Should Prisoners Be Given The Right To Vote Essay example

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Should prisoners be given the right to vote? The UK has been accused of breaching the European Convention of Human Rights Article 3 of protocol 1 by having a blanket ban on prisoners voting. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) promotes the idea that convicted prisoners should be allowed to vote and have a right to vote, despite the Conservative party being opposed to this view. As a result the ECHR have being pressuring the Tory’s to bow to their rules for many years. This essay will examine the history behind the debate of prisoners voting and, give reasons in favour of the ban and opposing to the ban, whilst strongly promoting the view that prisoners should not have the right to vote. In 1870, under the Forfeiture Act, prisoners…show more content…
This shows that there is little argument against the disenfranchisement of prisoners as they are prepared and encouraged to be a part of society. People are incarcerated for different crimes some a lot more severe than others. For example, a single parent was sentenced to 3 months for the theft of a pair of jeans worth £10 (BBC News, 2011). However, while these are viable points and questions, the government allowing certain individuals in prisons to vote could be a complicated decision. Felons’ circumstances are not simply black and white; there can be a grey area with individual cases. Appropriate retribution is said to only occur when an appropriate punishment is given for the crime (Hegel, 1965). This makes it difficult to judge who has committed a serious enough offence to enable them to be stripped of their right to vote. Streeter said, the UK decided hundreds of years ago that prisoners should not have the right to vote’ (Streeter, 2011). This is a settled view in this country which has been accepted since 1870 (Hollobone, 2011). ‘Do we want convicted murderers, rapists and paedophiles to be given the vote?’ (BBC News, 2010). In terms of making the right decision and having it morally and politically justifiable, felons should not be allowed to vote and it is nonsensical to think they should. This essay has given a brief history behind the debate of prisoners voting. It has examined and shown both sides of the debate and
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