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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 03:13 PM
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    Default Eric Holder: Felons should be able to vote

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/...er-says-n26906

    In his defense, at least he isn't transparent about it. He pretty much says "hey, that's a lot of Democratic votes in prison, we got to get those".

    I don't think anyone IN prison should have the right to vote, but I think the few states remaining that bars felons from EVER voting once they get out of prison should re-think their laws.

    If we aren't going to let them integrate back into society once leaving prison, we might as well keep them in there.

    Attorney General Eric Holder is calling for an end to state laws that bar felons from voting, even after they have served their sentences.

    "By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes," Holder said Tuesday at a Washington, D.C., symposium on sentencing laws.

    Holder said the restrictions bar 5.8 million Americans from casting a ballot, including 2.2 million African-Americans.

    "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," he said.

    Holder called the laws a vestige of post-Civil War racial discrimination, with a disproportionately high impact on minority communities.

    The laws were not intended to improve public safety but rather "to stigmatize, shame, and shut out a person who had been found guilty of a crime."

    Justice Department figures say Florida's law has disenfranchised roughly 10 percent of the population. Similar laws in Mississippi bar 8 percent of the population from voting, the figures say.

    Three states -- Florida, Iowa, and Kentucky -- permanently disenfranchise convicted felons, unless the government approves an individual request to have rights restored. Eight others -- Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming -- bar at least some, though not all, convicted felons from voting.

    In most states, voting rights are restored after a sentence is served, though some also require completing terms of probation or parole. Nearly all states bar felons from voting while they remain in prison.
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  2. #2
    Hot sauce on everything Red's Avatar
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    12.06.17 @ 06:36 AM
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    I've heard that the Florida process for applying for reinstatement is pretty ridiculous. The board only meets so often, and then they only look at so many petitions. So that should probably be cleaned up.

    But as far as the social stigma associated with being a felon leading to more crimes....I'm sorry, but isn't there also a deterrent factor involved here? Isn't the prospect of losing voting rights meant to create a bit of pause? And if convicted felons can't contain themselves from becoming convicted felons again, why exactly should they have a say in electing the officials who will be writing the federal laws?

    Just throwing out some common thoughts on the matter. I have no problem with restoring voting rights to those who have completed post-incarceration sentencing. Repeat felons, eh, not so much sympathy here.

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    12.14.17 @ 10:41 PM
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    Whats next with this party? Jail is a cruel and unusual punishment and from now on, criminals will be called "morally challenged" and be sentenced to care farms? I need to take a vacation from the internet, the direction this planet is heading is downright fucking disturbing.
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  4. #4
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 02:42 PM
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    Well at least Congress and the President will still be able to vote .
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  5. #5
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 03:43 PM
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    I don't think that losing your right to vote is a deterrent to crime

    but is the purpose of incarceration merely punishment or is it rehabilitation?

    once time is served some felons should be restored their right to vote as it promotes mainstreaming them back into society

    once you have a felony on your record I think that stigma alone carried thru life and impacting your ability to get employment, housing etc is enough

    If you want to see the real price that felons, their families and the taxpayers pay watch the HBO documentary Prison Terminal the Last Days of Private Jack Hall (premieres in march) which tells the story of one man dying in prison, against the background of the aging prison population living out their last days as inmates.

    that's a bigger story than a small population of felons regaining their voting rights

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  6. #6
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    12.04.17 @ 04:15 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daisy Hill View Post
    I don't think that losing your right to vote is a deterrent to crime

    but is the purpose of incarceration merely punishment or is it rehabilitation?

    once time is served some felons should be restored their right to vote as it promotes mainstreaming them back into society
    I think it's both - which is why I am completely opposed to those in prison having the right to vote - a right which should be restored once they leave.

    To me, any other way simply doesn't make logical sense. If the judiciary has seen fit to impose a custodial sentence, and that sentence has an end-date, upon which a person is deemed to have both been sufficiently punished and (ideally) rehabilitated, then once that individual leaves the prison they should, as far as possible, be able to re-integrate back into society - which includes voting. (And when I say "as far as possible", there are obvious distinctions, such as being put on a life-long sex-offenders register, something that is done to ensure the on-going protection of vulnerable adults / children).

