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Should felons have the right to vote?

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posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 07:24 AM
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Original Quote by Dawnstar: "which it's my understanding that this is a felony"


It is not a felony in any state that I am aware of or can find.

There are consequences to the actions of any individual in society. Losing the right to vote upon committing a felony is one of those consequences and should remain so.

We are rapidly creating a society of individuals that are never responsible for their actions. Lose your job; The government supports you, get pregnant, the government again. When does it stop? When we are all just blobs of unrecognizable goo sitting in front of our TV's waiting for the next check?

Consequences people, both positive and negative.

Semper




posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 07:42 AM
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posted by crgintx

While you may disagree with the death penalty's effectiveness as a deterrent for crime, you can't disagree with it's effectiveness of keeping mostly guilty murderers from ever killing another innocent human being. [Edited by Don W]


I call that trite! Maybe if it was not so permanent, cute. You cannot gainsay the finding that 9% of the Death Row inmates in Illinois were innocent! DP advocates never address that problem. As I argue the lethality of guns so also I remind of the finality of the DP.



Have you ever met some of those people on death row? I know someone who was executed in Texas and let me tell you that he got what he long deserved.


Whether or not a particular person deserves to be executed - put to death by the sates - is irrelevant to me. Or to the argument against the DP. It is a matter of principle. I shall not invoke religion as I find it sorely wanting. Almost all DP proponents claim to be highly religious. It seems anti DP are secularists if not downright atheists. We have the moral high ground. Why is that?

Gov. Ryan of Illinois expressed it clearly when he said the system is broken. He would not allow another execution in Illinois until it was fixed. The gain - which is obviously not there - does not offset the tragedy of executing the wrong person. If anyone is informed about the various state criminal justice systems, you will know Texas is among the worst in terms of protecting the rights of the accused. See www.tdcj.state.tx.us...



IMHO executions should be public and as gruesome as we can make them. If you won't behave in a civil manner, you don't deserve to be treated in a civil manner.


Does anyone know when the last “Hung, Drawn and Quartered” execution was done in England? Who had the distinction of being the last man to die? Was this not the penalty faced by the 56 signers of the July 4, 1776 document? To first be hanged by the neck, but not to break the neck, but to strangle the attendee, then taken down and laid out on the ground, and 4 strong Clydesdale horses attached one to each limb by stout rope, the person to be raised off the ground so the knife man can cut away his genitals, pushing them into his mouth, and to slice open his abdomen so the intestines fall to the ground where they are removed to a firepit already glowing, to burn his entails, at which time the 4 horse are whipped into action all at once, to remove 3 of his limbs. Spectators all the time cheering and betting on which limb will remain attached, the ax man steps up and decapitates the unwilling “guest of honor.” His remains were buried at a crossroads to deny him a part in the Resurrection. And so maybe we ought to revert to this old time practice?

Despite the horror of dying this way, it did not deter the 56 signers, did it? So let’s give up on this deterrence thing, please.



I agree that the justice system needs to be overhauled with more emphasis on prevention . . that certain felons who have been crime and trouble free for many years should have partial restoration of their civil rights especially the right to vote.


You are half-way to being a liberal, crgintx!



[edit on 10/24/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 08:03 AM
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posted by FlyersFan


posted by jsobecky
“ . . are you for or against a felon's right to vote?


While in jail. NO. When done with the sentence . . parole and all . . yes. Part of the punishment for a criminal is that they give up their right to have any say on how our society is run. No votes for criminals. [Edited by Don W]



It’s my general observation the last thing on a criminal’s mind is voting. It seems much more important to us who I presume vote regularly despite the underlying suspicion it does not matter, that the election has been rigged by the powers that be which I call the R&Fs. The rich and famous. This conclusion is offered to explain why fewer than 50% of eligible Americans go to the polls. And many of those who do go are not at all sure their votes are actually counted. Or count. Hmm?



[edit on 10/24/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 08:21 AM
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posted by BattleofBatoche

They should automatically lose their right to vote for a minimum of 7 years. In fact unless you actually earn your own income & pay taxes, you shouldn't get to vote either.


That’s exactly what the Founding Fathers said! May I remind that if you are alive, you pay taxes, directly or indirectly. Will that help to let them vote?



Too many people sucking off the govt.'s tit without contributing is B.S. It's amazing how many people got their hands out and think its okay to take 65% of my earnings.


Geez! I always wanted to pay more and more taxes! Obviously, the would mean I was making more and more money! Even at your incorrect 65% rate, I’d still be ahead. You’re tough as nails, Mr. B.



They're not the ones stuck in the middle of no where on an oil & gas drilling rig plugging holes into the ground 14 hours a days 7 days a week with absolutely no life just to have leeches & parasites take it away. [Edited by Don W]


Hmm? Doing grunt work? At $30 an hour with overtime. About $3,500 a week. Gross. I’ll betcha 99.44% of the “sucking” would sign up if they had the opportunity.
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 08:49 AM
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posted by crgintx

I feel that prisoners should not be allowed to vote. If a felon completes their sentence or parole and they aren't sexual predators, they should have the right to vote returned to them.


I am not asking for personal responses. I am asking whether anyone sees a constitutional issue in the recent and very popular dumping on sexual predators. Sex with children is as old at least as Alexander the Great and very likely, before him. It was very popular in ancient Rome and may be today, too. Brazil recently banned single Italian men from flying in to Rio for a weekend of sex with children. The same rumor mill says this can be accomplished in Bangkok, too. There are constant rumors that humans are for sale in sub-Saharan Africa in 2006. My parent warned me about sexual predators - not by that designation - when I was a child of tender years.

But we did not have the ferocious disdain so prevalent today. Does anyone have a theory why it is such a hot button issue today.



Other rights depend greatly on the crime of which they committed. Child molesters should never be completely free and should be red tagged for the rest of their lives. Their movements should be severely restricted. [Edited by Don W]


Treat the symptoms. Never inquire into the cause. Hmm? That sounds like the War on Terror. Or the “Build a (Berlin) Wall around America” to stop the illegals. Will it have the same outcome? Reminiscent of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” I guess my real problem is what I see as a grievous consistency between this very legitimate concern for the welfare of children especially, and the ability of the same people to ignore the Christian Children’s Fund which is on tv right now as I post, reminding that 27,000 children “died last night.” 100 of which were in Darfur.

I think the special conditions imposed on convicted pedophiles is unconstitutional and those who advocate such special laws ought to urge an amendment to grant the state that authority. I think we are tilting at windmills.



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 02:26 PM
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Up until very recently if you tried to do what King Georgre BushII has done, you would have been impeached before the end of the first term. Our current group of legislators need to be turned out of office. Most should be convicted of corruption and bribery and charges, imprisoned and never be allowed to vote again. Punishment should fit the crime.

I actually have more sympathy for the usually poor guy on death row then any politician but murder cannot go unpunished. Their victims cannot speak for themselves, so it's upto to our flawed justice system to speak for them.

The most dangerous form of murderers are serial killers. Most have been usually been both mentally and physically abused. If we stop the abuse early enough we can halt the creation of most serial killers.

Child molesters are like a virus, they infect many of their victims who later go on to molest or abuse victims of their own. If you can prevent the crime from happening in the first place, it's very likely the rate of abuse will go down. Abuse victims have shown a far greater chance to abuse illegal drugs and commit the felony crimes related to that drug abuse. They are easily the most destructive individuals in our society today. Hence, the strict control to prevent the spread of the virus. It's called quarantine, we do it for other diseases, why not the obviously diseased minds of child molesters?



posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 05:20 AM
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you might be right, but that was what I was told.....

but I know that if you get caught disciplining a child with a belt.....they can consider it assault with a deadly weapon...I 've known of cases where there's been a conviction.
just how many of those one here pressing this issue will also press the issue of "spare the rod, spoil the child"?

you speak of felons, and think of murderers......how about all those nice poliwogs in washington...delay just may join thier ranks....that are being convicted for taking bribes and all the other hanky panky. all the white collar criminals out their embezzling from their bosses... medical professionals robbing the government through welfare fraud. do you feel just as strongly that they should lose the right to vote also? what about the tax evaders...hey, bet some of yas are one!!...is cheating on your federal income tax a felony?

by the way, as far as evading the consequences of our actions....the biggest evaders are in washington, dc.

=========================
"They should automatically lose their right to vote for a minimum of 7 years. In fact unless you actually earn your own income & pay taxes, you shouldn't get to vote either."
=========================

so, stay at home mothers shouldn't have a voice in government...how kind of you.

[edit on 25-10-2006 by dawnstar]



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 07:36 AM
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This topic took the predictable turn into what is the definition of a felony, and that is good.

I believe that all felonies are not created equal, and one of the discerning factors is violence. Voting rights should be re-instated in some cases, esp. if dawnstar's son was denied the right to vote because of an accident (a prime example of what I mean).

The right to own firearms should be revoked in most cases of violence. It's hard for me to think of an instance where I'd support re-instating it.

As for pedophiles, they are a special case. But trying to minimize their actions because of historical precedent is unacceptable to me.

I am all for re-integrating offenders into society. And for that reason, I support giving some felons the right to vote after they have served their debt to society.

[edit on 26-10-2006 by jsobecky]



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 01:26 PM
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posted by jsobecky

“ . . what is the definition of a felony . . “


Cheer up! In merry old England, all felonies were capital cases. Over 200 crimnes by actual count. including stealing a loaf of bread. Of course, not every felon was hung. The Crown's mercy. My former state of Ky said any crime punishable by imprisonment more than 1 year is a felony. Up to 1 year was a misdemeanor. Punishable under the criminal code but not by confinement was a violation. Misdemeanants are normally confined in county jails while felons are usually sent to state operated facilities. Prisons. Minimum, medium and maximum security places.



I believe all felonies are not created equal, and one of the distinguishing factors is violence. Voting rights should be re-instated in some cases, esp. if dawnstar's son was denied the right to vote because of an accident (a prime example of what I mean).


Well, you surely right about not being equal. Again, some states have a system of Class A, B, C and D. Misdemeanors are Class A and B. Plus violations. Class D felonies, 1-5 years, class C, 5-10 years, class B, 10 to 20 years and Class A, 20 years to life. Class A also has a capital crime subdivision which allows for death penalty or life with no parole for 25 years or in some states, no parole ever. Penologists are divided over the issue whether “no parole ever” increases dangers to staff, while the possibility of parole imposes some self restraint on inmates to the staff’s benefit. Class A misdemeanors are punishable up to 1 year, and Class B up to 90 days confinement.



The right to own firearms should be revoked in most cases of violence. It's hard for me to think of an instance where I'd support re-instating it.


The Supreme Court has never adopted the NRA Gun Manufacturers Lobby “everybody has a gun” position. I point to two recent cases, both from Texas I think but that has nothing to do with the issues. The first where the doctor - I don’t know what kind of doctor - was under a DVO - Domestic Violence Order - and he was turned in by his abused spouse for having a firearm in his house. He was arrested and sentenced to jail time under the DVO statute. He defended on the 2nd Amendment grounds. The appeals court rejected that defense and the Supreme Court refused to take the case, meaning it endorsed the lower court. In the second case, it was discovered a licensed firearms dealer had a prior felony conviction - akin to dawnstar’s son - and again, the defense relied on the 2nd amendment, which failed him as he lost his licence, his guns and was lucky to get a fine and probation of a lengthy jail sentence. The proponents of the Second Amendment see a lot more in it than the Supreme Court ever has. NY’s Sullivan Act, and etc.

Reckless driving has never been a felony in my personal experience. Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury to a person has been. Failure to respond to a summons or citation is not a felony either, but it can be a misdemeanor in some states. In any case, most states provide after 5 years of good conduct and no pending charges, a person’s right to vote can be restored by making application on a form provided, payment of a small fee, which will usually result in the restoration order being entered in 3-6 months processing time. Tip: Don't vote before the order is actually entered.



