Thursday, April 14, 2005

Should Felons Vote...?

...I know they already do in Philadelphia Mayor Street, but I meant legally...

Hopefully we all agree that currently incarcerated felons and parolees have lost their right to vote...but the debate rages on as to whether felons that have served their time should have that right restored. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals just upheld Florida's lifetime ban on felon voting. The ex-felons that brought the suit plan to take it to the Supreme Court. Jesse Allen, lead attorney for the ex-offenders, said that "the law violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act, was antidemocratic and disproportionally disenfranchised blacks." (source) This argument has never held water with me...it seems quite simple; don't commit a crime and you can vote. And better yet --you won't go to jail. I have managed to go through 33 years of my life with no police involvement.

The 14th Amendment permits states to deny the vote "for participation in rebellion, or other crime." (source)It would seem to me if you have been convicted of a felony/violent crime -you have broken a pact with civilized society. If you fail to abide by the stipulations of a business transaction, that deal with be null and void and you will not be eligible to reap any future benefits and I believe the same tenet should be upheld on this much larger issue.

This will become a huge debate before the 2008 Presidential election. The Democrats are playing the race card yet again, claiming this is just another GOP ploy to disenfranchise prospective Black voters. Imagine basing your chances of winning on the dregs of society...I guess they feel the criminals can counter-balance the evangelicals (...talk about good vs. evil!)

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