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Felon Disenfranchisement

245

Comments

  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I can get behind giving anyone not in jail the right to vote.

    Hell I don't really mind giving those in jail the right too, but I can certainly see why others might not.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    I have no problem with people in prison losing their right to vote, but as soon as they are out, that right should be restored to them.

    Why?
    I view it as part of the punishment-you lose your freedom and your right to influence policy.

    Should we stop taxing them in the interim as well?



    The odd thing about taking away their rights is that we talk about these rights being god-bestowed. But then we say that we can take them away. If there IS a god, and god gave these rights to people, then aren't we out of our element claiming the right to take them away? And if there is no god, then the implication is that these are rights that are inherent to all people, so again, isn't it wrong to take them away?

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    My issues fall more to the specifics. Career criminals potentially voting for easier means of committing their crime, or for lax enforcement of the laws they routinely break, for example. I think there's got to be a better way of keeping this sort of thing from happening than denying the vote to huge cross-sections of the populace, but simply opening it up has it's own problematic implications.

    What makes you think we don't already have this?

    The system we have min place now only deals with folks who get caught.
    Obviously. My point was just that opening up the vote even more would likely lead to more of that.

    Because every Congress Critter is going to leap over each other to get the endorsement of the American Association of Imprisoned People?
    No, but running on a campaign of financial deregulation is likely to attract career white collar criminals. For example.

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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    I have no problem with people in prison losing their right to vote, but as soon as they are out, that right should be restored to them.

    Why?
    I view it as part of the punishment-you lose your freedom and your right to influence policy.

    Correctional Facilities aren't there to punish people but to segregate them from society and release them as reformed, more productive members who positively contribute to it.

    Even if I were to grant you the vengeful punishment angle, what part of denying people their right to participatory government helps promote staying on the straight and narrow or deter recidivism?

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  • BobCescaBobCesca Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Thanatos wrote: »
    BobCesca wrote: »
    I'm gonna get this in early before my side gets shouted down but, I really believe that people should get a right to vote for the people who make the decisions that effect their lives. For example, if I get a job in the US and am there for 5 or 10 years, I'll be paying taxes, contributing to the economy, perhaps raising children, but would have no right to voice my opinions on the decisions the country is making (and I don't think I should have to give up my British national status). I also don't believe that if someone has committed a crime that all their rights should be taken away from them, again, including their right to representation.

    There. Feel free to now have a 40 page discussion about why I'm wrong.
    During that five-or-ten years you'll also be benefitting from military protection, public transportation, emergency health care, relatively clean running water, electricity, phone services, etc., while not having to register for the selective service. In addition, it's not like someone arrested you, put you through a trial, and then told you "you're moving to America." When you're an adult, it's a decision that you make for yourself, and one of the tradeoffs is not being able to vote until you've done your time. I'll note that you specifically wanted to maintain your status as a British National, which would entitle you to vote in British elections, even while living abroad; this is a case of wanting to have your cake, and eat it, too.

    I'd prefer not to vote in the UK elections. It just seems a little unfair that you can move somewhere and even raise a family there but have no rights concerning what goes on around you (politically speaking).

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    BobCesca wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    BobCesca wrote: »
    I'm gonna get this in early before my side gets shouted down but, I really believe that people should get a right to vote for the people who make the decisions that effect their lives. For example, if I get a job in the US and am there for 5 or 10 years, I'll be paying taxes, contributing to the economy, perhaps raising children, but would have no right to voice my opinions on the decisions the country is making (and I don't think I should have to give up my British national status). I also don't believe that if someone has committed a crime that all their rights should be taken away from them, again, including their right to representation.

    There. Feel free to now have a 40 page discussion about why I'm wrong.
    During that five-or-ten years you'll also be benefitting from military protection, public transportation, emergency health care, relatively clean running water, electricity, phone services, etc., while not having to register for the selective service. In addition, it's not like someone arrested you, put you through a trial, and then told you "you're moving to America." When you're an adult, it's a decision that you make for yourself, and one of the tradeoffs is not being able to vote until you've done your time. I'll note that you specifically wanted to maintain your status as a British National, which would entitle you to vote in British elections, even while living abroad; this is a case of wanting to have your cake, and eat it, too.

    I'd prefer not to vote in the UK elections. It just seems a little unfair that you can move somewhere and even raise a family there but have no rights concerning what goes on around you (politically speaking).

    Well you do, they're just impotent and easily overlooked.

    tea-1.jpg
  • BobCescaBobCesca Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    I have no problem with people in prison losing their right to vote, but as soon as they are out, that right should be restored to them.

    Why?
    I view it as part of the punishment-you lose your freedom and your right to influence policy.

    Correctional Facilities aren't there to punish people but to segregate them from society and release them as reformed, more productive members who positively contribute to it.

