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Should Felons Vote? Essay

747 words - 3 pages

Should Felons Vote?
In the United States 2.2 million citizens are incarcerated on felony charges. Laws in America prohibit felons from voting. As a result, on Election Day 5.3 million citizens of America are disenfranchised because of crimes they once committed. Though they once broke the law, they have served their time and have been punished adequately in accordance with the American Justice System. Felons should regain full voting rights after their stint in prison.
Most politicians argue that because a felon has committed a crime that their judgment can no longer be trusted. Some believe that they gave up there civil liberties when they chose to commit a crime. However, with the exception of children and the mentally incompetent, people who have to live with the consequences of an election should have their opinion counted. Convicts lose their civil rights while incarcerated. Others who agree with felons regaining their voting rights argued that if they really could not be trusted to change then they should never be let out of prison. Although they lost their civil liberties while in prison, they should regain full voting rights after they serve their punishment. A judge choose a sentence to fit the crime that a convict may or may have not committed. After said sentence has been served they are released back into society and expected to become a normal citizen. If they cannot vote then they are not being treated as equals. Their civil liberties have been stifled.
The constitution leaves it up for the states to decide if a convicted felon may have his or her rights restored after the completion their sentence. Forty-eight states prohibit current inmates from voting, 36 keep parolees from the polls, 31 exclude probationers, and only two allow inmates to vote, according to the Sentencing Project, a liberal advocacy group in Washington, D.C. These states restrict these rights because the 14th amendment says that they can. However, why do something just because it can be done. After a convict has served his or her sentence and paid their fines they should be re-enfranchised.
What some people seem to not realize is that the...

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