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.
“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… 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 (Chapman, Steve).” Many believe that felons should be able to vote due to the fact that they served their time in prison and already received their consequence. When felons already served their time, they are told they have their “freedom”. Yet, they do not have the same rights they did before they were arrested. Felons have paid enough of a price by serving their assigned sentence which shouldn’t lead
Having the right to vote is a privilege, and if you lost the privilege why should you gain it back? Although people say it’s unfair, that person made his/her decision. According to Roger Clegg article called “If You Can’t Make the Laws, You Shouldn’t Help Make Them”, “The unfortunate truth is that most people who walk out of prison will be walking back in” (Clegg1). Even though felons served their time, they’re most likely to commit a crime again which means that they took their vote for granted again. The
Having the right to vote is a part of being an American just like making a mistake is a part of being human. President Obama said it best “...while the people in our prisons have made some mistakes - and sometimes big mistakes - they are
There are many ex-felon’s in past years that could not vote as stated “ Because of America’s unique rules, some 3.5-4 million citizens as of 2000 and 2004 respectively are out of prison, but not allowed to vote” (Enten 6). Millions of ex-felon citizens have been denied their right to vote, which is wrong. The good and the bad makes up the society and the world. People who committed these felonies and have paid their dues back to the society, may not be the same person they were when committed the crime. If the individual has completed their sentence, along with probation and parole, which then means they are safe to return to society and resume back to their civilized life, their right to vote should come back with it.
They have opinions too and they are citizens. They might have committed a crime but that doesn’t mean you have to take away all of their rights. Some of the felons might change while their in prison. If you allow them to vote then that is 2% more people who can vote now. Without them voting not all citizens are voting. All citizens might not vote anyways but at least they get the option.
There are tons of people who believe that prisoners convicted of crimes and receiving a felony should not have the right to vote. They should be punished, voting rights removed, do their time and walk away. However, many people think prison should be about serving your time, not losing your right to vote when u already have lost your freedom of speech along with their say in things to come.
Furthermore, ex-felons should be allowed to vote because it would help them while being re-introduced into society. The criminals would learn the value of the law to strengthen their participating in common practices. Even prisoners would come to respect the law and contribute to the “common good” with voting rights. It would be helpful for these individuals because they would be able to become important to society rather than a menace. Criminals would benefit our society more if they are treated equally for their contribution of voting rather than as an
In Florida alone, more than 750,000 persons who have completed their sentences are ineligible to vote” (King, 2009). Those states who choose not to allow felons to vote feel as though they do not have the right to vote, because they have committed felony acts. Having that many people who can’t vote harms the U.S. due to the fact that they are unable to voice their opinion or input by voting.
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.
Prisoners should be granted privileges depending on the type of crime they committed. There’s different types of felonies that determine how long a prisoner is going to stay in prison. Violent crimes such as rape, armed robbery, and murder are most likely to get life sentences . Most prisoners have about the same amount of rights. There’s those prisoners who committed non-violent felonies/crimes but are serving life sentences. Prisoners who committed non-violent felonies; does not involve high levels of damage or serious injury, should have more rights than someone who killed people, betrayed the nation or raped people.
Equalizing the constitutional rights of prisoners and the functions of the jail or prison can create great strain on not only the correctional facilities’ staff but on the inmates as well. The treatment of prisoners is typically left completely to the prudence of prison administrators and other correctional officials. With that being said, this paper will discuss the differences between harmonizing those constitutional rights of prisoners and the functions of the facility. It will also explain the rights that prisoners are required to have, and how these rights are balanced within other aspects of the correctional institution.
After felons leave a prison or a jail, they sometimes have a hard time fitting and becoming an active part of society. “If felons are given the right to vote they are three times less likely to commit future crimes” (Kander 6). If felons are voting and becoming active members of society, then they will not be committing crimes and will not be going back to prison. The main purpose of prisons and jails is rehabilitation and voting will give felons a second chance. “Studies have shown that people with felony convictions who vote had a lower recidivism rate than non-voters.” (Kander 5). That proves that if given a second chance felons will more than often choose the righteous path and rehabilitate themselves.
While lawful incarceration deprives prisoners of most of Americas Constitutional rights, they do maintain a few constitutional rights. Federal courts, while hesitant to impede with the internal administration of prisons, will interfere to rectify violations of the constitutional rights that prisoners are still entitled to. A prison guideline that oversteps on a prisoner’s constitutional rights is lawful only if it is reasonably related to the safety of the inmates or the rehabilitation of that prisoner.
In the United States, the right to vote is given to all citizen after they have reached the legal voting age of eighteen. What happens to that right if an individual has committed a crime that is punishable by law? That individual lose the right to vote. According to the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, states have the authority to deny voting rights to anyone who has committed a criminal act. Prisoners are not allowed to vote in any elections because they have lost their privileges. They have no voice in any political decision. The right to vote is what our nation is based upon. It makes up our nation as a democracy and should be given to all citizens. There are rules and regulations put in place that take away this