When felons pay their debt to society should they also be given back their right to vote?

Do felons forfeit their right to vote forever upon conviction?

What if your candidate could win if he gets the felon vote? 

OBTW - For those people in Reo-Linda: What Is a Felony?

In criminal law, a felony is a category of crimes that are often classified as the most serious types of offenses, and they can be either violent or non-violent. Felonies are typically classified as mala in se crimes. The main characteristic of a felony is that being found guilty of a felony will result in incarceration for at least one year. Also, the imprisonment will be served in a prison facility rather than a county or local jail establishment. Criminal fines may also be imposed for felony charges, often in the amounts of thousands of dollars.

Under traditional common law, felonies were called “true crimes,” and usually included serious offenses such as: homicide, rape, arson, burglary, robbery, larceny, escaping from a prison, and assisting in a felony. Current, state and federal criminal statutes may categorize various other types of crimes as felonies.

PRO Felon Voting

CON Felon Voting

1. Trusting a Felon's Judgment

PRO: "We let ex-convicts marry, reproduce, buy beer, own property and drive. They don't lose their freedom of religion, their right against self-incrimination or their right not to have soldiers quartered in their homes in time of war. But in many places, the assumption is that they can't be trusted to help choose our leaders... If we thought criminals could never be reformed, we wouldn't let them out of prison in the first place."

CON: "We don't let children vote, for instance, or noncitizens, or the mentally incompetent. Why? Because we don't trust them and their judgment...

So the question is, do criminals belong in that category? And I think the answer is clearly yes. People who commit serious crimes have shown that they are not trustworthy."

2. Felon Disenfranchisement and Race

PRO: "In many states, felony disenfranchisement laws are still on the books. And the current scope of these policies is not only too significant to ignore – it is also too unjust to tolerate... 

And although well over a century has passed since post-Reconstruction states used these measures to strip African Americans of their most fundamental rights, the impact of felony disenfranchisement on modern communities of color remains both disproportionate and unacceptable. Throughout America, 2.2 million black citizens – or 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."

CON: "Upon my election as attorney general, I inherited clemency rules that allowed the vast majority of felons to have their civil rights restored upon the completion of their criminal sentence, without the need to apply and without any mandatory waiting period...

Last week [Florida]... reinstated a requirement that those seeking restoration submit an application and imposed a minimum five-year waiting period…

For those who may suggest that these rule changes have anything to do with race, these assertions are completely unfounded. Justice has nothing to do with race. In a recent case, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals examined the historical record and soundly rejected the argument that Florida's prohibition on felon voting was originally motivated by racial discrimination."

3. Congressional Authority over Voting

PRO: "There are three potential constitutional bases for Congress's authority to enfranchise non-incarcerated offenders for federal elections :

- Congress's supervisory power over federal elections, rooted in Article 1, Sec. 4;

- Congress's enforcement power under Section Five of the Fourteenth Amendment, and

- Congress's enforcement power under Section Two of the Fifteenth Amendment."

CON: "Most prominently, the 14th Amendment makes felon voting a state prerogative, not a federal one...

The senators' bill [Count Every Vote Act of 2005], by contrast, tosses out the Constitution and declares in no uncertain terms that felon voting should be a federal issue...

If voters choose to change state laws regarding felons and voting, it's their prerogative. Federalism allows for such state-level experimentation, and it's at the state level where the consequences of new felon-voting laws will best be judged. Congress should let the process play itself out, as the Constitution allows it to."

4. US Voting Rights Act of 1965

PRO: "It is plain to anyone reading the Voting Rights Act that it applies to all 'voting qualification[s].' And it is equally plain that [New York Election Law] § 5-106 [which denies the vote to incarcerated felons and felons on parole] disqualifies a group of people from voting. These two propositions should constitute the entirety of our analysis. Section 2 of the Act by its unambiguous terms subjects felony disenfranchisement and all other voting qualifications to its coverage.

