Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Opinions are like assholes....

Joe, my amazingly wonderful boyfriend, and I went to see his dad, Poppa Joe, on Saturday just to stop by and say hi. While we were at his house we got into a debate about the voting rights, or lack there of, of convicted felons. Things got pretty heated and it really turned into an interesting debate.

I believe that if someone is convicted of a felony, and they have served their time, once their freedom is restored, their voting rights should be also. I know that some states do it that way, but others take away the right to vote forever. During the argument, Joe brought up the right to own a gun being taken away forever from convicted felons and tried to compare gun rights with voting rights. In my opinion, they are two totally different things and are of no comparison.

Freedom is by far the greatest right Americans have. When someone commits and is convicted of a felony, that right is taken away. As it should be. If our justice system allows these people to enter back into society as a free member, then they shouldn't be made into a political outcast by not being able to vote.

Voting is a RIGHT, not a privilege, given to the citizens of a country ran by a democratic government.

So, to all two of you reading this, what's your opinion? Do you think that convicted felons should ever be allowed to vote?

Deep Throat of the Day: 6.5 months and counting...........

14 comments:

Southern Sage said...

the reason they do that is because say a pedophile is "rehabilitated" then he is released, after serving his time and there is a candidate that is pro kid fondling, well the pedophile will vote for him for less strict laws. (insert drug dealer, burgler, etc etc)

It is a right as you say, and the law is clear that when you are convicted of a felony you give up that right.
The gun right is the same thing, I mean if you are convicted of a felony then you lose that right. As it should be. There should be punishment for crimes, short and long term.

They should think about the cost before they fondle that kid or rob that liquor store or even defraud a company and cost you a big chuck of your retirement.

I'm in with the no vote if you're a criminal.

NWJR said...

If you've done your time and you're put back into the larger world as a Functioning Member Of Society™ you should be allowed all the rights and priveleges of such membership, including the right to vote.

Period.

Does anyone really think that restricting that right post-incarceration really serves as a deterrent? "Oh, I better not steal a twinkie from that grocery store...I MIGHT LOSE MY RIGHT TO VOTE!!!"

Give me a break.

april said...

SS: If a rehabilitated pedophile wanted to vote for someone pro kid fondling, then that's his right. Of course I don't agree with someone who's voted for a candidate like that, but I don't agree with who you're voting for either because I don't want anyone telling me what I can do with my body. And I would never think that your voting rights should be taken away, aside from the fact that you're not a convicted felon. However, like you said, the law is clear and there should be punishment for crimes. I just think that's what the justice system is for. That's what prisons and probation is for. Once someone has completed their sentence handed to them by our justice system, I think they should be given their right to vote back. If they're going to live as functioning, free members of society, then they should have the right to vote for who they think should run the country. In my opinion, anyhow.

NWJR: It's great that you bring up the deterrent issue. During the debate we were having, Joe said, "If we give them the right to vote, then what kind of deterrent do they have to not commit the crime to begin with?" I laughed and said, "If the loss of their freedom wasn't a deterrent, then the loss of their right to vote CERTAINLY isn't going to be a deterrent." No one is thinking about their right to vote prior to committing a felony.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

I take comfort in the fact that many convicted felons -- criminals -- have been removed from the political process.

We don't need felons deciding our leaders weighing in on law and policy.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

...and...

Maine said...

I think it's BS that felons can't vote.

For one, convicted felons are just that - convicted felons. There are felons out there that were not convicted, and they still vote. There are assholes out there that have been assholes for years, and they still vote. What's the rationale here? Who are you trying to keep out of the voter pool? People who are 'evil' or people who have been convicted of crimes? The two groups are not the same.

Second - what's the purpose of keeping felons from voting? To keep bad people from having any say in the country's laedership? Why not take the right away from people with bad credit too? Or high school dropouts? Who, exactly, is so pious and perfect that their opinion on who our leadership should be is the only opinion that matters?

Maine said...

Of equal importance is the fact that you're talking about people who live in this country, participate in its economy and taking away their right to participate in the democratic process.

Recall the late 18th century where the phrase 'no taxation without repersentation' came to light. One of the leading tenets that our nation was founded on was this: if you're here and you're a tax payer, then this country is yours to govern.

Time and time again, when this issue arises, we decide that nobody has the right to keep competent adults out of the voting process. If they're women, if they're black - it doesn't matter. Everyone gets to vote, whether we like the way they think or not.

Southern Sage said...

Well maybe when the system can bring the re-offender rate down on any crime then it should be discussed, until then, if you ain't man/woman enough to pay the penalty then don't do the crime right??

We are already to soft on them, in my opinion.

Ron said...

I have to agree with April. If a convicted felon is rehabbed and freed from jail then they should have the right to vote.

But I guess it all goes back to how you think. If you believe that once a criminal always a criminal then I can see your point.

I don't believe that and I think some of the reason we have so much recidivism with crime is that we don't make it a point to help someone feel like they are still a part of society that we need to care about.

Randi said...

I'd rather have convicted felons voting than buying guns. That's fo'sho.

The Soviet said...

any voter will support a candidate who is looking out for his/her interests.

• A pro-life supporter will support someone who wants to repeal Roe v. Wade.
• A gay person is going to support someone who seeks to expand civil rights to the gay community.
• A pot smoker is going to vote for someone who wants to legalize it.

and so on and so forth.

but case in point, no matter your take on the topic, it's a person's right to vote that way if he/she feels so inclined. "removing them" from the political process removes democracy.

Kira said...

Maine covered most of what I wanted to point out. Basically, I know plenty of dickwads who vote, and I can think of a few convicted felons who went on to do amazing things and are probably contributing more to society than any of us, so why is it necessary that if you screw up once, you can't vote? For instance, there's that guy who served in jail, furthered his education, and ended up getting a degree from Brown for undergrad and now is at Harvard law. Yes, he committed a felony. Yes, he realized that he totally screwed it all up and then completely repaired his life. And now we tell him, no fucker, you can't vote ever every again even if you're fucking 80...and WHY, exactly? What's the point?

Shit, if we're going to take that route, how about we do it this way? No one is more awesome than me, so only *I* get the right to vote. That'll work just as well to further the goals of democracy as it is to restrict people's right to vote who have made a big mistake, served their time, and been released.

Amanda said...

I'd be interest in finding out how many convicted felons voted before they were imprisoned. Considering the current voter rates and the young age of the prison population, what are the chances a rehabilitated felon would vote post-prison? I'm all for restoring rights after someone has served their time, but I'm not sure if restoring voting rights would make much of a wave in the already corrupt world of politics.

Amanda said...
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