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I was convicted of Arson 2nd degree and Assault 3rd degree in Mobile County, Alabama, in June 1997.  Arson 2nd degree is a Class B felony, and Assault 3rd degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

For the Arson conviction, I was sentenced to 15 yrs split to serve 3 yrs in the Dept. of Corrections, with the balance of 12 yrs suspended to be served out on 5 yrs probation.

For the Assault conviction, I was sentenced to 1 yr split to serve 6 months in the county jail.  Both sentences were concurrent.

In October 1999, I was granted an early release from the Dept. of Corrections because under the Alabama Split-Sentence Act, the judge retained jurisdiction to modify any part of sentence.

I was released and started my 5 yr probationary sentence.  I completed my probationary sentence in 2002 and was discharged from probation.

From 2000 to 2010, I went to college and acquired 3 Associate degrees and 1 Bachelor degree.

I applied for and received a full state pardon from the Alabama Board of Pardons & Paroles in January 2007.  I apparently “dazzled” the Pardon & Parole Board to such an extreme, that in addition to granting my civil & political rights back, they granted my gun rights back to me.

So today, I can legally purchase a firearm, pass a NICS check via a PIN number that was issued to me by the FBI, and I hold in my possession, a CCW permit issued to me to by the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office that is valid in 32 states.

However, herein lies the problem with the state pardon.  In Alabama, there is no statute that authorizes the expungement or sealing of a criminal conviction.  The state pardon does not afford that opportunity.  So technically, I am still considered a “felon” whenever I apply for a job and a background check is done on me.  I have lost out on getting accepted to pharmacy school, been denied an instructor position at a local vocational school, and have gotten passed over for a co-op opportunity with several pharmaceutical companies.

This is where a criminal records sealing statute is needed, because Republican leadership in the Alabama does not like the idea of expungement because they want criminal records to remain accessible to prosecuting authorities, law enforcement, and criminal justice agencies.

User story by Darryl Morris in Alabama

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15 Responses Leave a comment

  1. Miriam Nava says:

    Stay your filthy ass where ever you are from. I intend to publish this story all around the internet and inform users of the criminals that abide in Mobile County, Alabama. you’re a big time crook Mr. Norris

    • Mr. Matthews says:

      People make mistakes. We are all human and no one is perfect. Especially young adults/kids and some deserve a second chance and don’t deserve to be downed the rest of their life for it! I’m quite sure your shit stinks too!

    • JACIE says:

      Ignorance is.bliss and you are JUST THAT!!!

    • Ricky Brown says:

      There are only two types of people; those that have had their sins exposed and those that have not. I will agree that some people do things that are so evil that they deserve to be locked up and labled for the rest of their life. However, most of the people in the penal system, especially in the South, don’t deserve to be marked for the rest of their lives. I say let the punishment fit the crime. The reason God Said: “An Eye For An Eye” is because He knows that man will go too far in dispensing justice. If man punishes someone for taking an eye, he not only wants to take an eye, he wants to take an arm and a leg as well. I have one question for you. Have you ever had a loved one that was in trouble with the law before? If so, do you harbor that same unforgiving attitude towards that person?

    • b. darby says:

      Miriam I hope you never accidently kill someone in a car accident or etc!!! People change learn to forgive!!

    • Darryl says:

      Miriam,

      It’s 2014. The Expungement law has passed.

      Thank you for the lovely comment. God bless you!

      Darryl

  2. Mike McNees says:

    First of all we all make mistakes. From my forty years I’ve learned that the majority of time when laws are being broken it’s law enforcement that’s breaking the laws.

    I too was convicted of two counts of Theft of Property 2nd Degree both of which are felonies. Never served a day in jail or prison and was given two years unrestricted probation. Of course with a felony on my record gainful employment was often difficult and even impossible at times especially after 9/11.

    In July of 2007 I applied all on my own for a full pardon and received it unquestioned. I hold a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering, a Masters also in Electrical Engineering and am currently a Doctoral Candidate in Electrical Engineering at The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa. My full pardon not only allowed me to vote but to also have the right to bear arms.

    For me also it seemed at times that the full pardon wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. I mean I applied for and had a job with Boeing in their GMD program as a Level 4 Engineer which is very high up the ladder. But upon a background check I lost the job. But on the bright side I was able to sue the piss out of the company doing the background check since they did not report my full pardon and the check was only supposed to be for the years 2001 through 2008 and they reported my charges and convictions from 1995 and 1996 which is a violation under the FCRA.