    Even if I were to grant you the vengeful punishment angle, what part of denying people their right to participatory government helps promote staying on the straight and narrow or deter recidivism?

    This seems to me to be a big problem with the American justice system, as, for the most part, it is seen as a punishment system rather than a rehabilitation system. Hence why people don't seem to care that people in prisons lose all their rights, "'cos it's part of their punishment" and so on and so forth.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Thanatos wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    My issues fall more to the specifics. Career criminals potentially voting for easier means of committing their crime, or for lax enforcement of the laws they routinely break, for example. I think there's got to be a better way of keeping this sort of thing from happening than denying the vote to huge cross-sections of the populace, but simply opening it up has it's own problematic implications.
    You're right.

    By the same rationale, we now need to start denying the right to vote and lobby to rich, white people. I mean, have you seen what the financial services has done with the power they have? Enforcement of financial regulations is ridiculously lax, and even when people do get caught, they get off far too easy. We need to start disenfranchising the wealthy in order to maintain our "tough on crime" stances.
    All agreed here.

    Look, I'm just playing devils advocate in a forum that gives every indication of coming down very strongly on the side of felons' rights.

    I'm not sure how I became the face of the opposition here.
    The point was that the "logic" of your initial statement was very very stupid. Than just took it out to its natural conclusion.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    I have no problem with people in prison losing their right to vote, but as soon as they are out, that right should be restored to them.

    Why?
    I view it as part of the punishment-you lose your freedom and your right to influence policy.

    Correctional Facilities aren't there to punish people but to segregate them from society and release them as reformed, more productive members who positively contribute to it.

    Even if I were to grant you the vengeful punishment angle, what part of denying people their right to participatory government helps promote staying on the straight and narrow or deter recidivism?

    I'm willing to agree that punishment plays some part in detterence and in the behavioral conditiong that is required to reform criminals.



    That said, Americans are pretty apathetic about voting. Taking away the right to vote, as punishment, is kind of like punishing a child by taking away his broccoli.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    BobCesca wrote: »
    This seems to me to be a big problem with the American justice system, as, for the most part, it is seen as a punishment system rather than a rehabilitation system. Hence why people don't seem to care that people in prisons lose all their rights, "'cos it's part of their punishment" and so on and so forth.
    There's a reason we call them "penitentiaries."

    And it's a really fucked up reason.

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  • VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Archgarth wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I've always been uncomfortable with rights being stripped from felons.

    I think that there is a lot more voting disenfranchisement, in general, in our nation that really gets ignored. I think what we really need, as a nation, is to go back to those roots of "no taxation without representation" and figure out what they really mean to us.



    The fact that my grandparents, living in DC< couldn't vote for President alway astounds me. The way that certain politicians accentually try to prevent DC from having representation in congress continues to piss me off. How can anyone justify that to themselves (other than, "they'll vote different from me, therefore they shouldn't be allowed to vote," which IS an indefensible reason.)

    Well, considering the only (and yes I do mean the only) party that has a problem with DC having representation in Congress are the Republicans, it just fits into their pre-determined view of who should (Republicans) and who shouldn't (anyone who could possibly vote for a Democrat) vote.

    The fact that stripping felons of their voting rights is statistically more likely to influence minorities and the poor seems to be a definite violation of equal protection.

    Take it up with this fine lady.

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    Let 'em eat fucking pineapples!
  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    We've had an american prisons topic a few weeks back I believe. Suffice to say it's one giant clusterfuck.

    What's interesting about this, is that with the sheer amount of prisoners (Well over 2M, and heading towards 1% of the adult population), and the sheer amount of minorities (Over 40% african americans), these votes could actually influence swing states to a significant degree.

    I'm not sure voting rights ought to be denied even in prison. They are still citizens, and they are dependant on the state, so I feel they should have some say about what happens to the country, and to them. To take it after they've come out seems petty vindicitiveness, with which the american justice system is far too acquainted in general.

    My other reason for believing these people should have the right the vote, is that once you start taking away some peoples right to vote because your subset of society judges theirs not worthy of it, you open up a can of worms. I mean, you have people voting whose only knowledge about the candidates is 30 second commercials, or the letter behind their names, or Fox news, or rumors / lies on the internet, or perhaps nothing at all. Yet they get to vote. You have people in almost every country voting directly against their economic interest, and they get to vote. In my own country, about 17% of the votes next election will go to a racist rightwing reactionary populist party, and they get to vote.

    Steam: SanderJK Origin: SanderJK
  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Echo wrote: »
    Doesn't the US have one of the highest prison populations per capita in the world?

