Essay on felon disenfranchisement


Felon Disenfranchisement

Not only do felony disenfranchisement policies restrict the right to vote for a staggering population of US citizens, but they do so in a way that may be more effective in practice than prior to the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment. As of , 6.


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Such a stark contrast in racial differentiation points to a partisan advantage, favoring one political party over another. Research indicates that patterns of incarceration and felon disenfranchisement laws have altered federal-level election outcomes and contribute to partisan advantage. Differences in disenfranchisement policies at the state level and the magnitude to which certain populations are affected allow for a comparison of variation in electoral integrity: states with stricter policies and a higher rate of disenfranchised citizens would, one might presume, have electoral laws with less integrity than those states that lack such policies.

Yet, that may not be the case in practice. Louisiana and Mississippi, Southern companions, both enforce strict policies of disenfranchisement: Louisiana denies the vote to convicted felons in prison, on parole, and on probation, while Mississippi disenfranchises during all of those periods in addition to post-sentencing, with minimal mechanisms for restoration beyond sentence completion. Louisiana has the highest state imprisonment rate in the country with per , people incarcerated in state prisons. Mississippi is the fourth-highest-ranking state at per , people.

When comparing rates of disenfranchisement, as of , Mississippi had the second-highest ranking at 9, per , state residents while Louisiana comes in at 11th highest with 3, per , Both states exceed the US average imprisonment rate per , and disenfranchised rate 2, per , Around Significant numbers of citizens are barred from voting in Louisiana and Mississippi as a consequence of felon disenfranchisement policies, thus impacting the partisan composition of eligible voters to some degree.

While Mississippi does in fact employ more antidemocratic statutes of felon disenfranchisement and voter identification, Louisiana has enacted policies that differ by only one ranking of relative strictness. In surmising that felon disenfranchisement policies are important indicators of electoral integrity, one would expect to see Louisiana and Mississippi closer in overall ranking, differing more overall with states that enact opposite policies. These results suggest the questions asked by the PEI may not encapsulate the totality of differences in policies or laws at the state level.

Alternatively, the survey could include a baseline of standardized, objective information on laws relating to each phase of the election cycle and their implementation on a state-by-state basis. This research further elicits a discussion on the validity of data presented by the Electoral Integrity Project, which seeks to measure the difference in perceptions of state electoral integrity during the US election. Two states with vastly different overall rankings of electoral integrity, Mississippi and Louisiana, implement state policies of felon disenfranchisement that vary minutely in legislation.

This example dramatically illustrates a need for further research on the harmful effects of felon disenfranchisement policies in the implementation of free and fair elections. Danielle Trujillo is a recent graduate at the University of Denver, where she received a BA in social sciences, double majoring in political science and criminology. In the fall of , she will be attending law school at the University of Colorado, with hopes of practicing criminal law in the future. Social Science Research Council. The SSRC is an independent, international, nonprofit organization.

This seems like a good point but the results of the study could have been misinterpreted. The declaration of Independence states that unalienable rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It does not say life, liberty and the right to vote. Locke, who played an important part in the founding of America, also believed that each individual had certain rights that by nature they were entitled to, however, he also believed that the government had a duty to protect those rights.

The criminal has broken their social contract and violated the trust of their fellow citizens. In addition, not everyone is allowed to vote. Children, non citizens and those mentally incompetent are among those whose rights, do not include voting. However, Appendix 1 shows how ridiculous and ironic it would be to let former inmates vote. Racism is also a major concern in determining the justness of disenfranchising felons. Many believe that it is racist to deprive them of the right to vote because the felon population is of a black majority. This does not, however, prove that racism is to blame.

More men commit the majority of serious crimes, and unfortunately, blacks also commit a disproportionate amount of felonies, which is shown in victim surveys. Either way the felon either does or does not deserve their punishment, regardless of what race they are ProCon.

There Are Good Reasons for Felons to Lose the Right to Vote

Take the election for example. Had ex-felons been able to vote in Florida, Al Gore would have almost certainly become the president instead of George W. Committing a serious crime usually depicts an image of bad judgment. Leola Strickland has her own ideas about this law. Strickland, plead guilty to a felony of bounced checks after accidentally postdating three checks right before losing her job; she would like her right to vote back Holding.

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My vote may be the one that counts to get the right person in office. Other suggested solutions include the general banning of a felons right to vote once they are convicted, with the option to petition for reinstatement after a certain number of years. It should be made carefully, weighing the seriousness of the crime, how long ago it was committed, whether there is a pattern of crime, and any evidence that the felon has really turned over a new leaf.

