Lawmakers in South Carolina recently made it easier for the convicted to erase crimes from their publicly available records, expanding the list of convictions eligible for expungement.
That list now includes ways to expunge multiple related offenses if they carry no more than 30 days and a $1,000 fine, and first offense convictions for possession with the intent to distribute drugs, including cocaine, crack and meth, according to The State.
The bill also allows individuals convicted of domestic violence to expunge records of their conviction "five years from the date of the conviction."
The new law also addresses the convictions of juvenile offenders, but stops short of allowing the expungement of convictions for offenses involving the operation of a motor vehicle, as well as violent crimes.
Advocates of the new law say employers would be more willing to hire former inmates if the crimes they committed were not publicly available.
Governor Henry McMaster vetoed the legislation in May, but the legislature overrode the veto and voted the bill into law.
McMaster said, "Second changes should be freely given when individuals have paid their debt to society; however, forgiveness should be informed by fact and should not be forced upon unwitting participants and prospective employers."