As for pedophiles, they are a special case. But trying to minimize their actions because of historical precedent is unacceptable to me. I am all for re-integrating offenders into society. And for that reason, I support giving some felons the right to vote after they have served their debt to society. [Edited by Don W]


Are pedophiles like bi-polars? Do they stop taking their medicine when they feel better? Is it possible that a person cannot control his urges - I am not aware of female pedophiles - and if so, is it genetic? Then is it beyond his ability to control? Should we treat pedophiles as we once treated lepers? Give them a sanctuary in which to live? Or treat them like old time tuberculous patients? By providing isolated facilities for long term convalescence?

In this context, I recall pastor Dr. Martin Niemoller’s lament:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
after all I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
after all I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
after all I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.


[edit on 10/26/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 02:36 PM
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I am not aware of female pedophiles - and if so, is it genetic?


DW,

They are out there, but extremely rare. I believe less than 1% of pedophiles are female..

As for it being genetic, well my opinion (JUST MINE) is that genetic responsibility is the new millennium talking point.

Why take responsibility for any of our actions when we can claim it's not our fault because we are genetically predisposed to behave in this manner.

I guess I am genetically predisposed to be fat as all the rest of my family is, but I understand that it is only "I" that controls my fate and so I work out and stay in shape. The genetic BS is out of control and again, a simple and convenient way to avoid the responsibility that follows action.

Semper



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 02:56 PM
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posted by semperfortis


I am not aware of female pedophiles . .


DW, They are out there, but extremely rare. I believe less than 1% of pedophiles are female . . As for it being genetic, well my opinion (JUST MINE) is that genetic responsibility is the new millennium talking point. The genetic BS is out of control and a simple and convenient way to avoid the responsibility that follows action. Semper [Edited by Don W]



You’re right on a practical level. Based on my own personal observations I like to invoke the lowest 15% of the Bell curve. I contend that 85% of humans have adapted to urban living, but that 15% are not capable of doing so. I admit my ability to determine in which group a person belongs is based only on empirical evidence, so far. I say this because in a simpler setting and less intensive demands, I think a lot of people who commit crimes could have lived a lifetime without violating societal norms. Some people can’t get to work on time, some can’t follow simple instructions or orders. But back on the Serengeti they could have scavenged for food. Eat old dead elephants or eat out of anthills. And etc.

I’m not so much looking for excuses for bad conduct, as I’m wondering how to deal with it - pedophilia - constitutionally.

I believe the current spate of anti-pedophile laws violate the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments to our constitution. We ought not to do that so lightly.



[edit on 10/26/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 03:15 PM
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There has been some amount of research into the hypothesis that society has out-paced our ability to adapt to the social "Norm."

I authored a thread one time that was investigating the inherent barbarism still prevalent in our genetic code.

Taking into account that evolution takes millions of years to develop significant changes, we have only just recently "dragged ourselves" out of the "Kill or be Killed" lifestyle.

With that being said, I am not in anyway discounting the supposition that there are those that are fundamentally aggressive in action. (note: I have intentionally discarded the term "evil" as that term itself is debatable) However, should one then suppose that these individuals are truly incapable of adapting to societal rules? If this is correct, what actions can we/ should we take as a society to negate their effect?

On topic, if the "right" to vote (although if you read the constitution, no such right exists) is granted to individuals that are deemed incorrigible, would not their vote also be suspect in it's intent?


Along the lines of the "Right" to Vote.

Everyone does realize there is no such right granted anywhere in the constitution?

Semper



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 04:26 PM
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In a word, NO they shouldn't have the right to vote. They have already demonstrated they don't have society's interest in mind.



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by Astronomer70
In a word, NO they shouldn't have the right to vote. They have already demonstrated they don't have society's interest in mind.


Thankfully things are not that black and white. Extinuating circumstances need to be examined before tossing out rulings like that. I support prison inmates losing their right to vote while on the inside, but after reentering society they should be granted the right to vote once again.

Compassion? Forgiveness?

Not all prison inmates are animals.



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 06:18 PM
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posted by semperfortis

On topic, if the "right" to vote - although if you read the constitution, no such right exists - is granted to individuals that are deemed incorrigible, would not their vote also be suspect in it's intent?

Along the lines of the "Right" to Vote. Everyone does realize there is no such right granted anywhere in the constitution? [Edited by Don W]



Well, let’s see what you think about voting and the right to vote. First off, keep in mind the Federal and state construct of our country. Dichotomy. The Federal Constitution applied only to the Federal government until the 14th Amendment was effective on July 28, 1868. That put into place a “national” citizenship and specifically applied it to the several states.

If it was ever in doubt about voting, let’s go through the US Con and its several amendments. Article 1, Sec. 2, Cl 1: “ . . representatives chosen every two years . . ‘ Yes, it does say “chosen.” But I think they mean “vote.” Next, see Sec. 6, Cl 2: “ . . during the time for which they were elected . . “ Yes, it does say “elected” but does that not mean “voted?”

Article II, Sec. 1, Cl 4: “Congress may set the time for choosing the electors . . “ Again, the word is “choosing” but we know they meant “vote.”

Even more significant - I think- is the XIIth Amendment which became effective September 25, 1804, which was in direct consequence of the 1800 election. Among other things, this amendment separated the Electoral College vote into one for president and one for vice president. If you read that amendment, you will see the words, “vote” “voting” and “voted” appear 9 times.

Last, we have the 15th amendment which granted the vote to black men,(3/30/1870); 19th amendment which granted the vote to women, (8/26/1920); 24th amendment which banned the poll tax, (2/4/1964) and the 26th amendment which lowered the voting age to 18, (7/5/1971).


[edit on 10/26/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 06:48 PM
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Yes,

You have displayed several admirable points on why voting was expected, even areas where voters can not be discriminated against.

However...

There is nothing in the constitution guaranteeing a "Right" to vote.

If one is so inclined, one may of course "Assume" an implication, but the "Right?"

Nope, not there.


Most Academics that study the Constitution are in agreement on this point. The "Right" to vote was intentionally left absent as the Founders were enlightened enough to understand that it could have been misconstrued and possibly lead to a true "Democracy" as opposed to their vision of a Representative Republic. True Democracy or "Mob" rule is no more valid than true Socialism. They are both flawed at the basic economic and societal foundation.

Semper



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 11:18 PM
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Short answer: Yes.

It's in my opinion that if you are a citizen of this country,
voting is a basic right, and just because someone may have
been busted for selling drugs, that in no way should be grounds
for taking away their right to vote.

The only times you should have the right to vote taken away, is if
you have more than once tried to undermine the freedom and
democracy of the country, or you've commited treason, which my
definition of would basically be what I just said.



posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 06:15 AM
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Originally posted by donwhite
Are pedophiles like bi-polars? Do they stop taking their medicine when they feel better? Is it possible that a person cannot control his urges - I am not aware of female pedophiles - and if so, is it genetic? Then is it beyond his ability to control? Should we treat pedophiles as we once treated lepers? Give them a sanctuary in which to live? Or treat them like old time tuberculous patients? By providing isolated facilities for long term convalescence?

I think it is very possible that pedophiles cannot control their urges. I base this on the high recidivism rates of offenders. The rates are higher than other sex offenders such as rapists.

What to do about it, I have no idea. There has been some progress in pharmaceutical solutions, but that more or less turns a person into a walking vegetable.

Also, as has been mentioned, female pedophiles do exist. Look at the well-publicized cases of female teachers molesting students recently.



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 06:27 AM
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As an ex-con I can tell you that the laws against felons voting are largely ignored. I've been voting since the second year I was out, and even after answering two jury summons with 'felon - can not serve' I continue to get my voter registration every year. Seems folks in local gov. think that ex-cons will vote their way. (Probably Dems)

Voting from prison seems absurd to me, but with the enormous number of things being considered felonys these days, and the incredible percentage of people who've been incarcerated, there should be a mechanism for returning the right to vote to those who don't commit another felony.

[edit on 8-11-2006 by resistor]



posted on Nov, 8 2006 @ 06:54 AM
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I would say while in prison, no, you've lost the right to vote.

I would even extend the ban if they've served their time and been released.

The only way I'd be in favor of allowing felons/ex-felons vote is if they've been proved to be falsely incarcerated, and have been exhonerated of the crime.



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