Be a Supporter!

Voting Rights for Ex-Felons?

  • 1,224 Views
  • 32 Replies
New Topic Respond to this Topic
TNT
TNT
  • Member since: Jul. 20, 2005
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 11
Musician
Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-02 22:01:52 Reply

I just came back from my last day in American Government class at the University of North Texas, and my professor was lecturing about Civil Liberties and Civil Rights in the United States and Texas. Of course she mentioned about the Civil Rights, Women's Suffrage, and the US Constitution among rights of the people and of those at risk of being charged with a crime. Towards the end, she mentioned that some people convicted with a felony and are either serving time in prison, on parole, on probation, or the combination could have their voting rights taken away indefinitely (in two states). So the question I want to ask you guys is: should their voting rights be taken away at any point of rehabilitation and when they are done serving time?

Below me are notes that I took during class that shows how many states follow this or that when it comes to how they punish criminals in regards to their voting rights.

Laws that prevent those with felony convictions from voting:
-Two States (Maine & Vermont) do not disenfranchise
-Other states disenfranchise...
---During the course of incarceration (48 states)
---While on parole (35 states)
---While on probation (30 states)
---For the rest of their lives:
------Two states entirely (Kentucky & Virginia)
------Nine states for certain types of offenses

International Perspectives
-The US is the only democracy in which people who serve their sentences can lose the right to vote permanently
-Other states restrict voting rights for a limited time, or only for those convicted of breaking electoral laws (example: buying or selling votes)
-In many nations, persons serving time in prison can vote:
---Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Romania Sweden, etc.

That should take care of some key points when it comes to how the United States and other nations handle the issue of voting rights. There is only one other interesting thing to point out, and it raises the question of if we do allow ex-felons to vote (not including those incarcerated, on parole, or on probation), does it make a difference? Well in the 2000 election it could have in Florida.

Florida at the time did not allow ex-felons to vote (the notes I took did not include Florida as one of the states that takes away ex-felons voting rights indefinitely, so they might have recently granted their rights back or there was an error in the lecture). When they asked them if they would, 35% of them said yes they would vote. 73% of those would have voted for Al Gore. Had the rights be granted for them, instead of Bush winning Florida by around 500 votes; Al Gore would have won Florida by 62,000 votes. Thus, winning him the presidency.

So in conclusion, I feel that they should get their voting rights back at least once they are done serving time in any shape or form. It seems wrong that after they served their time for any sort of punishment that they can't be trusted again to vote. However, when it comes to voting fraud (selling votes, stealing votes, or anything similar), that is the only time where I can understand why their voting rights should be taken away. Everyone has their own opinion, and should be able to express it by voting on their politician of choice to represent their beliefs. What about you guys?


Latest song cover: Rock Is Dead. Steam ID: echoes83 (Tyler from Texas)

BBS Signature
digiman2024
digiman2024
  • Member since: Apr. 16, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-03 03:37:36 Reply

if you cant take the penelty dont do the crime. let me put it this way felons cant own guns, should they get that right back just because they served their time??

morefngdbs
morefngdbs
  • Member since: Mar. 7, 2005
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 49
Art Lover
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-03 07:48:44 Reply

If the Government, through the Justice Sytem, say that if you commit a crime, you are given a penalty.
If you accept that you've done the crime & pay the penalty. When you are done IMO you should then be able to get your right to vote back. While you may still be barred from say driving or gun ownership for a further amount of time, as long as you are meeting your commitments & are being a productive citizen, you should be allowed to vote. Because you are living in a society that has given the elected people, the power to make the rules you have to live under. This affects you directly & you should be able to have a say in that.


Those who have only the religious opinions of others in their head & worship them. Have no room for their own thoughts & no room to contemplate anyone elses ideas either-More

Earfetish
Earfetish
  • Member since: Oct. 21, 2002
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 43
Melancholy
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-03 08:19:20 Reply

If the state is taking tax from you, the least you can ask is that you get a vote.

