Convicts testimony changes Republican minds in Kentucky

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – At least 62,000 convicted felons in Kentucky will have the opportunity to wipe their records clean in part because a 45-year-old man convicted of stealing car radios 27 years ago convinced a powerful Republican lawmaker to change his mind.

West Powell has not been arrested again. He said his conviction has made it harder for him to get and keep a job. His testimony convinced Republican Sen. Whitney Westerfield to change his mind and call the bill for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is scheduled to sign the bill into law on Tuesday. It allows people convicted of some felonies to ask a judge to vacate their judgments. People have to wait five years after completing their sentences.