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View Diary: Seriously, Florida. WTF? (283 comments)

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  •  One more thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lonesome Jeff, Skanner

    It is harder to get your civil rights restored in Florida than most places. A coworker did 5 years for DUI manslaughter. He got out 22 years ago. He has worked for the same company for 18 years. He can't vote or get a drivers license. I am not sure what sort of proof one needs to show that you have been rehabilitated, but he has been denied 10 times by the state board.

    •  I don't think a drunk driver who KILLED someone... (0+ / 0-)

      ...counts as the sort of "minor, non-violent" offense which shouldn't have long-term consequenses. He's had 22 more years of free, productive life than his victim, whose life he ended by CHOOSING to get in a car and drive while drunk. DUI manslaughter isn't a "crime of poverty", it's sure as hell not "minor", or "non-violent", and not the sort of crime I consider a good example for Why Ex-Felons Don't Deserve To Lose Their Voting Rights Forever.

      I'm all for restoring rights to "criminals" convicted of offenses (e.g.: drug possession) which involved no violence or harming of others (and believe personal-consumption quantities of many drugs should be decriminalized entirely). But, if you kill someone (even accidentally) in the course of committing your felony (DUI), is it "too much" to face consequences beyond 5 years in prison?

      •  However, once someone is out of prison (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kirnerpilstime, Oh Mary Oh, enufenuf

        they are no longer incarcerated, have paid the price of their felony, or other criminal act, and should have their rights restored. It is expected that someone work, and be self supporting, once out of prison, ergo, they should have a driver's license, so they can get to their place of employment and they are expected to act responsibly therefore voting is part of "acting responsibly" and they should have that right restored.

      •  While agreeing upon the severity of the crime (0+ / 0-)

        Upon serving his sentence, and demonstrating his rehabilitation for a number of years, he's somewhat earned his constitutional rights be reinstated. That is the point of incarceration, to "rehabilitate".  Since the law in most states, has legal rights restoration clauses, it's only natural that they be restored for all that have earned them. Notice that Florida, is big on purging those with voting rights restored, when they are sure it's to their advantage on election day. Coincidence? Not likely.

    •  I'm a (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937, Michigandrew, Papuska

      convicted felon, and there are a lot more of us than you may think. Eleven years ago, I was convicted of what the state deemed a "non-dangerous, non-repetitive" crime. I did 2 1/2 years in prison. A few years after I got out, I started checking into getting my right to vote back. At the time, I was naive enough to believe that it would be contingent upon my behavior since my release. I should have known better.

      When I was convicted, there was also a very large fine involved, on top of which, an 80% (yes 80%) county "surcharge" was levied. Given the job prospects for a convicted felon, Ive since resigned myself to the fact that the rest of my life will be spent working low paying, service jobs. That, I can handle. I've been poor my whole life, and beyond food and shelter, I never gave money much thought except as a means to those ends (a somewhat crude one, IMO). But in my state (AZ), the court won't even consider the request until those fines are paid in full. It's more money than I've seen in 11 years. My right to vote is, in essence, being held for ransom. The most basic of American rights is based solely on my economic status. There are those who are quite happy with that. In recent years, I've heard more than one person suggest that maybe only those who own their own homes should be allowed to vote, or that each vote should have a dollar amount attached to it. SCOTUS has now made money synonymous with free speech.

      It's all crime, you see. But most have neither the will, nor the resources to commit crimes on the scale of those at the top. Because they've learned that crime doesn't pay on a small scale. It pays on a big one, and, as Steve Mason once said, "When the crime becomes big enough, it begins to govern." They know that by the time people sympathize with someone like me, they will already be people like me.

      Our civilization will end the way that most do. With an ever-shrinking circle of affluent, hard-working, decent, "real" Americans, and the rest of us. The inherent danger is that the fewer people there are in that circle, the more palatable anything suggested to them becomes.

      When elephants fight, it's the grass that suffers. -- African Proverb

      by LouisWu on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 09:34:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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