The Disenfranchisement of Ex-Felons

Alabama today has one of the highest rates of felony disenfranchisement in the nation: An estimated 7.2 percent of its citizens — and 15 percent of African-Americans — have lost the right to vote.

Felon disenfranchisement Essay -- Criminal Justice

Felon Disenfranchisement and the Racial Contract Essay …

Felon Disenfranchisement Essay - 1520 Words

Critics argue that the language of the Fourteenth Amendment does not indicate that the exemptions established in Section 2 should prohibit the application of the Equal Protection Clause to voting rights cases.14) Moreover, some contend that the Court’s interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause in Richardson is inconsistent with its previous decisions on citizenship and voting rights, in which the Court has found that the scope of the Equal Protection Clause “is not bound to the political theories of a particular era but draws much of its substance from changing social norms and evolving conceptions of equality.”15) Therefore, even if the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment seemingly accepted felony disenfranchisement, our interpretation of the Equal Protection Clause today should allow for the ways in which our concept of equality may have evolved since 1868.

Felon Disenfranchisement - Essay by Taijai2013

Disenfranchisement policies have met occasional legal challenges in the last century. In Richardson v. Ramirez 418 U.S. 24 (1974), three men from California who had served time for felony convictions sued for their right to vote, arguing that the state’s felony disenfranchisement policies denied them the right to equal protection of the laws under the U.S. Constitution. Under Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, a state cannot restrict voting rights unless it shows a compelling state interest. Nevertheless, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld California’s felony disenfranchisement policies as constitutional, finding that Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment allows the denial of voting rights “for participation in rebellion, or other crime.” In the majority opinion, Justice Rehnquist found that Section 2 – which was arguably intended to protect the voting rights of freed slaves by sanctioning states that disenfranchised them – exempts from sanction disenfranchisement based on a felony conviction. By this logic, the Equal Protection Clause in the previous section could not have been intended to prohibit such disenfranchisement policies.

In 1818 Connecticut passed the first felony based disenfranchisement law in the United states (Burkhardt 357).
From 1776 - 1821 eleven states included felony disenfranchisement in their laws (Voter Registration Protection Act)....

This is my argumentative essay about Felon Voting

English colonists brought to North America the common law practice of “civil death,” a set of criminal penalties that included the revocation of voting rights. Early colonial laws limited the penalty of disenfranchisement to certain offenses related to voting or considered “egregious violations of the moral code.”7) After the American Revolution, states began codifying disenfranchisement provisions and expanding the penalty to all felony offenses.8) Many states instituted felony disenfranchisement policies in the wake of the Civil War, and by 1869, 29 states had enacted such laws.9) Elliot argues that the elimination of the property test as a voting qualification may help to explain the popularity of felony disenfranchisement policies, as they served as an alternate means for wealthy elites to constrict the political power of the lower classes.10)

Free Essay: While one job statistically held by felons is that of business owning

Felony Disenfranchisement in the United States

Judgments by the state judiciary that disenfranchisement of incarcerated felons is constitutional and that the General Assembly has power to except persons confined in a penal institution from this essence of democracy are not matters of attendant impracticalities or contingencies; they are functions of legal design.

Each state holds the right to make its own felon disenfranchisement laws.

Felony Disenfranchisement | The Sentencing Project

Public opinion surveys report that eight in ten U.S. residents support voting rights for citizens who have completed their sentence, and nearly two-thirds support voting rights for those on probation or parole.17) In recent years, heightened public awareness of felony disenfranchisement has resulted in successful state-level reform efforts, from legislative changes expanding voting rights to grassroots voter registration initiatives targeting individuals with felony convictions. Since 1997, 24 states have modified felony disenfranchisement provisions to expand voter eligibility.18) Among these: