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Should felons be allowed to vote?

5007 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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Interesting that those politicians who make the laws to remove their right to elect leadership have no problems using them as a population count in order to get funding, provide for representative seats, etc., etc.

If they are to be excluded, then exclude them. Do not use them when convenient and deny otherwise. I have little compassion for a felon, but if your going to use thier number to justify political exsitance and for funding purposes, then they have the same basis as I do to select who will administer it.

Another thought...remember the phrase "no taxation without representation". Do convicted (yet no longer incarcerated) felons pay taxes when they work? (ok, are they supposed to ;) ) Have we forgotten our foundation?

In the end I am conflicted, but I would move to exclude completely if we determine exclusion is a punishment for crime. I don't agree with "keeping the benifit".
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.
The arguement against this is that if you are the type who does not want "laws", exactly how are you going to want them "made". (and the campaign begins, legalize robbing Circle K! :rolleyes: ;) ) If you have no regard for law in the first place, what difference does it make?
If the conviction is overturned, than, unless someone can show otherwise, all possible traces are removed (except for the obvious), including suspension of votor rights, as you are no longer catagorized as a "convicted felon".

The ones you profess compassion for are not felons, at least not once they become the ones you have compassion for.

...and careful with the democracy bit, this isn't one in technical terms, and in many practical applications. The majority in Nevada wanted pot legalized (majority of votors, anyway) and it is not in spite of such. In your example, we could put forth legislation to make robbery legal, and all vote in favor of it, but it still won't be "the law". To enact such a move would require changing the constitution, which, interestingly, "we the people" cannot do directly. Thus the reason why your arguement of "it's called democracy" fails, it is called democracy, but we don't have one.

However, I think you may have missed the post before that, where I believe the problem lies with the current setup.
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Quick, someone piss me off :D
Gimme a minute IK, I'll get there I'm sure. ;)


I'm getting confused. I thought the question at hand was those who are released, not still incarcerated. While both questions could certainly be asked, are we taking them both on at the same time, because I'm getting confused.......

While incarcerated....

If they are to be used for dermining representation, than they should vote. Since I don't think that while incarcerated they should be voting, they should not be counted towards any such statistics. They are thier own population. The only relevance towards counting them I could think of would be in direct relation to maintaining the prison itself.

After the fact....

If we expect them to maintain the same obligations as the "rest of us", then, as I put the quote up, no taxation without representation. It was a solid principle. If you expect them to be a duck, then you have to let them walk and talk like a duck. This of course opens up a "can of worms" if you want it to, like the gun issue, but allowing gun ownership could be argued as contrary to the common good, I don't think anyone could say the same about fulfilling a civic responsibility. (despite my tounge in cheek about robbing circle k's) Besides, the ones that you really don't want influencing public policy aren't exactly going to become a political force, even if they did bother to vote, it serves more of a purpose to the one trying to be a duck.
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