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View Diary: Millions Of Disenfranchised, Disproportionately Black (233 comments)

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  •  We hold these thruths to be self evident: (6+ / 0-)

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator  with certain unalienable Rights,[71]  that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people.

    If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.

    If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.

    If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

    It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper -- that makes this country work.

    Any more questions?

    -7.75 -4.67

    "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

    There are no Christians in foxholes.

    by Odysseus on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 08:10:57 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Again this is the type of issue that costs (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats elections. Why do so many of you care about convicted criminals?

      •  maybe some of us (6+ / 0-)

        care more about justice, equal rights, and principles of the law than we do electoral results and politicking.  Crazy, but true.

        And, not all people in prison actually committed the crimes for which they've been convicted.

        •  You all seem to care about criminals more than (0+ / 0-)

          their victims. Why is there never a post on the victims of crimes? Why should I care so much about a violent felon getting voting rights?

          •  that's a bit of a leap, don't you think? (5+ / 0-)

            Who here said we "care more about criminals than their victims"?  That's a pre-conceived judgment on your part on which you're not basing with any evidence.

            Furthermore, the issue is not about a "violent felon" getting voting rights.  It's about ex-convicts keeping their voting rights.  Once they leave prison, they're no longer violent felons, not the in the eyes of the law -- and public opinion and prejudice against ex-convicts doesn't make them violent felons once they've served their time.  If someone you knew was convicted of a crime -- but you felt strongly about it, and knew they were convicted falsely -- wouldn't you be a little concerned about their constitutional rights too?  I'd certainly hope so.

            Besides, there are often plenty of diaries here on the victims of crimes.  See this one.  And [http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/4/16/185433/988 this one (about a crime in the Middle East).  And let's not forget all the diaries that sprouted up when George Tiller was murdered.

          •  All citizens deserve the right to vote. (4+ / 0-)

            For felons who have been released from prison, there is the additional justice argument.  They have served their term.  They have been punished as the law prescribed and the judge sentenced.  That fact means something.  It means more than just that they are no longer incarcerated.  It means that they should have the right to participate in society again.

            There is no basis for withholding voting rights from people who are free from prison.  Period.  The idea that there is a legal stigma beyond incarceration offends me.  And yes, I am also against sex offender registries.  Either this person is safe to return to society, in which case they get rights like voting, or they are not, in which case they SHOULD NOT BE RELEASED FROM PRISON.

            What do you believe that justice means?

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            There are no Christians in foxholes.

            by Odysseus on Wed Apr 21, 2010 at 09:27:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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