The duty of a judge is to follow the law, not to question its plain terms. I do not believe that Congress wishes us to disregard the plain language of any statute or to invent exceptions to the statutes it has created. The majority's 'wealth of persuasive evidence' that Congress intended felony disenfranchisement laws to be immune from scrutiny... includes not a single legislator actually saying so. But even if Congress had doubts about the wisdom of subjecting felony disenfranchisement laws to the results test of § 2, I trust that Congress would prefer to make any needed changes itself, rather than have courts do so for it."

CON: "The Court of Appeals (José A. Cabranes, Circuit Judge) concludes that the Voting Rights Act must be construed to not encompass prisoner disenfranchisement provisions such as that of New York because (a) Congress did not intend the Voting Rights Act to cover such provisions and (b) Congress made no clear statement indicating an intent to modify the federal balance by applying the Voting Rights Act to these provisions...

[T]here are persuasive reasons to believe that Congress did not intend to include felon disenfranchisement provisions within the coverage of the Voting Rights Act, and we must therefore look beyond the plain text of the statute in construing the reach of its provisions...

We therefore conclude that [The Voting Rights Act] was not intended to - and thus does not - encompass felon disenfranchisement provisions."

5. Constitutionality

PRO: "The Eighth Amendment 'succinctly prohibits 'excessive' sanctions,' and demands that 'punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to the offense'... Thus, the states that continue to exclude all felons permanently are outliers, both within the United States and in the world." 

CON: "Unlike any other voting qualification, felon disenfranchisement laws are explicitly endorsed by the text of the Fourteenth Amendment.... They are presumptively constitutional. Only a narrow subset of them - those enacted with an invidious, racially discriminatory purpose - is unconstitutional." 

6. Voting While in Prison

PRO: "[T]he argument that allowing prisoners to vote would be costly and impractical is ethically unjustifiable. Similarly, the fact that prisoners lose many freedoms does not imply they should lose all their civil rights.

Denying prisoners the right to vote is likely to undermine respect for the rule of law... Allowing prisoners to vote, by contrast, may strengthen their social ties and commitment to the common good, thus promoting legally responsible participation in civil society."

CON: "[P]rison is meant to be a punishment. A custodial sentence has always resulted in loss of freedom and loss of democratic rights for the duration of a prisoner's sentence. Why change that?...

The main point of a prison sentence is to show the offender and society as a whole that criminal behaviour results in loss of freedom and most of the rights that freedom offers."

7. Automatic Restoration of the Vote

PRO: "I believe that the commission of a crime must have a tough and just consequence... 

I also believe that once an offender has fully paid his debt to society, he deserves a second chance... 

It is a mark of good government to restore felons' rights and provide them the opportunity to succeed and become law-abiding citizens again... 

Therefore, I am amending the criteria used to adjudicate non-violent felons applications for restoration of rights. With these changes, Virginia will have an automatic restoration of rights process..."

CON: "Felons seeking restoration of rights will also be required to demonstrate that they desire and deserve clemency by applying only after they have shown they are willing to abide by the law... 

Restoration of civil rights will not be granted ‘automatically’ for any offenses... 

The Restoration of Civil Rights can be a significant part of the rehabilitation of criminal offenders and can assist them in reentry into society. It is important that this form of clemency be granted in a deliberate, thoughtful manner that prioritizes public safety and creates incentives to avoid criminal activity."

8. Voting Before Fines and Restitution Paid

PRO: "People should not be barred from voting solely because they are unable to pay back their fines, fees and interest. If we truly want people convicted of felonies to re-engage with society, become rehabilitated, and feel a part of a broader community (thus creating incentives not to recidivate) then our State should do everything possible to re-incorporate these individuals into mainstream society. In terms of being a just and even handed society, it is not fair if thousands of people are unable to re-gain their voting rights because they are poor... People who are wealthy or have access to money are able to repay their financial debts and poor people (the vast majority of people who have felony convictions) are not. This is an unjust system."

