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Convicted Felons Should Not Be Allowed to Vote

By DesireeC94 May 16, 2013 574 Words
Convicted Felons Should Not Be Allowed to Vote

This essay discusses my reflection on whether or not felons should have the right to vote. A felon is defined as a person who has been convicted of a felony, which is a crime punishable by death or a term in state or federal prison. A felony is a serious crime usually punishable by imprisonment or death. Convicted felons should not be allowed to vote. Many Americans were not allowed to vote these past elections. It wasn’t because they didn’t pay taxes or were mentally incompetent or underage. The reason why they can’t vote is because they are convicted felons. Once someone has committed a serious crime or felony, they have shown that they are not trustworthy enough to vote. Because they disobeyed the law, they should not have the obligation to vote. If one is sent to prison, they have agreed that most of their rights have been taken. Prison is meant to be a punishment and one of their punishments is their loss of freedom and democratic rights for their time of their sentence. Convicted felons have also demonstrated poor judgment and should not be trusted with a vote. The main point of a prison sentence to show the offender and society that criminal behavior results in loss of freedom and most of the rights that freedom has to offer. Therefore felons should not be allowed to vote. Although some people believe that felons should be allowed to vote at any circumstance but I believe that if they are felons they have already lost that opportunity because they have decided to make the choice to participate in criminal activities. If the felon is not willing to follow the law himself, then they should not demand the right to vote. In California, felons serving time in prison or county jail are denied their right to vote. According to The Sentencing Project, 5.3 million Americans were unable to vote in 2008 due to a felony conviction. Unfortunately, statistics show that this number is expected to rise to 6 million. Convicted felons are in prison for a reason, they committed a crime that was of a serious nature, whether it be robbing a bank, killing someone, etc. We do not need these type of people to help make decisions to choose the nations leaders. They obviously could not make a decision governing their own lives, we should definitely not allow them to make those kind of decisions for the rest of us. I believe voting is not just a right but a responsibility. Although, people against the opportunities of felons, have made some good points, there is not enough evidence to hold up the argument that it is wrong to take away the right to vote from felons. The act of taking away the right to vote from felons and ex-felons is called Disenfranchisement. People that are in favor of disenfranchisement believe that those convicted of a crime have shown poor judgment therefore, proves them unfit to make good decisions when it comes to elections. Some believe that felon disenfranchisement laws also have a big racial impact because certain percent of population have their right to vote taken away more than others. It seems like a good point but voting requires certain minimum standards of and trustworthiness. Those who have committed serious crimes against their fellow citizens do not meet the standards of voting.

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