"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." ~~Thomas Jefferson

"Who will protect us from those who protect us?"

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. ~ Thomas Jefferson

"None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free." ~~Goethe

12 February 2014

Birds of a feather...

Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for an end to state laws that bar felons from voting, even after they have served their sentences.

"By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes," Holder said Tuesday at a Washington, D.C., symposium on sentencing laws.
Holder said the restrictions bar 5.8 million Americans from casting a ballot, including 2.2 million African-Americans.

"Nearly one in 13 African-American adults are banned from voting because of these laws. In three states -- Florida, Kentucky, and Virginia -- that ratio climbs to one in five," he said.

Holder called the laws a vestige of post-Civil War racial discrimination, with a disproportionately high impact on minority communities.

The laws were not intended to improve public safety but rather "to stigmatize, shame, and shut out a person who had been found guilty of a crime."

Justice Department figures say Florida's law has disenfranchised roughly 10 percent of the population. Similar laws in Mississippi bar 8 percent of the population from voting, the figures say.

Three states -- Florida, Iowa, and Kentucky -- permanently disenfranchise convicted felons, unless the government approves an individual request to have rights restored. Eight others -- Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming -- bar at least some, though not all, convicted felons from voting.

In most states, voting rights are restored after a sentence is served, though some also require completing terms of probation or parole. Nearly all states bar felons from voting while they remain in prison.



Bob S. said...

Hmm, society is evolving and thinking that felons should be able to exercise more of their rights?

Wonder if they'll vote to let felons exercise their 2nd Amendment rights next. I doubt it but they should.

Too many non-violent felons, too many people put back in jail just for trying to protect themselves.

If we are going to have people in society (as opposed to dead or in jail) then they should enjoy the full measure of their rights.

Blue said...

Good points. Especially the non-violent offenders. I wonder how many times a person commits a non-violent felony in the course of daily events and doesn't even know it? Like carrying within 1000 feet of a school or park here where I live...

Grog said...

There was a report last year, I think it was on Drudge, that people break at least three laws, whether fed, state or local, between home and work. This isn't surprising, if it's accurate, given the tens of thousands of laws that are on the books. Not exactly the question you asked, but it's a parallel.