The root of Felon Disenfranchisement can be traced back to Greek and Roman laws. Where any person convicted of an infamous crime would lose his or her right to participate in polis. In Rome they would lose their right to participate in suffrage and to serve in the Roman legions. With the founding of the United States of America, the US Constitution gave the right to establish voting laws to the states. From 1776 - 1821 eleven states included felony disenfranchisement in their laws (Voter Registration Protection Act). By 1868 when the fourteenth Amendment was enacted eighteen states had adopted disenfranchisement laws. After the Civil War felony Disenfranchisement laws were used along with poll taxes and literary test to exclude African …show more content…
However, that leaves a whole 33percent of ex felons that do not commit another crime and want to be productive members of society an ‘’earn’’ there voting rights back. Granted, being that statistics show a greater number of reoffending felons this is good cause to why society and the communities these ex felons reside are against felons voting. On the contrary State data shows that most prison admissions are for probation or parole violations. Maybe that's because punishment is so light: 79 percent of state inmates are released before reaching their maximum sentences. In other words, maybe they aren't afraid of being reincarcerated because they know they'll never serve their full terms and continue to commit certain crimes as a cry for help. Admittedly, As Roger Clegg, president of the conservative advocacy group Center for Equal Opportunity, neatly puts it, "If you aren't willing to follow the law, you can't claim the right to make the law for everyone else” (Time .com). This guy is totally credible and makes a lot of sense and a lot of people will agree with this. But America allows ex-convicts to marry, reproduce, buy beer, own property and drive. They don't lose their freedom of
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Since the beginning of the United States government, Americans have had the right to vote. This right is entitled to most citizens of America, but it is not entitled to citizens that have been convicted of felonies. This is called disenfranchisement; where an ex-felon cannot vote, own a weapon or go into the army. Specifically, voter disenfranchisement; only two states in the US are not subject to this law. In the past 40 years due to disenfranchisement the United States criminal justice system has withheld the voting rights of 6.1 million Americans due to their convictions. Maine and Vermont do not hold restrictions due to past felonies. With over 3.1 million civilians out of prisons or other facilities this hurts the overall point of democracy, making it unconstitutional to withhold these rights that are stated in the amendments for the knowledge of American citizens.
One of the more controversial debates in today’s political arena, especially around election times, is that of felon disenfranchisement. The disenfranchisement of felons, or the practice of denying felons and ex-felons the right to vote, has been in practice before the colonization of America and traces back to early England; however, it has not become so controversial and publicized until recent times. “In today’s political system, felons and ex-felons are the only competent adults that are denied the right to vote; the total of those banned to vote is approximately 4.7 million men and women, over two percent of the nation’s population” (Reiman 3).
Moreover, not allowing felons to vote is a violation of the US Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the United States. Section Two of the Voting Act contains a general prohibition on voting discrimination. Furthermore, Congress amended this section to prohibit any voting practice or procedure that has a discriminatory result or prohibits a group of people from voting. New York is one state that restricts felony voting. In the New York Election Law 5-106, it clearly disqualifies a group of people, incarcerated felons and felons on parole, from voting in elections. This is a blatant violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
unfair and often political. What disqualifies a convicted felon from voting in one state might not
Anyhow, there are people who believe that felons should not be given the right to vote once they are out due to the fact that they have broken the law and don’t have the right to choose a leader. For instance, the declaration of Independence states that unalienable rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It does not say life, liberty and the right to vote. John Locke, who played an important part in the founding of America, also believed that each individual had certain rights that by nature they were entitled to, however, he also believed that the government had a duty to protect those rights. If someone violates another’s rights to life, liberty and property, then they forfeit their own rights to these things and society can punish him by removing their rights. The criminal has broken their social contract and violated the trust of their fellow citizens. In addition, not everyone is allowed to vote. Children, non citizens and those mentally incompetent are among those whose rights. “Voting requires certain minimum, objective standards of trustworthiness, loyalty and responsibility, and those who have
Should ex-felons be able to vote once they complete their sentence in prison? About 5 million people with a felony conviction can’t cast a vote in elections. In different states, there are different laws which mean some states go about felon voting differently. There are 9 states who permanently banned you from voting. People who are against ex -felons rights being restored argue no, because they feel that felons couldn’t make logic decisions before they got in prison so why would they be able to make logic decisions once they’re out. People who are for felons to be able to vote argue yes, because regardless of what they have done in their past, they’ve already paid for their crime and it is unfair. (Feaser). By law American citizens have the right to vote. Felons who have paid their debt to society by completing their sentences should have all their rights and privileges restored. By letting felons vote it will make the voting more diverse, and equal. Also allowing felons to vote will help with their transition back into society.
In fact, ex-felons who have learned from their mistakes can offer a different perspective when creating laws. This perspective can help create laws that prevent others from committing similar crimes. If a felon has paid his debt to society and turned his life around they should have the right to vote.
