Record of minor offences to be expunged after successful rehabilitation

PMDouglasHeadshotABasseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — The St. Kitts and Nevis National Assembly has approved legislation to expunge specific criminal records of persons who have been rehabilitated.

The issue said Prime Minister Douglas is a matter that received much discussion in his Government’s determination to impress upon the men and women of the country the importance of leading law-abiding lives.

“And one of the ways in which we have decided to do this will be by giving those persons, who have broken the law in the past, the opportunity to have their criminal record wiped clean – assuming, of course, that the crime for which they were convicted did not involve firearms or other weapons, assuming that the crime was not some type of sexual abuse – and especially assuming that the crime did not involve the sexual abuse of children,” said Prime Minister Douglas on Tuesday during his weekly radio programme “Ask the Prime Minister.”

Dr. Douglas said in the Federation, and elsewhere in the world, there are those who make mistakes at one point of their lives, the pay their debt to society, and then no matter how exemplary the lives that they lead, no matter how law-abiding they become after having borne the court-mandated penalty, they must forever carry the stain of having run afoul of the law.

“We believe that people must face the sentences that go along with the crimes the commit. The damage that these crimes inflict on others, and the damage that they do to our nation cannot simply be swept under the rug,” said Dr. Douglas.

“Once one has served one’s time, however, once one has paid whatever penalty is associated with the crime involved, and once one has led an upstanding, law-abiding life for a specific number of years, my Government feels that those persons should be able to apply to have their record expunged, and to continue leading decent, law-abiding lives, unencumbered by the endless disadvantages associated with having broken the law even in non-violent, non-sexually perverse ways, sometime in the distant past,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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