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Should felons be allowed to vote?

5012 Views 134 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  BanditFlyer
I believe it is of vital importance that felons be allowed to vote. If a person is subjected to the laws, he/she should have a right to have as much input in the making of the laws as can be afforded.

Our laws do not do enough at this time to afford equal and adaquate defenses in criminal trails. A poor person gets a court appointed attorney, the attorney is appointed by the judge. The defense attorney and prosecutor attorney along with the judge choose the jury. Therefore, if the judge is biased and has reason, the defense attorney, and jury can be slanted toward the prosecutors side. Furthermore, the judge allots the time in which a defense attorney can be allowed to speak, effectively weakening the defense. In the state of Texas, it is common for the judge to allot 30 minutes time for the defense in a death penalty crime. Rights, and the defense of rights, are for those who can afford them.

it was once one of the basic precepts of our system of justice that it is better to free 10 guilty men than to allow one innocent man to rot in jail.
If innocents are inprisoned, what rights to change the system that prosecuted them do they have?
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Nor does the idea of truly universal sufferage, which was established in this country only after 24th amendment (proposed in 1962 ratified in 1964) and the related Johnson-era voting rights acts. Before that women needed franchise before that one needed property (see

Nor is it true that :
IN our sysytem of justice, once a person has served thier time, then their debt to society has been paid.
Megans law is certainly an example of this.
Also at least in my state there is a movement toward the ability to move someone who has done his time but still has a "bad attitude" to indefinate lockup in a mental hospital
(I am observing this not attacking it).

As for a felony: I kinda like this:
Webster's 1913 Dictionary


\Fel"o*ny\, n.; pl. {Felonies}. [OE. felonie cruelty, OF.
felonie, F. f['e]lonie treachery, malice. See {Felon}, n.]
1. (Feudal Law) An act on the part of the vassal which cost
him his fee by forfeiture. --Burrill.

2. (O.Eng.Law) An offense which occasions a total forfeiture
either lands or goods, or both, at the common law, and to
which capital or other punishment may be added, according
to the degree of guilt.

3. A heinous crime; especially, a crime punishable by death
or imprisonment.

Note: Forfeiture for crime having been generally abolished in
the United States, the term felony, in American law,
has lost this point of distinction; and its meaning,
where not fixed by statute, is somewhat vague and
undefined; generally, however, it is used to denote an
offense of a high grade, punishable either capitally or
by a term of imprisonment. In Massachusetts, by
statute, any crime punishable by death or imprisonment
in the state prison, and no other, is a felony; so in
New York. the tendency now is to obliterate the
distinction between felonies and misdemeanors; and this
has been done partially in England, and completely in
some of the States of the Union. The distinction is
purely arbitrary, and its entire abolition is only a
question of time.

Note: There is no lawyer who would undertake to tell what a
felony is, otherwise than by enumerating the various
kinds of offenses which are so called. originally, the
word felony had a meaning: it denoted all offenses the
penalty of which included forfeiture of goods; but
subsequent acts of Parliament have declared various
offenses to be felonies, without enjoining that
penalty, and have taken away the penalty from others,
which continue, nevertheless, to be called felonies,
insomuch that the acts so called have now no property
whatever in common, save that of being unlawful and
purnishable. --J. S. Mill.
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I wasn't going anywhere in particular with meghans (thanks for the "h") law.
I spent mucho years in a NYstate psychiatric hospital so we know similar folks.
I was going to finish my above post with something smart to say about felons and ostracism, except that I found that in Athens where the term came,after 10 years of exile the returnee got his rights back. (BTW I do think that exile should be an alternative to prison but thats for another time) ( presents an interesting time-line of punishments.
There is the idea I think of those being ousted by the
community for a major breach of its mores. The earlier idea of felony included grievious attacks against person as murder rape and major assault. They were then outside the law or out-laws. I believe felons were often branded to prevent them gaining access to another lawful community
There is an old greek idea (too long to remember how to spell) that when something got too one-sided it began to bring in its opposite. To me Meghans law represents just this. Punishment is in effect life-long and is an exclusion from any community with computerized branding.
It is of interest that this seems more severe then the punishment for child murder. Hmmm.

Finally voting restriction seems not to be the only restiction on felons. Is it not a crime for felons to "consort" with other felons?
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AcaCandy said:
He's getting them released too :eek:

Wrong Bush Acacandy that was the Willie Horton ad campaign :mad:
LANMaster said:
Which happened to be a completely legitimate campaign issue.
And "If it doesn't fit you must acquit" is a perfectly legal way to present evidence
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