I reckon even people serving time should get a vote. The Man won't care about effective and improved prison conditions at all if prisoners can't vote, just like it doesn't cater its policies to young people who are too young to vote.

If we are led to believe that we live in a democracy and this is intrinsically the best system, then everyone should get a vote, especially those who are in the custody of the state.

stinkychops
stinkychops
  • Member since: Sep. 15, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 10
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-03 08:38:42 Reply

At 5/3/12 03:37 AM, digiman2024 wrote: if you cant take the penelty dont do the crime. let me put it this way felons cant own guns, should they get that right back just because they served their time??

Completely different.
How does voting put people's lives at risks?

If people are to be able to prevent a facist government from rising they must be able to vote for parties based on policies. Thus the people do not always have to agree with the law. Therefore breaking the law should have no impact on whether you are eligible to vote or not.

Besides issues of logistics, when so much of your population (and so much of one demographic) is incarcerated it is unethical to disallow them to vote.


/thread

Camarohusky
Camarohusky
  • Member since: Jun. 22, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Movie Buff
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-03 11:52:34 Reply

Hell yes they should get their voting rights back. Now, I don't say this in a rights perspective. I couldn't care less about whether felons retain any right (aside from those granted in the 4th, 5th, and 8th Amendments). I believe felons who are released should get many rights back, including voting for the purposes of reintegration.

One of the biggest causes of recidivism is the inability for released prisoners to build a life. Too often they are paying too many bills, and are unable to get work, and are just generally looked down upon by the rest of society (deservedly so) however, this creates the perfect mixture to send ex-cons who would have otherwise rehabilitated and become functional members of society are pushed back into crime. While voting rights have little to do with this functionally, it is a gesture to show ex-cons that society believes in them and is willing to give them the opportunity to become normal and essentially atone for their past misdeeds.

I know that many criminals will never rehabilitate, but we shouldn't forsake the many that can and are willing because of the others who are just rotten apples and always will be. And hell, for every ex-con that we are able to reintegrate properly is a criminal that isn't back on the streets, and that is really the goal of our entire justice/penal system.

Korriken
Korriken
  • Member since: Jun. 17, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 05
Gamer
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-03 13:34:42 Reply

At 5/2/12 10:01 PM, TNT wrote: =. 73% of those would have voted for Al Gore. Had the rights be granted for them, instead of Bush winning Florida by around 500 votes; Al Gore would have won Florida by 62,000 votes. Thus, winning him the presidency.

thank god for laws not allowing felons to vote. just imagine the nightmare that would have ensued if a bumbling idiot like Gore was in office on 9/11. He would have probably wanted to charge bin Laden a huge fine over the amount of CO2 spewed into the atmosphere when the twin towers burned.

and of course, had Gore won and got reelected, Obama would still be a mostly unknown senator after the housing bubbles collapsed and the media would have had nothing to work with on spinning it to put the blame on the republicans.


I'm not crazy, everyone else is.

Kidradd
Kidradd
  • Member since: May. 20, 2003
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 03
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-03 13:45:09 Reply

At 5/3/12 01:34 PM, Korriken wrote: thank god for laws not allowing felons to vote.

why?

just imagine the nightmare that would have ensued if a bumbling idiot like Gore was in office on 9/11. He would have probably wanted to charge bin Laden a huge fine over the amount of CO2 spewed into the atmosphere when the twin towers burned.

and of course, had Gore won and got reelected, Obama would still be a mostly unknown senator after the housing bubbles collapsed and the media would have had nothing to work with on spinning it to put the blame on the republicans.

absolutely none of this bullshit is related to the thread, at all, why the hell did you think it was a good idea to sprout your nonsense victimized republican rhetoric in this thread?

theburningliberal
theburningliberal
  • Member since: Jul. 12, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 02
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-03 14:18:42 Reply

At 5/2/12 10:01 PM, TNT wrote: I just came back from my last day in American Government class at the University of North Texas, and my professor was lecturing about Civil Liberties and Civil Rights in the United States and Texas. Of course she mentioned about the Civil Rights, Women's Suffrage, and the US Constitution among rights of the people and of those at risk of being charged with a crime. Towards the end, she mentioned that some people convicted with a felony and are either serving time in prison, on parole, on probation, or the combination could have their voting rights taken away indefinitely (in two states). So the question I want to ask you guys is: should their voting rights be taken away at any point of rehabilitation and when they are done serving time?

