Felon who graduated from Yale allowed to become lawyer

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A convicted felon who turned his life around, won acclaim as a published poet and graduated from Yale Law School has received approval to practice law in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Bar Examining Committee admitted Reginald Dwayne Betts to the state bar Friday. The panel had flagged his file after he passed the bar exam to investigate whether he lacked “good moral character and/or fitness to practice law.”

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The 36-year-old Betts has three felony convictions for a carjacking he committed in Virginia two decades ago as a teenager. Connecticut and most other states do not prohibit felons from becoming attorneys, but they must prove they have good moral character.

Betts says he is happy with the committee’s decision and appreciative of the support many people gave him.