    I believe that not only do we have the highest per capita, we have the highest period. The entire system is founded on politicians wanting to look 'tough on crime' and buoyed by the public being largely unsympathetic towards anyone they can slap a number of labels on (drug user/addict, minority, criminal, terrorist, sex offender, etc). Even if they avoid prison time, even nonviolent criminals are catastrophically impacted in seeking employment. By and large the public is not concerned with the intricacies of the justice system and therefore are apt to dismiss a possible hire once a criminal record is revealed, regardless of the nature of the offense or whether it would impact the person's ability to perform the job's duties. Now you have a group of already underprivileged people who are now even less able to find opportunities for work, and people wonder why the recidivism rate is out of control and the jails are overcrowded.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    VeritasVR wrote: »
    Archgarth wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    I've always been uncomfortable with rights being stripped from felons.

    I think that there is a lot more voting disenfranchisement, in general, in our nation that really gets ignored. I think what we really need, as a nation, is to go back to those roots of "no taxation without representation" and figure out what they really mean to us.



    The fact that my grandparents, living in DC< couldn't vote for President alway astounds me. The way that certain politicians accentually try to prevent DC from having representation in congress continues to piss me off. How can anyone justify that to themselves (other than, "they'll vote different from me, therefore they shouldn't be allowed to vote," which IS an indefensible reason.)

    Well, considering the only (and yes I do mean the only) party that has a problem with DC having representation in Congress are the Republicans, it just fits into their pre-determined view of who should (Republicans) and who shouldn't (anyone who could possibly vote for a Democrat) vote.

    The fact that stripping felons of their voting rights is statistically more likely to influence minorities and the poor seems to be a definite violation of equal protection.

    Take it up with this fine lady.

    The fact that so many people are only familiar with her because of Colbert makes me both happy and sad.

    Happy that AT LEAST they are familiar with her somehow, and sad that it took Colbert to get people to notice.

    georgersig.jpg
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    At first I was going to yell at you all for mentioning DC's nonvote and felon disenfranchisement, but then I remembered how many black people are in DC...

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    At first I was going to yell at you all for mentioning DC's nonvote and felon disenfranchisement, but then I remembered how many black people are in DC...

    why would you yell at us?

    I think that there really is a connection between the two, and it has to do with the fact that some people don't seem to view the rights of others as importantly as they view their own. (Unless those others live in a country that we are "liberating")



    Even if DC was mostly white, I think you'd still have some Republicans opposing voting rights. They'd just be defeated.

    georgersig.jpg
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I could be wrong, but it sounded like XoB was making an "lol black people are felons" joke.

    I apologize if this is an incorrect interp, XoB.

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  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I was, in fact making the black people are felons joke.

    DC is the most ridiculous city I've ever had the pleasure to visit.

    1/4 of the place is absolutely beautful. Surrounded by 3/4s of complete chaos. No place quite like it on earth.

    Anyways, let 'em vote. Let people out of jail vote. Let people in jail vote, but again I could go either way with that.

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  • SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Echo wrote: »
    Also usually has one of the lowest percentages of voter turnout of modern democratic non-rigged elections.

    That voting system that appears to be designed to promote voter apathy is a really nice touch.

    Check.

    I think given how useless the votes of people in wyoming are most years that 65% or so turn out is pretty damn heroic.

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    Walkers with the sun and morning, we are not afraid of night,
    Nor days of gloom, nor darkness -
    Being walkers with the sun and morning.
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Speaker wrote: »
    Echo wrote: »
    Also usually has one of the lowest percentages of voter turnout of modern democratic non-rigged elections.

    That voting system that appears to be designed to promote voter apathy is a really nice touch.

    Check.

    I think given how useless the votes of people in wyoming are most years that 65% or so turn out is pretty damn heroic.

    And I really don't see how best to reduce apathy unless you want to add so many Rep's that the House starts to look like the Galactic Senate and becomes impossible to manage.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I was, in fact making the black people are felons joke.

    DC is the most ridiculous city I've ever had the pleasure to visit.

    1/4 of the place is absolutely beautful. Surrounded by 3/4s of complete chaos. No place quite like it on earth.

    Anyways, let 'em vote. Let people out of jail vote. Let people in jail vote, but again I could go either way with that.

    Did you not go past Chinatown?

    There is TONS of beauty in the city. Yes, there are bad parts, but the good parts aren't ONLY on the Mall.

    georgersig.jpg
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    I was, in fact making the black people are felons joke.

    DC is the most ridiculous city I've ever had the pleasure to visit.

    1/4 of the place is absolutely beautful. Surrounded by 3/4s of complete chaos. No place quite like it on earth.

    Anyways, let 'em vote. Let people out of jail vote. Let people in jail vote, but again I could go either way with that.

    Did you not go past Chinatown?

    There is TONS of beauty in the city. Yes, there are bad parts, but the good parts aren't ONLY on the Mall.

    I said chaos, I didn't say it wasn't beautiful. I mean, it has this indescribable edge to it.

