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NC committee OKs bill that gives felons new start

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Senate Rules Committee has approved a bill that would allow some felons in North Carolina to get a fresh start.

Committee members approved the bill Wednesday. It now heads to the Senate.

The bill would allow a judge to erase some nonviolent felony convictions provided the individual meets a series of requirements. To get the crimes expunged, 15 years must have passed since the conviction and “good moral character” must be established and vouched for.

Proponents argue it gives repentant individuals a second chance and allows them to better contribute to society. Opponents worry the measure is soft on crime and harms business owners.

Similar legislation has been attempted for about a decade, but the current incarnation has garnered the key endorsement of the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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