From jail to Yale: Felon faces scrutiny in bid to be lawyer

- FILE - Yale University (WTNH)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A convicted felon who turned his life around, won acclaim as a published poet and graduated from Yale Law School is being forced to prove that he has the moral character and fitness to practice law in Connecticut.

Reginald Dwayne Betts passed the state bar exam in February. But his three felony convictions for a carjacking he committed in Virginia two decades ago as a teenager triggered additional proceedings before the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee, which decides who become lawyers in the state.

Connecticut, like most states, does not prohibit felons from becoming attorneys, but they must prove they have good moral character. A hearing before the committee has not been set.

Betts’ lawyer says Betts has many supporters who would testify on his behalf before the committee if needed.

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