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I'm glad to be in one of those states that disenfranchises its felons. I believe that voting is a privilege, and I also believe that committing a serious crime, you deserve to lose that privilege. Nothing I've read in this thread has changed my mind about it. I'll be continuing to use my vote to support that cause.

    At most, you might be able to convince me that some felonies aren't worth losing your right to vote.

    Sig1.png
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    I believe that voting is a privilege
    This is a pretty undemocratic idea.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    I believe that voting is a privilege

    So you are unhappy with our constitution, then?

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    I believe that voting is a privilege
    This is a pretty undemocratic idea.

    Do you also believe that someone convicted of a DUI shouldn't lose his license?

    Sig1.png
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    I was, in fact making the black people are felons joke.

    DC is the most ridiculous city I've ever had the pleasure to visit.

    1/4 of the place is absolutely beautful. Surrounded by 3/4s of complete chaos. No place quite like it on earth.

    Anyways, let 'em vote. Let people out of jail vote. Let people in jail vote, but again I could go either way with that.

    Did you not go past Chinatown?

    There is TONS of beauty in the city. Yes, there are bad parts, but the good parts aren't ONLY on the Mall.

    I said chaos, I didn't say it wasn't beautiful. I mean, it has this indescribable edge to it.

    sorry, I read the "1/4 beautiful, 3/4ths..." part, and filled int he blank myself.



    DC is chaotic by design. The very layout of the streets is intended to foil invading armies.

    georgersig.jpg
  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    I believe that voting is a privilege
    This is a pretty undemocratic idea.

    Do you also believe that someone convicted of a DUI shouldn't lose his license?
    The two aren't even remotely related.

    Driving is a privilege you have to earn, through tests and such. Voting is an inherent right for any citizen of age.

    Unless you want to institute tests to qualify for voting rights as well.

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    You have the right to earn yourself a license. You have the right to vote, and you have the right to lose it.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You have the right to earn yourself a license. You have the right to vote, and you have the right to lose it.
    You have the right to vote. Period.

    Once you start taking that away, you're enforcing subjective limits on the democratic process. Imposing limits runs into electoral engineering pretty quickly.

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  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You have the right to earn yourself a license. You have the right to vote, and you have the right to lose it.

    Ok. Is it better for society for felons to feel detached and impotent in their communities, or will they be more productive citizens and less likely to recidivate if they are allowed to take part in the democratic process?

    eokNV.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You have the right to earn yourself a license. You have the right to vote, and you have the right to lose it.

    Are you going to actually explain your belief or just continue to say it as though it were self evidently right?

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    moniker wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You have the right to earn yourself a license. You have the right to vote, and you have the right to lose it.

    Are you going to actually explain your belief or just continue to say it as though it were self evidently right?

    Since I don't care what any of you think? If I did care, I wouldn't have posted in the first place.

    Sig1.png
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You have the right to earn yourself a license. You have the right to vote, and you have the right to lose it.

    How would you feel about a gun-haver license that was as in depth as our driver's license system, where it was also just as easy to lose the right to have a gun, just from being seen with it while drunk, etc.?

    georgersig.jpg
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You have the right to earn yourself a license. You have the right to vote, and you have the right to lose it.

    Are you going to actually explain your belief or just continue to say it as though it were self evidently right?

    Since I don't care what any of you think? If I did care, I wouldn't have posted in the first place.

    So if you aren't actually interested in debate and/or discourse...why are you posting at all?

    tea-1.jpg
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Terrendos wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You have the right to earn yourself a license. You have the right to vote, and you have the right to lose it.

    Are you going to actually explain your belief or just continue to say it as though it were self evidently right?

    Since I don't care what any of you think? If I did care, I wouldn't have posted in the first place.

    That doesn't make any sense.

    If you didn't care, you wouldn't have bothered telling us to begin with.

    georgersig.jpg
  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You have the right to earn yourself a license. You have the right to vote, and you have the right to lose it.

    How would you feel about a gun-haver license that was as in depth as our driver's license system, where it was also just as easy to lose the right to have a gun, just from being seen with it while drunk, etc.?

    this was BotP'd, but I think it's an important question to be asking here.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Evander wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    You have the right to earn yourself a license. You have the right to vote, and you have the right to lose it.

    How would you feel about a gun-haver license that was as in depth as our driver's license system, where it was also just as easy to lose the right to have a gun, just from being seen with it while drunk, etc.?

    Or having your voting rights revoked if you were spotted watching CNN with an open container.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I'm really curious how this "feeling" of your extends to other rights.



    Driver's license is actually an interesting comparison here, because you DO have to register in order to vote.

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  • KazhiimKazhiim __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2009
    Felonies typically involve robbing a person of their right to do something (like, say, live)

    At a bare minimum, murderers and rapists should have their right to vote stripped from them permanently. Pretty much any violent felony, really. And some nonviolent ones.

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