Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Eric Holder called on a group of states Tuesday to restore voting rights to ex-felons, part of a push to fix what he sees as flaws in the criminal justice system that have a disparate impact on racial minorities.

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Diablo

 

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"It is time to fundamentally rethink laws that permanently disenfranchise people who are no longer under federal or state supervision," Holder said, targeting 11 states that he said continue to restrict voting rights for former inmates, even after they've finished their prison terms.

"Across this country today, an estimated 5.8 million Americans - 5.8 million of our fellow citizens - are prohibited from voting because of current or previous felony convictions," Holder told a symposium on criminal justice at Georgetown University.

On a topic with racial overtones, Holder said 2.2 million black citizens, or nearly one in 13 African-American adults, are banned from voting because of these laws, and he said the ratio climbs to one in five in Florida, Kentucky and Virginia.

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Memo to Holder: No such thing as a "former" felon exists.

#1 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-02-12 01:42 AM | Reply | Flag:

One of the many tricky tricks the racists have used to maintain their over-represented status.

All the KKK members around here will be crying up a storm about this one.

#2 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2014-02-12 01:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

I did not mention race, Speak. Holder and you did.
There was a time when people pointed everywhere saying "A witch!" Eventually mankind figured out the people doing that were more of a threat than the alleged witches.
Same with the idiots pointing everywhere shouting "Racist" these days.

#3 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-02-12 01:55 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Democrats and felons....birds of a feather.

#4 | Posted by KBM at 2014-02-12 07:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

I agree with Holder, but not so much with the racial reasons as the number of non-violent crimes we have labeled felonies in our "tough on crime" witch hunts. (Thanks Diablo, for reminding me of that term, it works wonderfully here lol.)

Do I want rapists and murderers voting? No. But on the upside, there aren't really all that many of them compared to regular non-violent citizens. On the other hand, somebody got caught with a couple ounces of weed and bought each in a separate baggy, so now face felony with intent to distribute charges and can't participate in their civic duties for the rest of their life? C'mon. That's BS and we all know it.

But take my view with whatever grain of salt you wish. I also feel non-violent criminal records shouldn't follow people, reducing their chance for gainful employment and eventually reaching a better lifestyle and social class where they are less likely to commit crimes and have more to lose. And even that violent criminals should be able to face review boards and have their records expunged after a period of time, because let's face it - while a murderer has given up their rights as part of society, there's always that guy arrested on assault and battery charges who did nothing more than try and protect a friend in a bar fight or something similar. And there's probably a few of us posting here who only haven't got felonies for such things for no reason but that we weren't caught. A sad distinction between those who can and can't vote.

#5 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-02-12 08:56 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Democrats and felons....birds of a feather."

Republican felons just plead the 5th Amendment 75 times and then get elected Gov. of Florida.

#6 | Posted by danni at 2014-02-12 09:05 AM | Reply | Flag:

Zero you make a good point about the felon charge following you and screwing up your life. There should be a point where a non-violent offender can get a clean slate. It is silly that we brand some people criminals for life like this was the 18th century or something.

Actually with the number of bourgeoisie who will never be charged with a felony for twice the stuff the commoner can be busted for maybe it is the 18th century and we just didn't notice time run backward.

#7 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-02-12 09:19 AM | Reply | Flag:

Headline Fail.

It's ex-felons.

#8 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-12 10:27 AM | Reply | Flag:

How do you become an ex-felon?

#9 | Posted by wisgod at 2014-02-12 10:32 AM | Reply | Flag:

He's just trying to make sure he can still vote in the future.

#10 | Posted by sames1 at 2014-02-12 10:41 AM | Reply | Flag:

How do you become an ex-felon?
#9 | POSTED BY WISGOD AT 2014-02-12 10:32 AM | FLAG:

Did your time? Paid your debt to society?

#11 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-02-12 11:10 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#11

Not good enough. Seems you need to be punished for the rest of your life with the inability to vote.

#12 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-12 11:12 AM | Reply | Flag:

What, no mention of restoring their second amendment rights also?

#13 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2014-02-12 12:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

Did your time? Paid your debt to society?

#11 | Posted by zeropointnrg

That doesn't remove it from your record. You are a convicted felon and this is just more feel good PC speak like undocumented worker.