Below me are notes that I took during class that shows how many states follow this or that when it comes to how they punish criminals in regards to their voting rights.

Laws that prevent those with felony convictions from voting:
-Two States (Maine & Vermont) do not disenfranchise
-Other states disenfranchise...
---During the course of incarceration (48 states)
---While on parole (35 states)
---While on probation (30 states)
---For the rest of their lives:
------Two states entirely (Kentucky & Virginia)
------Nine states for certain types of offenses

International Perspectives
-The US is the only democracy in which people who serve their sentences can lose the right to vote permanently
-Other states restrict voting rights for a limited time, or only for those convicted of breaking electoral laws (example: buying or selling votes)
-In many nations, persons serving time in prison can vote:
---Czech Republic, Germany, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Romania Sweden, etc.

That should take care of some key points when it comes to how the United States and other nations handle the issue of voting rights. There is only one other interesting thing to point out, and it raises the question of if we do allow ex-felons to vote (not including those incarcerated, on parole, or on probation), does it make a difference? Well in the 2000 election it could have in Florida.

Florida at the time did not allow ex-felons to vote (the notes I took did not include Florida as one of the states that takes away ex-felons voting rights indefinitely, so they might have recently granted their rights back or there was an error in the lecture). When they asked them if they would, 35% of them said yes they would vote. 73% of those would have voted for Al Gore. Had the rights be granted for them, instead of Bush winning Florida by around 500 votes; Al Gore would have won Florida by 62,000 votes. Thus, winning him the presidency.

So in conclusion, I feel that they should get their voting rights back at least once they are done serving time in any shape or form. It seems wrong that after they served their time for any sort of punishment that they can't be trusted again to vote. However, when it comes to voting fraud (selling votes, stealing votes, or anything similar), that is the only time where I can understand why their voting rights should be taken away. Everyone has their own opinion, and should be able to express it by voting on their politician of choice to represent their beliefs. What about you guys?

I understand the argument that is supporting the disenfranchisement of convicted felons. As you can see from your notes, there are varied approaches to it, even within our own country. And to be honest, at least as far as currently incarcerated inmates go, I don't see any reason why they should be allowed to vote. Yes they are still citizens in our society, but they are incarcerated so that they can repay their debt to society in some form and learn from their mistakes (not that this actually happens most of the time, but that's another point for another thread).

At any rate. These people have (usually) deprived someone else of their rights, be it life, liberty, property, whatever. As part of their punishment, I fully support the disenfranchisement of convicted felons who are currently serving time.

Inmates on probation/parole, however, to me is a little bit of a grey area. But, let's clear up a little vocabulary issue. Convicted felons are not on 'probation' unless it is for a separate crime. Probation is usually a sentence imposed in place of jail time, both to relieve overcrowding and to give judges an alternative sentence for offenders whose crimes are not considered truly serious (giving probation to a murderer would be insane, for instance, but probation could be considered for someone busted for possession of marijuana - a crime that is victimless and is actually one of the few examples of discrimination that still exist in our law). Parole is what released inmates are placed on. It operates much the same way as probation, sometimes with extra rules that have to be followed.

