination Employer can avoid this by showing the screening is JOB RELATED and CONSISTENT with business necessity

8 What Must Employers Do? Nature and gravity of the offense
The time that has passed since the conviction and/or completion of the sentence The nature of the job held or sought SUMMARY: JOB RELATEDNESS of Conviction and TIME FRAME INVOLVED

9 What Employers Can’t Do
No Questions About Arrests No Broad Based Prohibitions --“We don’t hire anyone with a conviction, regardless of the crime” Too Broad a policy—will screen out minorities at a higher rate than whites & violates Title VII

10 What is a Conviction and What Isn’t?
Guilty = Conviction Non Convictions Probation Before Judgment Stet Nol Pross Dismissal Acquittal

11 Probation Before Judgment
Sufficient evidence exists to convict, but court allows defendant to escape the stigma of conviction through an agreement to abide by the terms of probation Pleads Guilty, No Contest, or Found Guilty If Probation violated, court can enter conviction is not a conviction for the purpose of any disqualification or disability imposed by law because of conviction of a crime. Crim Pro 6-220

12 Stet The State postpones the trial Indefinitely (forever)
May be rescheduled by request of state within one year After one year, state needs to show “Good Cause” for rescheduling it MD Rule 4-248

13 Nolle Prosequi MD Rule 2-247 State Terminates the Prosecution
Charge is technically dismissed but disposition is Nolle Prosequi

14 What is a Conviction and What Isn’t?
Guilty = Conviction Non Convictions Probation Before Judgment Stet Nol Pross Dismissal Acquittal

15 Expungement Generally—Only the Non Convictions
PBJ, Nol Pros, Stet, Dismissal, Acquittal Recent change in law allowing some convictions to be expunged Panhandling Public drinking-urinating-obstruction passage No proof MTA-loitering-park vio

16 Expungement & Nol Pross
Aside from those Nuisance crimes, only NON-CONVICTIONS can be expunged Special Rules depending on the non-conviction Nol Pross? Expunge anytime as long as not convicted of a criminal offense SINCE time of nol pross Example: 01 Nol Pross, then 08 Conviction—you are out of luck

17 Expungement and STET or PBJ
Like Nol Pros – if you’ve been CONVICTED since the time of the Stet or PBJ, you have lost your right to expunge the stet or PBJ Also, must wait three years to file expungement request (3 yrs after entry)

18 Expungement Process File Expungement Petition in Court in which the PBJ, Stet, Nol Pross, Dismissal, Acquittal occurred Filing Fee Waiver Roughly 60 days—Order Compliance with Order

19 Expungement Summary Really only good for folks without convictions
New Law—nuisance crimes PBJ and Stet—Need to wait three years

20 Expungement Example 03 Stet– CDS possession 04 PBJ– possession
05 Stet—theft less than $300 Nothing since? Can expunge the all after three year wait and if no convictions since File Petition Await Orders of Compliance

21 Expungement Example II
03 Stet– CDS possession 04 PBJ– possession 05 Stet—theft less than $300 06 Guilty– CDS possesion CONVICTION extinguishes right to expunge these charges (Stet, PBJ or Nol Pros)

22 Expungement Example III
03 Dismissed– CDS possession 04 Dismissed– possession 05 Dismissed—theft less than $300 06 Guilty– CDS possession Still can expunge the Dismissals CONVICTION extinguishes right to expunge a Stet, PBJ or Nol Pros

23 Recap There is a Right to Work (freedom to work)
It Can’t be abridged on basis of race Racial disparities in arrests & convictions Title VII of Civil Rights Act requires Employers to used a standard that is JOB RELATED and CONSISTENT with business necessity Expungement is a limited tool—ONLY for NON CONVICTIONS (w/homeless nuisance exception) and for THOSE WHO HAVE KEPT OUTTA TROUBLE SINCE….

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