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Lawmakers asked to delete court records of those found innocent

State lawmakers were asked Wednesday to delete the computerized court records of those found innocent, or who had charges dismissed.

Several people told the Assembly Courts Committee they or their relatives were hurt by potential employers, who assumed they were criminals just because they were charged.

An earlier bill would have closed those online court records to everybody but police, prosecutors, media and select others.

Robin Vos, R-Racine, says deleting the innocent is a common sense approach that strikes a balance with the public's right to know.

Those records would still be available at courthouses.

Madison attorney Charles Giesen supported the bill, saying innocent people should not have to bear the burden of being charged for the rest of their lives.

But the head of the state court system testified against the bill, as did Newspaper Association director Peter Fox. He says public records are public records and it sets a dangerous precedent to make them hard to get.