    I don't see a ban on voting in the same category as prohibiting a person from working in a sensitive profession for example, as it seems to serve no practical purpose other than, as has been said, to make the 'punishment' on-going, and perpetuate the stigmatization of the (former) offender. I might be wrong, but my instinct would be that this could be counter-productive in terms of preventing further offences, as it can only serve to exacerbate feelings of resentment and disenfranchisement, possibly resulting in more criminality.

    In all other respects, time served should mean exactly that: time served. If we don't believe in that principle, then what is the point in having a judicial system that makes these decisions? What would be the point in EVER releasing the person? You may as well just have them incarcerated permanently - or have them euthanized, irrespective of the offence(s) committed.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 10:50 AM
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    No voting while in prison.

    Felons when they get out of prison should be able to. But....if they go back to prison, then all bets are off once (if) they get out.

    Just a thought.
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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 02:13 PM
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    Holder's not proposing giving voting rights to those currently incarcerated though, right?

    Most of the laws that give a lifetime ban on voting to felons are archaic, but if a state wants to do it that way, then go right ahead. I can call it bad policy.

    I don't know how self-serving this would be for the White House. When Bush liberalized the laws in texas, it freed nearly half a million people to vote again, yet TX is just as Republican as ever. Crist did this in FL and it's not like those former prisoners voted for him in droves; he lost to Rubio.

    Preventing them from voting just serves to continue keeping them outside of society and succeeds probably in only shame. People who have yet to clean up their act are not knocking down doors to vote. Only those who have cleaned up and become part of society again would take advantage of this. It's win/win.

    See? Those of us that disagree with most of Obama's policies can agree with something we think is good. I wonder how Al Sharpton could twist me agreeing on this into me being a racist. I'm sure he could.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 03:13 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    Holder's not proposing giving voting rights to those currently incarcerated though, right?
    It is my understanding that is what he is proposing.
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    12.04.17 @ 04:15 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    It is my understanding that is what he is proposing.
    That's been proposed quite a few times over the years here - public opinion soon put paid to the notion!
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 08:52 AM
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    You commit a felony, you don't get to vote. Simple as that.

    You think its unfair? Don't do the crime if you can't do the time. If you can't be trusted to follow the rules set forth by our society, why should I trust you to ever be competent to vote. A prison sentence isn't a theoretical amount of time for you to be rehabilitated. It's a penalty. While some people obviously learn from their time in the joint, the majority do not.


    Another example of a party doing whatever they can to get votes. Fuck what is in the best interest of the country? We need the votes.

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk
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    It's interesting...It wasn't a suggestion made by any of the mainstream political parties over here (and that despite our being considered a more socialist country than some). It's been mooted by human rights and civil liberties groups - but I don't think any of the politicians would seriously put it forward as part of their election manifesto.
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  13. #13
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    You do not know what our two parties are capable of in the name of votes.

    Actually Democrats seem to be far more willing to stretch laws to allow people to vote. The GOP does shady things too but they are want more restrictions on voting. Like showing your freaking ID. Democrats absolutely think that is immoral yet a felon should be able to vote.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk
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    Yes, we're seeing that right now with the Scottish National Party...So desperate are they to get votes in favour of independence, they're opening up the polls to kids!

    (Actually, to be fair, I think it's 16 years and up - and, as they can legally get married and have sex, I suppose it's reasonable - although one wonders, if it looks like the vote might not be going their way, will they just say "Sod it!" and let anyone who can hold a pen have a vote..?)
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  15. #15
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 02:13 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    It is my understanding that is what he is proposing.
    The quote from the linked story and included in the body of your post is this

    By perpetuating the stigma and isolation imposed on formerly incarcerated individuals, these laws increase the likelihood they will commit future crimes.
    I read the article to, but I didn't see anything about letting prisoners vote.

    Just googled it. USA Today and Washington Post come up. Both headlines say Holder wants states to let "ex-convicts" vote.

    Only two states, Maine and Vermont, allow prisoners to vote. But the majority of states already allow ex cons to vote either after their prison sentence, after their probation, or after their parole.
    Last edited by lovemachine97(Version 2); 02.12.14 at 06:08 PM.

 

 

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