But they are allowed to be participating members of society in most other ways. So should they be given voting rights once out of prison on parole? I tend to lean towards no, because these individuals still have to prove that they can lawfully operate inside of civil society again. But once they have completed their parole requirements and are off parole, I do believe these individuals should be given their right to vote back. At this point, a paroled inmate is back in society and has proven that they can lawfully operate in civil society, so there is no legitimate reason to disenfranchise them at this point, since they have paid their debt to society.

digiman2024
digiman2024
  • Member since: Apr. 16, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-03 14:29:22 Reply

At 5/3/12 08:38 AM, stinkychops wrote:
At 5/3/12 03:37 AM, digiman2024 wrote: if you cant take the penelty dont do the crime. let me put it this way felons cant own guns, should they get that right back just because they served their time??
Completely different.
How does voting put people's lives at risks?

a right is a right, you shouldn't be able to pick which ones a person can and cant have,

If people are to be able to prevent a facist government from rising they must be able to vote for parties based on policies. Thus the people do not always have to agree with the law. Therefore breaking the law should have no impact on whether you are eligible to vote or not.

we are talking felonies


Besides issues of logistics, when so much of your population (and so much of one demographic) is incarcerated it is unethical to disallow them to vote.

well unless your saying we as a country are just locking up completely innocent people just because they r poor, or of a color, and not because they committed a serious crime. just because you dont agree with the law doesnt mean you get to ignore it. if loss of your right to vote is part of the penelty, then dont commit the crime.

Tony-DarkGrave
Tony-DarkGrave
  • Member since: Jul. 15, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Supporter
Level 43
Programmer
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-03 14:30:41 Reply

I thought felons all together cant vote?

stinkychops
stinkychops
  • Member since: Sep. 15, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 10
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-04 11:42:32 Reply

At 5/3/12 02:29 PM, digiman2024 wrote:
At 5/3/12 08:38 AM, stinkychops wrote:
At 5/3/12 03:37 AM, digiman2024 wrote: if you cant take the penelty dont do the crime. let me put it this way felons cant own guns, should they get that right back just because they served their time??
Completely different.
How does voting put people's lives at risks?
a right is a right, you shouldn't be able to pick which ones a person can and cant have,

So then should criminals lose all rights? Your own logic defeats yourself.

People can lose rights all the time. The term 'rights' doesn't even make sense, and 'privileges allowed by the government' makes a lot more sense.

If people are to be able to prevent a facist government from rising they must be able to vote for parties based on policies. Thus the people do not always have to agree with the law. Therefore breaking the law should have no impact on whether you are eligible to vote or not.
we are talking felonies

So?

Treason, 'spying', threatenin national security and 'conspiracy' are felonies with obvious political ties. Drug issues as well. There are many felonies which could be politically/ethically 'justified'.

Besides issues of logistics, when so much of your population (and so much of one demographic) is incarcerated it is unethical to disallow them to vote.
well unless your saying we as a country are just locking up completely innocent people just because they r poor, or of a color, and not because they committed a serious crime. just because you dont agree with the law doesnt mean you get to ignore it. if loss of your right to vote is part of the penelty, then dont commit the crime.

Get real. You seriously think the people who murder, sell/abuse drugs, rape and get into fights want to be in that situation? The poor are more likely to go to jail. Jail is supposed to rehabilitate and punish you. So once they leave jail why don't we forgive them, rather than taking away their voice?

When so many Americans have been prisoners exempting them from being able to vote is horseshit, these people have a different viewpoint and it needs to be explored. What does taking away their vote achieve? What can they vote for that isn't acceptable? Isn't America supposed to be a democracy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lifetime_prevalence_of_inc arceration.png


/thread

Camarohusky
Camarohusky
  • Member since: Jun. 22, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Movie Buff
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-04 12:21:22 Reply

At 5/3/12 02:18 PM, theburningliberal wrote: Inmates on probation/parole, however, to me is a little bit of a grey area. But, let's clear up a little vocabulary issue. Convicted felons are not on 'probation' unless it is for a separate crime.

Actually, many first time felony convictions are given probation in lieu of jail time. This is only for the lower end felonies (of which PCS marijuana is in my state), but most felonies committed are the lower end ones.


