Sen. Fred Dyson’s bill would make it so all criminal cases that result in a dismissal or an acquittal are considered confidential. They won’t appear on the Internet, and you won’t be able to access them at the courthouse unless you are a state worker who deals with child welfare.
The Eagle River Republican presented it on the Senate floor as a justice issue. “This one is about Amendments Four and Five: privacy and due process,” said Dyson, referencing the United States Constitution.
The rationale behind the bill is simple: If a jury does not find a person guilty of a crime, then that person should not be punished by the court of public opinion.
According to data from the Department of Law, about a third of misdemeanor charges and a fifth of felonies never go trial. Dyson said over time, that adds up to a lot of people with publicly available criminal records who never saw the inside of a courtroom but might be judged negatively when applying for a job or an apartment. Continue>>>