Dear Senators Coons and Cornyn,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for S. 2502, the “Kenneth P. Thompson Begin Again Act.”
Under current law (18 U.SC. §3607), an individual can have a simple possession offense expunged from their criminal record if they have no prior convictions, are placed on pre-judgement probation (at the court’s discretion), have the proceedings against them dismissed, and if they are 21 years of age or younger. Your legislation would amend the statute and eliminate the age restriction while leaving fully intact the other stringent requirements.
Federal law recognizes that certain individuals may deserve a second chance and defendants charged with a first-time simple possession who meet certain conditions should be afforded that chance. We do not believe that this second chance should be restricted by age. The law should be just and fair and this narrow benefit should be available to defendants who meet the rest of the law’s requirements.
The FOP is pleased to support this legislation with you both. On behalf of the more than 364,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, thank you for your continued support for law enforcement and commitment to improving our nation’s criminal justice system. If we can be of any further assistance on this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington office.