This idea seems to be the most satisfying conclusion for both sides and could work well to give those who deserve it their right to vote.

Although, advocates against the disenfranchisement of felons, have made some good points, there is not enough evidence to hold up the argument that it is wrong to take away the right to vote from felons. Felons for the most part have displayed actions of bad judgment and the addition of ex-felon ballots would make many uncomfortable at the thought of the tainting of the election. The election of the president is too serious of a matter to allow irresponsible ex-felons the privilege of voting. However, all things considered, more should be discussed about the compromise of felons voting.

The idea of reinstatement of those that are ruled to deserve it, would be beneficial to those of both parties. Which of your works would you like to tell your friends about?

Jim Crow’s Lasting Legacy At The Ballot Box

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The large number of those disenfranchised because of a criminal conviction reflects a confluence of the growth in the criminal justice impacted population during the last three decades and exclusionary voting laws.

I. Introduction

Even though many states have relaxed their exclusionary laws, the impact remains stark and disproportionate. Individuals who have lost voting rights are excluded from full citizenship, and communities are denied their voice in elections. Retrenchment of exclusionary laws may continue. Yet, at the same time other ways to deny the suffrage to those who have run afoul of laws will continue.

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Is criminal disenfranchisement compatible with a democratic political order? This article considers this question in light of a recently developed view that criminal disenfranchisement is justified because it expresses our commitment to This article considers this question in light of a recently developed view that criminal disenfranchisement is justified because it expresses our commitment to democratic values.

We call this view expressive disenfranchisement and refer to the general conception in which it is grounded as democratic expressivism. Contra supporters of expressive disenfranchisement, we argue that democratic expressivism does not offer a sound justification of criminal disenfranchisement. Additionally, we argue that, insofar as one really cares about answering serious criminal wrongs via an expression of democratic values, criminal disenfranchisement should be abandoned and replaced with a policy that temporarily obliges the relevant criminals to vote.

Democratic expressivists should, in other words, move from supporting the disenfranchisement of serious offenders to endorsing a policy of compulsory criminal voting for a finite period of time. Andrei Poama. This article critically analyses and discards two democratically justified cases for the disenfranchisement of prisoners. This article argues against their positions and suggests that for prisoners to be treated as democratic citizens they must be recognized as electors and given an opportunity to vote.

Firstly, it will be affirmed that prisoners cannot be made responsible for the conditions of their imprisonment and that prisons must adequately meet democratic requirements.


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  6. It will also be affirmed that, if these requirements were fulfilled, the conditions of prisoners in a democratic prison would not be sufficiently different, in relevant aspects, from the conditions of other enfranchised people. Secondly, it will be asserted that, at least at to some extent, their arguments underestimate the possibilities of prison reform and electoral regulation to overcome the democratic problems of coercion and manipulation, which they target as two main problems of enfranchisement. America's Electoral Apartheid: million US residents excluded from voting.

    Felon Disenfranchisement and Expert Assessments of Electoral Integrity – Items

    A key component of an apartheid system is the ability to disenfranchise those populations that may tip the political scales. Currently in the United States there are between million residents including millions of US citizens who Currently in the United States there are between million residents including millions of US citizens who remain systematically disenfranchised. The fact that the disenfranchised are primarily racialized or poor, underlines Charles W. Conditions for Electoral Rights Samuel D.

    Differentiated Decoupling and Human Rights. One of the major issues attracting the attention of scholars studying global norm regimes , especially the human rights regime, is their impact on domestic settings.


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    Borrowing from organizational studies, some of these scholars have used Borrowing from organizational studies, some of these scholars have used the term decoupling to conceptualize the widespread phenomenon of states that sign conventions but do not implement these conventions' norms. In this article, we introduce the concept of differentiated decoupling, arguing that the implementation of human rights norms needs to be rethought and reoperationalized.

    We present a case study—the right to vote in the United States—to illustrate our argument that it is vital to disaggregate the decoupling processes and examine the different social groups within the state rather than limit scrutiny to the state level. We further contend that in order to explain differentiated decoupling, perspectives developed and used by sociologists who study inequality need to be adopted.

    In this way, scholars can capture the unequal distribution of human rights in domestic settings and begin to untangle the forces leading to differentiated decoupling. An analysis of differentiated decoupling helps reveal that " more human rights " sometimes means more human rights to one group and less to another, suggesting that implementation of human rights norms may even deepen stratification. Neve Gordon. Living in Infamy examines the history of disfranchisement for criminal conviction in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the post-war South, white southern Democrats expanded the usage of laws

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