I think part of the problem is that when hiring someone, or renting them an apartment, or whatever it may be.. you can't force them to go into the details of their crime can you? Isn't it unethical to force this info? So you can give the person an opportunity to explain the conviction.. but then you are trusting they will tell the truth. I dont think that being skeptical of someone you don't know with a criminal records is really unfair, its self preserving in a way. From a business standpoint.. why would you take a risk on someone with a indisputable track record of law breaking when you could hire someone without it?
Now there is something I think is TOTAL bullshit.. and its sexual conduct with a minor when parties are close in age. My little brother has a friend that is 18.. dated his gf for a year.. (she is 16) and her family decided to press charges on him for sexual conduct with a minor. He must have had a terrible public defender, i dunno.. but the poor kid was convicted and sentenced to jail for 30 days. For the rest of his life he will have to register as a sexual predator. He will have to disclose this on most applications, it will come up on every background check.. this is something that has MAJOR effects on the rest of his life. He will never be able to work in education, he will never be able to adopt, not to mention his neighbors can pull up his mugshot on the web wherever he lives.. FOREVER. Terrible.