    Keep your head high and keep trying because I just landed a very lucrative position with the Shaw Group after moving from Alabama to Indiana and they ran a very thorough background check including Criminal History, Resume Fraud, Employment Verification, National Sex Offender Registry Check, and a very exhaustive Credit History. Everything came back clear.

    The question on the application form asked “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” and went on to say that if your records had been expunged, eradicated, sealed, or if you had been granted a full pardon then you need not disclose this information. And this turned out to be very true since I got the job.

    I mean here’s the dilemma: It should be much easier to get a job than to buy firearms and a full pardon has enabled me to stock up on firearms over the past four years but only recently allowed me to obtain gainful employment. That is really messed up and I know that I’m not the only case of this happening.

    I mean I can even become a licensed Professional Engineer and one day with a PhD in Electrical Engineering and a PE license in multiple states I will thumb my nose and finger at society for not giving convicted felons with a full pardon a second chance. I plan to open my own business in a few years and will hire anyone who comes through my door who if convicted of a felony has a full pardon. I am willing to talk about my situation with anyone at anytime and have nothing to hide and employers all over the place should have the same view.

    Everyone makes mistakes and those of us who have been caught, done time, paid the costs, and have been forgiven and hold all rights bestowed upon us as other citizens should also be treated equally.

    And remember if you have a full pardon and someone does a background check on you and you get denied the job because of a felony conviction, go get you a lawyer and sue the piss out of everyone affiliated. In Alabama you have a statute of limitations of two years. Eventually this will bring to light and change how people are treated who are convicted felons and have had a full pardon granted to them….

    Stop the discrimination…

  3. Mchael Creel says:

    Miriam Nava, is that your real name? Why would you write something like that? It is my experience that people who write things like that really hate themselves and can only feel better by bringing down others. I really hope you are able to find some peace Miriam Nava.

    I agree with what the others have written. It seems that Alabama is an “ANGRY” state doesn’t it? The hardline stance against anything criminal doesn’t solve anything and only works to continue to punish people. Why must people continue to be punished? It solves nothing! There are some who are “Rehabilitated” and who have turned things around. My hats off to you!

  4. rita says:

    I wish you well..it is a human mistake..no one is perfect…Jesus Christ was a great man, but had to be punished..come on this person did not kill anyone, have something good to say, he wants to go on with his life to be a better person and be able to help others!!!

  5. darryl says:

    Man look i had a felony record on my criminal history and i really did not know that they could not report the felony conviction is u have a full pardon. i have a pardon on my record of the felony. The bar examiners allowed me to b certified to take the alabama bar exam. if i was not rehabilitated do you think they would allow this. so keep your head high.

    • John G says:

      It depends on what you mean by work.I can say from experience that Alabama Pardons do work!. As I was granted A Full and unconditional Pardon today with Gun Right restoration!. May god be with Alabama Pardons and Parole for standing up for our gun rights and returning what has been lost.In my case 29 years lost!. It gives me hope for a better tomorrow and a second chance I would not have got otherwise.I can travel abroad with a passport,get professional licensing, adopt, Vote, and yes own and carry a firearm and exercise my 2nd Amendment rights if I so choose,and I do so choose as I love the Alabama outdoors and can not wait to go hunting soon.I will also purchase a handgun and become proficient with it.Having the conviction on electronic record is alright as I have the “hard part” behind me.The E-record is a fight for another day. Pardons DO work…

  6. Nikki says:

    Hello everyone.My name is Nikki. I am a 29 year old single mother of 1 child. And I just want to say it is really hard. When I was 19, I was convicted of theft property 3rd which is a misdemeanor. And since that day I have been paying for it. There has been several times that I’ve had the job and as soon as i’m suppose to go to orientation, there it goes. Unable because of my background. I try to be as honest as I can about the situation. But I just don’t see where it makes sense for me to tell that information if the application say within the last 7 years have you been convicted of any crimes other than traffic violation…… This incident aboout getting denied after accepting the offer of employment has happened 2-3 times. I’ve filed for a pardon thinking that would help and as of today it has 2 years and some months. Throughout life, people are gonna make mistakes. And you have some people that learnfrom their mistakes. I just don’t think that we should be punished for rest of their life.

  7. rcoots says:

    I received a full pardon today from the state of alabama an was wondering how long it takes for the certificate to co the mail..me in through..thx

  8. rcoots says:

    For the certificate to come through the mail…sorry for the misspelling I’m on my phone


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