I would like to thank the Post for running this article. We hope that you will call or email the governor and ask him to support HB 1107.
Ray Hupp was 22 when he got caught with $25 worth of cocaine. That screw-up has trailed the 44-year-old construction- company owner half his life, and he'd like to erase it.
It's possible he could, under a proposed law awaiting Gov. Bill Ritter's signature.
People convicted of certain nonsexual crimes could petition a judge to seal their criminal records 10 years after completing prison time, probation or parole, wiping their pasts clean.
"I kick myself all the time," said Hupp, recalling all the job applications he filled out, checking the "yes" box on whether he had committed a crime. "Nobody ever called."
Some say House Bill 1107 offers the gift of a second chance. But to critics, who imagine an employer unknowingly hiring someone convicted of embezzlement to keep their books, it strips away the public's right to know.
The proposal would reverse a 1988 law that shut down the process to seal criminal convictions in Colorado.
Under current law, judges can seal arrest records only when there is an acquittal or the charge is dropped. State law does not allow someone convicted as an adult to seal records of a conviction.
The bill under consideration by the governor says a person with a sealed conviction can check "no" to the question about criminal history on job applications.
"It's a very strong incentive for people - do well, and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel," said Christie Donner, director of the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition.
Only people who do not commit a crime in the 10 years after completing prison, probation or parole are eligible to seal their records. They could not seal convictions involving sexual offenses, domestic violence or crimes against pregnant women.
The Denver Post