Maricopa County attorney calls on Congress to standardize felony conviction records

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Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell is calling on the Arizona congressional delegation to help pass a bill that requires every state to keep standardized felony conviction records.

Mitchell said prosecuting people who are in Arizona from another state can be a challenge if their home state records do not include enough identifying information.

"My prosecutors have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in court, that the person has a felony conviction, and some states do not keep adequate records for that," Mitchell said. "So we've asked the congressional delegation to pass legislation that requires certain minimums."

Mitchell said other states should maintain adequate identifying information on defendants, "so that if we have to prove that that person has a felony conviction, we're able to match it up to the individual sitting in court."

Maricopa County, for example, adds a person's fingerprint on sentencing documents, Mitchell said.

The county attorney brought up the issue while announcing charges for the man who shot and killed CVS employee Michael Jacobs at a CVS store in Mesa earlier this month. Mitchell said 38-year-old Jared Sevey was indicted on six counts: first-degree murder; burglary; two counts of disorderly conduct; tampering with evidence; and misconduct involving weapons, because Sevey was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona county attorney calls for standard felony conviction records