This Comment explores the problems which expungement and sealing are aimed at solving, examines the judicial response to the problem, and describes different approaches certain state legislatures have adopted. The arguments for and against retention of criminal records are discussed and the need for some type of legislative response in Nebraska is suggested.
II. The Seriousness of the Problem … A. The “Record Prison” … B. “Above all else, employers are leery of any job applicant who has ever been arrested. Not necessarily convicted of a crime—just arrested.” … C. Admission to the Bar … D. Mass Arrests … E. “Mistakes”
III. Solutions to the Problem: Expungement and Record Sealing … A. The Judicial Response—A Cautious Approach … 1. The Federal Courts … 2. State Courts … B. The Legislative Response … 1. Federal Remedies … 2. Remedies Provided by State Law
IV. Are Expungement and Record Sealing Satisfactory Solutions? … A. Shortcomings of Sealing and Expungement Statutes … 1. A System Which Purports to Destroy Records Does Not Work … 2. Law Enforcement Would Be Hampered If Records Were Not Retained … 3. Sealing and Expungement Laws Unconstitutionally Infringe upon Freedom of the Press … B. The Affirmative Side of Expungement and Sealing … 1. The System Can Work … 2. Effective Law Enforcement Would Not Be Affected … 3. Sealing and Engagement Do Not Infringe on Any Constitutionally Protected Rights
Linda S. Buethe,
Sealing and Expungement of Criminal Records: Avoiding the Inevitable Social Stigma,
58 Neb. L. Rev. 1087
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol58/iss4/5