#14 | Posted by wisgod at 2014-02-12 12:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

I have a problem with disenfranchising people who were convicted of minor drug felonies such as possession of a tenth of a gram of cocaine thirty years ago. And for that matter I also have a problem with denying those same people with the right to own a gun for the reest of their lives. Being an ex-felon should not make one an outcast from our society for life.

#15 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-02-12 12:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

Current definition, you're right and that's what I have a problem with. Unintended consequences. Those records prevent people from moving on with their lives and becoming productive members of society. People with less to lose are more likely to commit more crimes. You, me, most others here, we have homes, jobs, families, reasons to not risk prison. Meanwhile, those who can't move up and correct for past mistakes - why not rob, steal, mug, sell drugs and anything else with impunity to get ahead?

#16 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-02-12 12:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

How do you become an ex-felon?
#9 | POSTED BY WISGOD

Ask Alcee Hastings.

#17 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-02-12 12:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

#15 | POSTED BY MODER8

I agree, I could be open to a tiered program on this.

Say 5 year min loss of voting rights and/or 2 times the time served. Serve 5 years and lose the right to vote for 10 years.

#18 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-02-12 12:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

#19 | Posted by wisgod at 2014-02-12 12:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

Felons can vote in Texas after serving their sentence; Still can't legally have a firearm, though.

#20 | Posted by Zatoichi at 2014-02-12 01:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

Who can vote in Texas?

Not finally convicted of a felony, or, if so convicted must have (1) fully discharged the sentence, including any term of incarceration, parole, or supervision, or completed a period of probation ordered by any court; or (2) been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disability to vote; and
Not determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be (1) totally mentally incapacitated; or (2) partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.

www.sos.state.tx.us

I don't understand how that works with the Federal elections? I would think federal election law would trump state laws. Of course Holder would never challenge that law even if it is Texas.

#21 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-02-12 01:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

Felons can vote in Texas after serving their sentence; Still can't legally have a firearm, though.

Five years after completion of a sentence a felon in Texas can possess a firearm at the premises where they live. codes.lp.findlaw.com Of course, that conflicts with federal law.

I don't understand how that works with the Federal elections?

State law still determines eligibility to vote, so long as not violating federal laws, e.g. VRA.

#22 | Posted by et_al at 2014-02-12 03:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

I have a problem with disenfranchising people who were convicted of minor drug felonies such as possession of a tenth of a gram of cocaine thirty years ago....

#15 | Posted by moder8

Therefore we should permit all felons to be able to vote? So what are you waiting for Holder?? The left is all for you rewriting the law as they see fit...especially if they aren't in the legislative branch!!

#23 | Posted by DavetheWave at 2014-02-12 05:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

But please note m8, Holder is speaking for ALL felons!! So take your 'problem' and apply it to all felons. Does it still 'Holder water' for you??

#24 | Posted by DavetheWave at 2014-02-12 05:57 PM | Reply | Flag:

Holder "In many states, felony disenfranchisement laws are still on the books. And the current scope of these policies is not only too significant to ignore -- it is also too unjust to tolerate,"

Imagine that ANOTHER law the Attorney General can tolerate. No wonder he allowed the Black Panthers to work over a polling place!! Next thing, he'll condone their voting because he can't tolerate their being 'disenfranchised'!!

#25 | Posted by DavetheWave at 2014-02-12 06:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

Why stop there, as if they paid their debt to society and he really cared he should mandate that their 2nd Amendment rights be restored also. All or nothing if he really cared ;) Oh, I'm sorry, forgot it is just about getting more dem voters, silly of me to think he actually cared about the individuals.

#26 | Posted by MSgt at 2014-02-13 01:05 PM | Reply | Flag:

They do tend to vote for Democrats.

#27 | Posted by mysterytoy at 2014-02-13 06:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I have a problem with disenfranchising people who were convicted of minor drug felonies such as possession of a tenth of a gram of cocaine thirty years ago."

Agreed, Moder8.
There should be distinctions made in this issue. Not all felons are felonious.

#28 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-02-13 08:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

"That doesn't remove it from your record. You are a convicted felon"

Tell that to Roger Hedgecock, buddy.

#29 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-02-14 12:53 AM | Reply | Flag:

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