Law

Some Crimes Can Be Forgotten

After years of good behavior, certain nonviolent offenders should be allowed to move on.

May deserve a second chance.

Photographer: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The U.S. is supposed to be a nation of second chances, but for the 70 million Americans with a criminal record, we’re not doing such a great job. Even among those whose crimes were nonviolent and committed long ago, too many still bear a scarlet letter. So it's encouraging to see many states now moving to expunge or seal the records of nonviolent crimes that aren't repeated.

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