But they are allowed to be participating members of society in most other ways. So should they be given voting rights once out of prison on parole? I tend to lean towards no, because these individuals still have to prove that they can lawfully operate inside of civil society again.

While this sentiment is definitely valid, and often deserved, it actually hamrs society more. By forcing ex-cons to prove themselves before we let them fully reintegrate we are placing a strong barrier in what is an already difficult fight to get away from the life the led them to commit the felony in the first place.

digiman2024
digiman2024
  • Member since: Apr. 16, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-04 12:28:08 Reply

At 5/4/12 11:42 AM, stinkychops wrote:
Get real. You seriously think the people who murder, sell/abuse drugs, rape and get into fights want to be in that situation?

yes i do, look ive poor (im talking macaroni & cheese every night poor) i have worked ever since i was 16 to make a better life for myself. and yes i have been arested for fights ive been in but it was a misdermeanor, decided i never wanted to go back to jail again, guess what i haven't. most of the poor you talk about are lazy and dont want to work because they can make more money doing illegal stuff. so no i dont give a s**t that they cant vote in certain states.

The poor are more likely to go to jail. Jail is supposed to rehabilitate and punish you. So once they leave jail why don't we forgive them, rather than taking away their voice?

so then if they are supposed to be rehabilitated, then you tell me why shoundn't they get all their rights back?
there are only two states that have decided that felons can never vote.

When so many Americans have been prisoners exempting them from being able to vote is horseshit, these people have a different viewpoint and it needs to be explored. What does taking away their vote achieve? What can they vote for that isn't acceptable? Isn't America supposed to be a democracy?

yes it is a democracy thats why only 2 states say they can never vote, you can always move to a different state that allows you to vote again (some states you have to remain out of jail for 5 yrs)

stinkychops
stinkychops
  • Member since: Sep. 15, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 10
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-05 06:19:15 Reply

At 5/4/12 12:28 PM, digiman2024 wrote: yes it is a democracy thats why only 2 states say they can never vote, you can always move to a different state that allows you to vote again (some states you have to remain out of jail for 5 yrs)

You're seriously saying that "If you don't like it, leave" is democracy?

Thanks for the laugh.


/thread

digiman2024
digiman2024
  • Member since: Apr. 16, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-05 06:28:18 Reply

At 5/5/12 06:19 AM, stinkychops wrote:
At 5/4/12 12:28 PM, digiman2024 wrote: yes it is a democracy thats why only 2 states say they can never vote, you can always move to a different state that allows you to vote again (some states you have to remain out of jail for 5 yrs)
You're seriously saying that "If you don't like it, leave" is democracy?

Thanks for the laugh.

yes, that is democracy, a democratically elected group of people decide what the laws are in that state, city, county, country.

if you dont like the laws they decided they you can move to another state.

djack
djack
  • Member since: Aug. 10, 2008
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 27
Movie Buff
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-05 11:54:28 Reply

At 5/5/12 06:19 AM, stinkychops wrote:
At 5/4/12 12:28 PM, digiman2024 wrote: yes it is a democracy thats why only 2 states say they can never vote, you can always move to a different state that allows you to vote again (some states you have to remain out of jail for 5 yrs)
You're seriously saying that "If you don't like it, leave" is democracy?

Thanks for the laugh.

Majority rules. If you're not in the majority and you don't like it you can either leave or convince people your way is the right way and the latter is nearly impossible.

Camarohusky
Camarohusky
  • Member since: Jun. 22, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Movie Buff
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-05 12:10:56 Reply

At 5/5/12 06:19 AM, stinkychops wrote: You're seriously saying that "If you don't like it, leave" is democracy?

It's actually a tenet of Federalism, not Democracy. I am vaguely remembering some legal principle, believe it was in employment law, that had this as a component.

TNT
TNT
  • Member since: Jul. 20, 2005
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 11
Musician
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-05 14:55:43 Reply

When it comes to this sort of democracy, where "if you don't like a certain state law then you could leave" thing, kinda bugs me. I'm not saying that it isn't a democracy because the majority voted in favor of such, but sometimes laws are passed that the state citizens cannot vote for. Often laws are passed by the legislature and signed by the state governor, so the idea of democracy is fuzzy at best.