Many views have been made on ex-felon’s voting right. People debate on whether or not the people who have committed these crimes should be able to vote or if that right should be taken away. The majority of people believe the individuals who commit these crimes should still retain their right to vote, which is true.
Felons need voting rights too! Felons and voting rights are starting to become a big deal. Felons are wanting the right to vote, but some states will not give them that right. All states should let felons vote depending on how severe their crime was. It is not right to deny someone the right to vote. There are multiple reasons for why they shouldn't vote, but there are also some good reasons or why they should be able to vote. Felons deserve the right to vote for multiple reasons.
The first problem that can be solved with giving felons their rights back is giving them a way back out of trouble ,and away to be a modeled citizen. For example, in this article Vikki Hankins a convicted felonies tells of her quest to get her rights back. She has tried multiple times with no positive outcome. Her dream is to become a lawyer but because of her record she can’t take the bar exam (Penaloza 1). This here leads to some individuals going back to life they know better such as crime. Since they can no longer progress at a scholarly level into a professional level people tend to settle for less or even reform to crime(Penaloza 1).
About 6.1 million Americans convicted of a felony have been barred from voting by the law in most states (Chung 1). The condition regarded to as felon disenfranchisement is controlled by laws provided for by the individual states within the US. Unlike the states of Maine and Vermont which allow felons the right to vote while in incarceration, most other states have withdrawn the right from convicts. Ten states in the country have permanently restricted specific felons from participating in elections. With the argument that the country’s legacy in safeguarding democracy through felon disenfranchisement, opponents of the idea assert that by completing their sentences, felons have paid the debt owed to the society and should have their privileges and rights fully restored. They further assert that part of the efforts to uphold democracy is to get rid of unfair provisions such as laws advocating for felon disenfranchisement. On the other hand, proponents note that felons and ex-felons should be allowed to vote due to the expression of their poor judgment. While the debate continues to elucidate divergent views, numerous factors illustrate that felon disenfranchisement is inconsequential and does not contribute to the betterment of the country.
The citizens of the United States of America have a long history of having to fight for their right to vote, and while women and people of color do have the right, another group of people is facing a difficult time being able to vote. This other group is the felons, but understandably so: a felon’s ability to make critical decisions for the United country is sure to be questioned. Felon disenfranchisement serves as a barrier between individuals who are qualified to vote and those who are not. The reasons that felons are not qualified to make such important decisions for Americans is that their actions show a lack of good judgement and they show a disregard for the social contract. The ignorance toward the social contract, the types of felonies committed, and the judgement that felons have is questioned, and exactly what the impact may be in regard to our society and the future of our country is explained. There should be a few exceptions, and not all felons should suffer the same fate that those who committed a serious felony do.
Felons are people who have been convicted of a felony. Felony is a crime, typically one involving violence, regarded as more serious than a misdemeanor, and usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death. In Maine and Vermont, felons never lose their right to vote, even while they are incarcerated. Vermont’s 1793 Constitution stipulates that residents can lose their right to vote only if convicted of voter fraud. In Florida, Lowa and Virginia, felons and ex-felons permanently lose their right to vote. Eleven states restrict voting even after a person has completed their prison sentence and finished probation or parole. Twenty states require completion of parole and probation before voting is allowed, and fourteen states allow felons to vote after they leave prison. In 1789, Kentucky became the first U.S. state to ban convicted criminals from voting. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said that felon disenfranchisement is a violation of the Voting Rights Act in her May 4, 2006 dissenting opinion in Hayden v. Pataki. Ex-felons should be able to vote because they served their punishment and now they are out so they probably did not do anything serious like first-degree felony: murder, rape, kidnapping, arson, fraud. Second-degree felony: aggravated assault, felony assault, arson, manslaughter, possession of a controlled substance, child molestation.
The voice of millions of Americans can’t be heard due to the disenfranchisement laws, which is vital living in a country that depends on votes for elected officials. There are many supporters and non-supporters of the disenfranchisement laws, and “since 1975 there have been 13 states that liberalized their laws, 11 states have passed further limitations on felons, and 3 states have passed both laws” (Manza, 2004). There is an on going debate among citizens and states whether or not to amend the disenfranchisement laws and allow more convicted ex-felons to use their voting rights. Some believe their voting rights should not be restored, because they are criminals, and it’s a part of being a criminal. Others are fighting that their voting rights should be restored, that people make mistakes, and if they have completed their sentence then they have served their punishment. Research shows a consensus
Although some states believe that voting is a privilege that can be taken away after intolerable behavior, ex-criminals should be given voting rights because they are heavily impacted by government decisions, the vote is consequently taken away from low income, minority factions, and the US has a historical record of disenfranchising people regarding their race, color, previous servitude, and sex, so we have reason to question the disenfranchisement of other minorities.