Emergence From Civil Death: The Evolution of Expungement in West Virginia
23 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2019
Date Written: April 14, 2015
This Article examines expungement in general, and the expungement statute in West Virginia in particular. Section I considers the historical basis of the West Virginia expungement statute, while Section II explains in detail the current West Virginia statute. Section III describes the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction in West Virginia, leading to incentives for modifying our expungement statute in Section IV. These benefits include supporting local economies and reducing recidivism. Section V concludes by comparing and contrasting West Virginia’s statute to other states and then by providing suggestions for modifying the West Virginia expungement statute. Support for reform of the statute comes from data on the impact of expungements on communities, on government fiscal responsibilities and capabilities, and on the ultimate impact on the functioning of our state criminal justice system. In line with the Justice Reinvestment Act, expungement reform is a next step along our path of broader prison changes in West Virginia.
Keywords: expungement, clemency, criminal, conviction
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