It's only my opinion, so I won't argue if any of you think it's a true democracy or not.


Latest song cover: Rock Is Dead. Steam ID: echoes83 (Tyler from Texas)

BBS Signature
stinkychops
stinkychops
  • Member since: Sep. 15, 2007
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 10
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-07 07:13:44 Reply

At 5/5/12 11:54 AM, djack wrote:
At 5/5/12 06:19 AM, stinkychops wrote:
At 5/4/12 12:28 PM, digiman2024 wrote: yes it is a democracy thats why only 2 states say they can never vote, you can always move to a different state that allows you to vote again (some states you have to remain out of jail for 5 yrs)
You're seriously saying that "If you don't like it, leave" is democracy?

Thanks for the laugh.
Majority rules. If you're not in the majority and you don't like it you can either leave or convince people your way is the right way and the latter is nearly impossible.

No.

Democracy isn't about the masses deciding on lynch mob rulings and carrying out what 'the majority' thinks.

Democracy, as it exists (IE not Athenian democracy) is about people electing educated/well informed/upstanding members of society to make the best choices.

Politicians are not expected to make popular decisions, it's their job to make the right decision.

If the majority of people wanted to, say, kick all the Asians out... too bad. There is a constitution for a reason.


/thread

Cootie
Cootie
  • Member since: Jul. 7, 2006
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 43
Movie Buff
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-07 07:58:06 Reply

Once they have served their time and payed what they owed they should be able to. They repaid their debt to society and they should be able to live as normal as a life as they can after that.


For I am and forever shall be... a master ruseman.

BBS Signature
DoctorStrongbad
DoctorStrongbad
  • Member since: Oct. 20, 2004
  • Online!
Forum Stats
Member
Level 56
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-13 02:43:42 Reply

Once your a Felon, you lose the right to vote. Why give it back to them?


I have a PhD in Troll Physics Top Medal points user list. I am number 12

Dorkcraft
Dorkcraft
  • Member since: Jan. 3, 2009
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 11
Movie Buff
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-13 23:36:23 Reply

At 5/3/12 03:37 AM, digiman2024 wrote: if you cant take the penelty dont do the crime. let me put it this way felons cant own guns, should they get that right back just because they served their time??

So you are saying that the penal system is utterly useless, correct? If they haven't been "reformed", maybe we need to look at how our system works and change it, so that when someone gets out of prison, and have been released, they can be given another chance. They served their sentence, which has been determined by people smarter than you is enough.

You all preach about how SWEET JUSTICE helps keep us safe, but on the topic of giving them rights, you completely devalue the purpose of PUTTING THEM IN PRISON.


VOTE BUSH 2012

BBS Signature
Lugen
Lugen
  • Member since: Sep. 11, 2010
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 12
Gamer
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-14 00:42:52 Reply

Innocent or guilty, they have a right to vote whether they want to vote or not.


There are things I do and there are things I want to do. Overall, I just want to live my life and end it the way I want.

BBS Signature
digiman2024
digiman2024
  • Member since: Apr. 16, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-14 03:06:51 Reply

At 5/13/12 11:36 PM, Dorkcraft wrote:
At 5/3/12 03:37 AM, digiman2024 wrote: if you cant take the penelty dont do the crime. let me put it this way felons cant own guns, should they get that right back just because they served their time??
So you are saying that the penal system is utterly useless, correct? If they haven't been "reformed", maybe we need to look at how our system works and change it, so that when someone gets out of prison, and have been released, they can be given another chance. They served their sentence, which has been determined by people smarter than you is enough.