CON: "We believe a rational basis does exist for the Legislature to deny felons the right to vote until they have completed their entire court-ordered sentences, including payment of criminal penalties, victim's restitution, and legal fees, rather than separating out various sentencing aspects." 

9. Social Contract Theory

PRO: "Despite its initial attractiveness, the use of social contract theory to defend felon disenfranchisement is in fact specious. Under a regime of disenfranchisement, an individual who breaches the social contract continues to be bound by the terms of the contract even after being stripped of the ability to take part in political decisions. However, contract doctrine does not allow an injured party to force the breacher to perform its contractual duties without the injured party performing its own. The contract can be terminated or the injured party can accept the performance, but the injured party cannot simply pick and choose which terms will remain and which will not...

Social contract theory and the objectives of punishment fail to provide a satisfactory explanation for the denial of one of the most fundamental rights to millions of citizens."

CON: "As a policy justification, Locke's social contract theory has withstood the test of time; it served a rationale for the enactment of felon disenfranchisement laws in the past, and remains a compelling argument today.

When someone commits a crime, he commits it not just against the victim, but against our entire society. Protests that time served is enough, and that society should prioritize the rehabilitation and reintegration of felons should fall on deaf ears.

Opponents of disenfranchisement claim that the inability to vote stymies felons' 'remittance into a law-abiding society.' Yet they neglect to explain why the tonic of voting did not curtail felons from committing crimes initially."

10. Felons and Political Party Affiliation

PRO: "[In New York] ex-felons who are registered overwhelmingly register as Democrats. Of those discharge records that match to at least one voter file record, 61.5 percent match only to Democratic voter records. In contrast, 25.5 percent match only to voter records with no affiliation or an affiliation with a minor party, while 9 percent match only to Republican voter records...

...[R]egistered ex-felons in New Mexico tend to be overwhelmingly Democrat: 51.9 percent match to only registered Democrats, 18.9 percent match to only registered Republicans, 21.7 percent match to only individuals registered neither as Democrats nor Republicans, and 7.5 percent match to multiple individuals who affiliate with different parties..."

CON: "We know for a fact that nonunion, blue-collar, Caucasian men vote very disproportionately Republican, and when you look at the felon population in the state of Washington, they are overwhelmingly nonunion, blue-collar, male Caucasians."



PRO Felon Voting

CON Felon Voting

Resource: http://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000283


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Must be why perfect justice is never promised, but rather sought as an ideal.

I neglected to detail that the interracial offense was indeed prosecutable in California. Still, the very notion of a legal procedure automatically bestowing any validity AND soundness to an otherwise odious idea, rankles.  But folks speak as thought they assume this absurdity is naturally true. I'd say the invalid legal catagorization of an offense is transcended by the inheirency of individual rights (I just know this is a topic all by itself).

For example, every action taken by the National Socialist German regime was predicated by legal empowerment beforehand. That the World War ll victors were left grasping air to fabricate a notion of,"crimes against humanity" (a collectivist notion), because of this soveriegn legal validation was bad enough, but then when this freshly minted international norm was retroactively applied to deposed and captured German leadership.......... well just call it what it is (self-justifying sophistry) and exterminate the losers honestly. Oh, but that would be immoral. The sarcasm is coming out. Maybe my standards are too high?

Hey Steve, Its neat to see you circulating around, man! I have often seen your name at the footer of the page as "Ning Creator" (a singular distinction?), but have wondered if you were simply supportive.

I believe that the felon should be required to apply for the restoration of his voting rights... demonstrating that he has been thoroughly reformed by providing proof of his rehabilitation... job, community service, educational advancement, marriage, affiliation with Church or other religious institutions,... and several letters of recommendation. If there is clear evidence that the felon (1st offense) has reformed... then yes, restore his voting rights.

A two time offender should not be allowed to regain his voting rights... repeat felony offenders should not be permitted repatriation of their voting rights.  These individuals have demonstrated they are not good citizens and are unworthy of all the privileges of citizenship. 

If felons lose their right to vote then it looks like Hillary will never vote again!....just saying. 

