Restoring Ex-Felons Voting Rights Essay
The issue originates in ancient Rome and Greece while on the tradition of civil death that criminals had suffered. Offenders were cut off from the community; they were unable to bequeath or inherit any property and perform any legal functions. English colonists have brought these laws to North America, and, while many legislative shortcomings were cut with the attainment of independence, the felony disenfranchisement has remained.
Back then, the convicted were among many social groups denied voting right. These included women, Afro-Americans, illiterates, and those who have no property (Manza, 2006). Nowadays it seems barbaric, so why felons should still be denied their right? Furthermore, inmate voting was restored in Israel, Canada, and South Africa by the decision of their respective supreme courts. The European Court of Human Rights did the same. These countries have different political traditions, yet all of them agreed that the right to vote is vitally important for democracy. Democracy should not operate with the principle of exclusiveness.
The USA has the in the world, and there are more on parole or probation. To deprive them of their right to vote means to diminish the basic principles of democracy while this country used to be proud of its political system. A situation when even offenders convicted for are disenfranchised, in several states for the rest of their lives is unacceptable for a modern country.
As the issue has deep roots, it requires a complex approach in many areas. First of all, its resolution suggests several social changes. The inevitability of any changes is hard to accept, as it is easy to maintain the status quo (Homan, 2015). The problems of ex-felons are not that neglected, after all, the impossibility of employment is a common plot in criminal movies. towards the abolition of felon disenfranchisement already exist, like The Sententencing Project. Not surprising, considering the fact that about one out of 40 Americans of voting age cannot vote due to conviction.
It is worth noting that many activists are former felons themselves; the oppressed have not become the oppressors, as it may have occurred. They surely have a personal interest and investment in their project, and they have all the reasons to believe in its successful outcome, as there are several states that liberated their laws. It seems that the moment for action has already arrived. Now it is time to change the laws of states, where felon disenfranchised is particularly strict, like Florida, where restoring the voting right requires each ex-felon to submit an application (Sherman, 2014).
While certain victories were achieved, the worst mistake that can be made is to declare victory too soon. Instead, leaders of the campaign should use refines of their mid-term victories to tackle the major problem (Kotter, 2007). The ultimate issue with felon disenfranchised is that the very US Constitution permits the depriving of voting right. However the change of supreme law is not a manageable goal, activists should maintain their vision. The possible goal here is to cancel the on the state level. Although it is too soon to talk about inmate voting, those who served their sentence, or are on probation and parole should be restored in their rights.