You all preach about how SWEET JUSTICE helps keep us safe, but on the topic of giving them rights, you completely devalue the purpose of PUTTING THEM IN PRISON.

yes im saying for felons the penal system absolutely is useless. just the other day city jail released by mistake a felon waiting for transfer to state prison, he was convicted on 3 counts of child rape/ and abduction. lucky for them they figured it out before he did it again. so i ask you this, since you think all these prisoners that get released are reformed. would you let a child rapist teach in a school your child went to?? (i dont think you would) would you let a murderer own a firearm?? (yes that is a right) all prison does is teach you how to be a better crook. these prisoners are not given forced theropy so they can figure out why they did what they did and why it was wrong. so you tell me how are they reformed, being thrown in a concrete building with people just like them, 3 meals a day, cable tv, heat/ac?

most will say i am nuts for this opinion, i think we need to expand the death penalty to include rapist and drug dealers, bet you would see a drop in those types of crime real quick.

the states have these rules for a reason, and its not because they just want to be pricks.

Camarohusky
Camarohusky
  • Member since: Jun. 22, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Movie Buff
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-14 13:05:12 Reply

At 5/14/12 03:06 AM, digiman2024 wrote: yes im saying for felons the penal system absolutely is useless. just the other day city jail released by mistake a felon waiting for transfer to state prison, he was convicted on 3 counts of child rape/ and abduction.

Let me stop you here for a second. Not all felonies are created equal. Hell, not all sex offenses are created equal. There is huge difference between a guy who hits his wife in front of a child and someone who practices predatory child abuse. There is a difference between an 18 year old with a girlfriend who is 3 years and 2 months younger than him, and a flat out rapist.

so you tell me how are they reformed

Actually, the bigger crimes (aside from sex crimes) have an automatically lower recidivism rate. That rate is dramatically lower than that of smaller crimes.

digiman2024
digiman2024
  • Member since: Apr. 16, 2012
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 01
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-15 00:34:17 Reply

At 5/14/12 01:05 PM, Camarohusky wrote:

Let me stop you here for a second. Not all felonies are created equal. Hell, not all sex offenses are created equal. There is huge difference between a guy who hits his wife in front of a child and someone who practices predatory child abuse. There is a difference between an 18 year old with a girlfriend who is 3 years and 2 months younger than him, and a flat out rapist.

you are right and i am against them being treated as sex offender, (18 and a 15, though i do believe that a 25 and 15 should be) but i disagree that a man hitting his wife in front of his child or even behind his child's back is a man at all and yes he should be charged as a felony and lost of rights, if fact i wouldn't be opposed to taking him out back and shooting him like the dog he is.


Actually, the bigger crimes (aside from sex crimes) have an automatically lower recidivism rate. That rate is dramatically lower than that of smaller crimes.
theburningliberal
theburningliberal
  • Member since: Jul. 12, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 02
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-18 21:58:06 Reply

At 5/4/12 12:21 PM, Camarohusky wrote:
At 5/3/12 02:18 PM, theburningliberal wrote: Inmates on probation/parole, however, to me is a little bit of a grey area. But, let's clear up a little vocabulary issue. Convicted felons are not on 'probation' unless it is for a separate crime.
Actually, many first time felony convictions are given probation in lieu of jail time. This is only for the lower end felonies (of which PCS marijuana is in my state), but most felonies committed are the lower end ones.

I guess it depends partly on your state. A felony conviction where I am from automatically means at least a sentence of 366 days.

But they are allowed to be participating members of society in most other ways. So should they be given voting rights once out of prison on parole? I tend to lean towards no, because these individuals still have to prove that they can lawfully operate inside of civil society again.
While this sentiment is definitely valid, and often deserved, it actually hamrs society more. By forcing ex-cons to prove themselves before we let them fully reintegrate we are placing a strong barrier in what is an already difficult fight to get away from the life the led them to commit the felony in the first place.

