also United States v. Bryde, 914 F. Supp. 38 (N.D.N.Y. 1996) (court refused to expunge 20-year-old arrest and conviction records involving relatively minor charges where defendant argued that records would disqualify her from becoming registered nurse).
Fields argues that entrapment can also constitute an "extreme circumstance" justifying a court's use of its power to expunge. See, e.g., United States v. Rabadi, 889 F. Supp. 757, 760 (S.D.N.Y. 1995). Fields admits that his case "may not rise to the level of entrapment" but argues that the behavior of the Postal Service in his case was "patently unfair." According to Fields, he was a drug addict while employed with the Postal Service. The Postal Service, at his request, enrolled him in a drug rehabilitation program which he successfully completed. Upon his return to work, the Postal Service began a "crackdown" on drug use among its employees. A co-worker involved in the sting operation repeatedly targeted Fields because of his past drug addiction. Although Fields at first refused to purchase drugs for his co-worker, he finally submitted to the request. Later, he was remorseful and declined to continue purchasing drugs. After this, his drug addiction resurfaced. Fields points out that his Presentence Report shows a long history of physical and sexual abuse, a personality disorder, and reduced mental capacity, all of which cause him to lack the capacity to think rationally under stressful conditions. This often leads Fields to accede to the demands of others even if he believes them to be incorrect.
While the actions of the Postal Service may not have been admirable, Fields himself concedes that they did not rise to the level of entrapment because the co-worker placed only "minimal pressure" on him. Furthermore, the case that Fields argues is most closely analogous to his own situation, United States v. Benlizar, 459 F. Supp. 614 (D.D.C. 1978), is clearly distinguishable. First, in Benlizar the court expunged records of a conviction that had been overturned, not records of a valid conviction. Additionally, the court in Benlizar emphasized the "extreme violations by the government of the defendant's rights," id. at 615, including a DEA agent's destruction of notes crucial to the defendant's entrapment defense, which led to the case being "irreparably prejudiced," id. at 618. Furthermore, the defendant faced an "extraordinary degree of harm," id. at 615, not only because of his possible difficulty in finding a job, but because as a resident alien, he might face difficulty in becoming a citizen or in leaving the country and later returning. Finally, the defendant in Benlizar was sentenced under the Youth Corrections Act, 18 U.S.C. § 5005 et seq. (repealed). That statute would have made the defendant eligible to have his conviction expunged if the conviction were valid, and thus it would be anomalous not to expunge the records of his unconstitutional conviction. Id. at 624. Thus, the facts of the Benlizar case constitute much more "extreme circumstances" than are present in Fields' case.
For the foregoing reasons, Fields' motion to expunge all records of his arrest and conviction is denied.
Dated: New York, New York
March 10, 1997
MIRIAM GOLDMAN CEDARBAUM
United States District Judge
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