If her choice in husbands is any indicator, we would all be better off. IMO

Felons are not only voting now but are holding government offices! DUH! 

And running for others!

Exactly, Steve... for many, many, years the mayor of Washington, DC was a convicted felon... and man of loose morals, Mayor Marrion Barry See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Barry

He was Mayor from 1979 to 1991, and again from 1995 to 1999.  A Democrat, Barry had served three tenures on the Council of the District of Columbia, representing as an at-large member from 1975 to 1979 and in Ward 8 from 1993 to 1995, and again from 2005 to 2014.

iIn January 1990, he was videotaped smoking crack cocaine and was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on drug charges. The arrest and subsequent trial precluded Barry seeking re-election, and he served six months in a federal prison. After his release, he was elected to the Council of the District of Columbia in 1992. He was elected again as mayor in 1994, serving from 1995 to 1999.

As we can readily see our Nation's Capital is not unfamiliar with immoral and criminal conduct by its highest officials... Our nation is riddled with such conduct by its public officials and we wonder why government has become so corrupt and our Constitution so abused.  Our Constitution is only suitable for the governance of a moral and religious people... is it any wonder our Constitution is being abused by those members of our government sworn to protect and defend it?.

I'm thinking all democrats are either insane or criminals, or both.




Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by AF Branco


Joe Biden Vows: Give Taxpayer-Funded Obamacare To All Illegal Aliens In U.S.

Former Vice President and 2020 Democrat presidential primary candidate Joe Biden is vowing to give Obamacare, funded by American taxpayers, to all 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the United States.

During an interview with Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart, Biden forgot that Obamacare technically bans illegal aliens from enrolling in healthcare plans — although illegal aliens are still able to obtain subsidized and free healthcare at Americans’ expense — and promised that under his plan, all 11 to 22 million illegal aliens would be able to get Obamacare.

The exchange went as follows:

DIAZ-BALART: When I … NBC moderated that first debate with you, I didn’t … I don’t recall a clear answer, under your plan should … would the 11, 12 million undocumented immigrants that live in the United States, that have been here many for generations, would they have access …


DIAZ-BALART: — to health insurance.

BIDEN: Yes, they … if they can buy into the system like everybody else.

DIAZ-BALART: Because you know, in [Obamacare] they can’t.

BIDEN: Yeah. Yeah, I know. Well they can, that’s my point. They continue to be able to do that.

DIAN-BALART: They cannot under the ObamaCare.

BIDEN: Well and that’s my point, they will though. They will be able to buy into … [illegal aliens] would be able to buy in, just like anyone else could.

Biden joins Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg — among other 2020 Democrats — in committing to forcing American taxpayers to pay for healthcare for illegal aliens who arrive in the U.S.

Already, due to loopholes, American taxpayers are spending nearly $20 billion every year to provide illegal aliens with subsidized healthcare, emergency room visits, and other health services.

Under the 2020 Democrats’ plan to provide taxpayer-funded healthcare to all illegal aliens living in the U.S., Americans would be billed potentially $660 billion every decade just to cover the costs. Other research has found that the plan would cost Americans at least $23 billion every year.

As Breitbart News has reported, experts have said that giving taxpayer-funded healthcare to effectively all foreign nationals who can make it to America’s borders would drive “strong incentives for people with serious health problems to enter the country or remain longer than their visas allow in order to get government-funded care.”

Despite 2020 Democrats’ continued push for taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegal aliens, American voters are overwhelmingly opposed to the plan. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey revealed that the healthcare-for-illegal-aliens plan is the least popular policy position, with opposition from 62 percent of U.S. voters.

Similarly, a CNN poll from July discovered that 63 percent of likely swing voters oppose providing healthcare to illegal aliens, along with nearly 6-in-10 of all likely U.S. voters and 61 percent of moderates. A Rasmussen Reports survey also found that likely voters, by a majority of 55 percent, oppose giving healthcare to even the most low-income illegal aliens.

Infantilization of Popular Culture

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