I would argue the parole/probation process creates a stronger barrier towards reacclimating to civilian life than losing the right to vote. If our goal were to make that process easy, we would eliminate the parole system rather than stripping them of their voting rights. No, clearly our society already values the fact that the time an inmate has immediately after parole be closely guarded and restricted. That's why a single arrest for an inmate on parole - even on a small, otherwise insignificant charge - can trigger a parole violation charge and you end up back in the slammer. The larger and more immediate focus has to be protecting society from past offenders (Megan's Law, anyone?) by all fair means. If an inmate progresses to the point where he is paroled and re-admitted into society, and then causes harm to that society again during his parole period, do you really think that person should be allowed to help make political and economic decisions for the rest of us in the interim between Event A and Event B? I would venture to guess that most of us would be somewhat against that idea, because society does not want the re-acclimation process to be easier, they want it to be a challenge so that those who are truly 'rehabilitated' (or are just too good to get caught) will be able to fully rejoin society, and those that clearly haven't learned their lesson can be sent back to spend more time studying.

theburningliberal
theburningliberal
  • Member since: Jul. 12, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 02
Blank Slate
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-18 22:02:01 Reply

Sorry for the double post, but I just re-read this and the last bit of it doesn't make much sense. Stupid weed.

I would venture to guess that most of us would be somewhat against that idea, because society does not want the re-acclimation process to be easier. It is supposed to be a challenge so that those who are truly 'rehabilitated' (or are just too good to get caught) will be able to fully rejoin society, and those that clearly haven't learned their lesson can be sent back to spend more time studying.

Also, full disclosure, one of my best friends is an ex-felon.

Camarohusky
Camarohusky
  • Member since: Jun. 22, 2004
  • Offline.
Forum Stats
Member
Level 09
Movie Buff
Response to Voting Rights for Ex-Felons? 2012-05-19 00:50:16 Reply

At 5/18/12 09:58 PM, theburningliberal wrote: I guess it depends partly on your state. A felony conviction where I am from automatically means at least a sentence of 366 days.

I think most states have probation possibilities for some felonies. Felony convictions can also be lower than 1 year. What makes a felony a felony is the possibility of getting over a year. For the vast majority of felonies probation is out of the question and prison of over a year is pretty much guaranteed. Possession, DV, and low level accessory crimes tend to be where you get the probation and misdemeanor sentences. While the scope of these is small, they make up a very large percentage of all felony convictions.

I would argue the parole/probation process creates a stronger barrier towards reacclimating to civilian life than losing the right to vote. If our goal were to make that process easy, we would eliminate the parole system rather than stripping them of their voting rights. No, clearly our society already values the fact that the time an inmate has immediately after parole be closely guarded and restricted. That's why a single arrest for an inmate on parole - even on a small, otherwise insignificant charge - can trigger a parole violation charge and you end up back in the slammer. The larger and more immediate focus has to be protecting society from past offenders (Megan's Law, anyone?) by all fair means. If an inmate progresses to the point where he is paroled and re-admitted into society, and then causes harm to that society again during his parole period, do you really think that person should be allowed to help make political and economic decisions for the rest of us in the interim between Event A and Event B? I would venture to guess that most of us would be somewhat against that idea, because society does not want the re-acclimation process to be easier, they want it to be a challenge so that those who are truly 'rehabilitated' (or are just too good to get caught) will be able to fully rejoin society, and those that clearly haven't learned their lesson can be sent back to spend more time studying.

You've got several points in here.

First, probation and parole actually help a great deal. Working in the Child Welfare part of the DA's office I got to see a lot of folks after they had been on probation or parole. While they walk on a knife's edge in probation/parole, they are constantly supervised. Frankly, with many of these people, their probation officer is the only good influence they have ever had in their life. Quite often it is the mere fact that a person is on probation or parole that they ever rehabilitate at all.

Second, you kind of have a paradox for your reoffense and voting relation. Reminds me of the witch test where they would throw someone in the water and if they floated they were a witch, if they drowned they were innocent. You are saying that felons cannot vote until they prove they won't commit another crime, but they cannot prove a negative. So you'll either have the felon commit another crime and justify his lack of voting, or have that felon die crime free to justify that they should have voted.