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Claim: Applicant with lengthy arrest record successfully disputes being rejected for a job by the District of Columbia's public school system.
Origins: In case the subtext of the letter quoted above isn't obvious, here's the setup:
A woman applies for a job with the public school system in the notoriously crime-ridden District of Columbia. She's turned down for employment because a background check reveals that she has a criminal record showing a long string of arrests for crimes ranging from prostitution and shoplifting to felonies such as drug dealing and assault with a deadly weapon (a razor),
The disgruntled applicant then disputes the decision, furnishing proof that although she has been arrested a number of times (and presumably indicted on some of the felony charges), she's never actually been convicted of anything — all the listed charges have been dismissed, no papered (i.e., the prosecutor declined to proceed), or entered nolle prosequi (i.e., the prosecutor initially sought an indictment, but opted to proceed no further before the grand jury returned its findings). Hence, the DCPS has to reconsider her employment application, even though everybody knows she's a dangerous, violent criminal. (We're supposed to assume — as our court system does — that a person is innocent until proved guilty, but rare is the person among us who would look at an arrest record like the one presented here and not be convinced that the subject must be guilty of some of the charges).
So, the letter quoted above is supposed to be a real-life example of how we're being "lawyered to death," of how the people we need protection from are allowed to "abuse" the protections of our legal system while we get the short end of the stick. But is it real, or merely a fabricated example intended to stir up our sense of moral outrage?
The original source for this piece was the Washington City Paper of
Maybe crime doesn't pay, but sometimes criminals get paid.
Last updated: 10 July 2007
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