Thu | Aug 16, 2018

Criminal Record Amendment Bill showing weaknesses, says Opposition Senator

Published:Thursday | August 28, 2014 | 9:45 AM

Opposition Senator, Marlene Malahoo-Forte, says so-called radical suggestions put forward by the Public Defender’s Office indicate weaknesses in the Criminal Record Amendment Bill before the Parliament.

Yesterday, the acting Public Defender, Matondo Mukulu put forward two major recommendations for legislators to consider, allowing ex-convicts to appeal to have their records expunged.

The Parliament is currently amending the Criminal Record Act to expunge the records of persons convicted for the possession of small amounts of ganja.

When it was tabled earlier this year, Senator Malahoo-Forte argued that the changes did not go far enough.

She says the suggestions from the Public Defender’s Office support her view.

The Senator says the acting Public Defender has invited her to a meeting next week to have further discussions on the matter.

Currently, persons convicted of crimes such as terrorism, drug trafficking, treason, murder, certain sexual and gun-related offences are barred from having their records expunged.

However, Senator Malahoo Forte has insisted that Parliament should also consider allowing persons convicted of murder to have their records expunged.

And the acting public defender has suggested the creation of a 15-year review period for offences that would not usually attract consideration for expungement.

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