Felon Whose Testimony Led to Kentucky Expungement Law Has Record Cleared

Jul 18, 2016

Credit belchonock, 123rf Stock Photo

The convicted felon whose emotional testimony convinced a Republican western Kentucky lawmaker to change his mind and led to the adoption of an expungement law has had his criminal record officially cleared by a judge. 

West Powell was convicted of stealing car radios from a junkyard 27 years ago. He pleaded guilty to a felony and spent a year in prison. Since then, he has had trouble keeping a job and passing background checks for college applications.

Kentucky's felony expungement law went into effect Friday.

It allows people convicted of certain crimes to have those records vacated so people do not have to disclose them and it does not show up on a background check.

Powell said he got the news while he was at work. He said it is "amazing."