On April 15th 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, bombed Boston during the Boston marathon; taking the lives of three innocent people and injuring many others. Tamerlan was killed in a gunfight against the police and his younger brother,Tsarnaev, was captured and imprisoned. Tsarnaev was sentenced to life in prison and a possibility of the death penalty. Now the question is if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were to be released from prison, should he have the right to vote? So far states like Vermont and Maine grant exfelons the right to vote, but states like Florida and Alabama do not allow ex-felons to vote.
When released from prison, life for ex-felons isn’t always easy because of what they have gone through and will are seen differently to society. Majority of the United States did not have ex felons vote, 6. 1 million people did not vote in the most recent election. Although, people think that not letting ex-felons to vote is unconstitutional and unfair, exfelons should not have the right to vote as soon as they leave prison, but should undergo a program that helps those who want to change so that they could potentially gain their rights back.
Ex-felons should not have the right to vote after they get out of prison because the highest authority, the president and high government officials, expressed no interest in changing the law so it seems like it is here to stay. If people can’t meet the standard of society and the law, they shouldn’t be able to vote. If ex-felons couldn’t follow the law, they can’t make the law for everyone else. People who run the United States including President Donald J. Trump do not believe that ex-felons should have the right to vote. In President Trump’s own words, “They’re giving 200,000 people that have been convicted of heinous rimes, horrible crimes, the worst crimes, the right to vote. Because you know what? They know they’re going to vote Democrat. And that could be the swing. That’s how disgusting and dishonest our political system is. ” Most people think committing a felony is like not paying for a parking ticket or stealing something from a store, but the reality is that felons are people who have committed severe crimes like murder and they have to serve years for that and are even put to death for there crimes. If ex-felons were given the right to vote they could potentially ruin our future and the American system.
Ex-felons could also vote for law which could put citizens in danger. Donald Trump also mentions how people would view the government as being dishonest by letting them vote. When someone votes they are giving their own opinion on how the government should operate. Paul Berendt who was a former Democratic chairman said “We know for a fact that nonunion, blue-collar, Caucasian men vote very disproportionately Republican, and when you look at the felon population in the state of Washington, they are overwhelmingly nonunion, bluecollar, male Caucasians. What Paul Berendt was saying is that all the felons are going to vote republican which was the opposite of what Donald Trump said. He believes that felons could be in favor of one party more than the other which could ruin the system. Having someone who has broken the law and been locked up in jail for a horrible crime, doesn’t show they know what’s the best for them therefore they don’t know what is the best for the future of the American people. Letting them vote affects it. Ex felons should not have the right to vote because most Ex-Felons can’t meet the standard and are not capable of voting.
Its very hard to trust an Ex-Felons judgement because they have broken the law already which makes them untrustworthy. Eric Holder a former attorney general for The United States “We don’t let children vote, for instance, or noncitizens, or the mentally incompetent. Why? Because we don’t trust them and their judgment… ” Eric Holder was making the comparison that letting Ex-Felons vote is like letting children/ mentally troubled people vote which can be random and not accurate. Ex-felons also don’t leave prison the way they came in.
Depending what prison someone is put into, life in there isn’t easy because of some of the monsters that are in there. The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 16 percent of people released from prison suffer from a mental disability. Because of the troubles and struggles these people go through, they should undergo a program that helps them get back into society and makes sure that they are ready to live a normal life again and make good decisions. One thing that Ex-felons have trouble with after prison is jobs.
After serving their time, felons need to go out and get their life back together and one of the first things to do is to find a job. But because they have committed a horrible crime, they won’t be able to get decent jobs and they have to settle with a low paying job or no job at all. Because of this Ex- felons should be more focused on their life other than voting. The biggest reasons why Ex-felons should not be given the right to vote is because they should be able to make the laws in this country when they can’t even follow the law.
Roger Clegg who is president and general counsel of the center of Equal Opportunity and a former deputy attorney general in the Justice Department’s civil rights division mentions how Ex-felons say that they have already “paid their debt to society”, but this saying can be misleading. Roger Clegg sees this saying as misleading because people don’t forget about a criminal past and they can’t take what they did back. He also mentions that most people that leave prison end up coming back because they can’t get rid of their past making them not capable of voting.
One strategy that Roger Clegg also suggests a strategy that could potentially grant the right to vote to only some felons who . “The right to vote can be restored to felons, but it should be done carefully, on a case-by-case basis after a person has shown that he or she has really turned over a new leaf, not automatically on the day someone walks out of prison… ” This would be a good idea because not all felons stay the same after and some actually do change and end up living a normal life. But letting felons vote right after prison is a horrible idea.
When someone votes they aren’t just voting on who the next president is going to be, they are voting on what laws are going to be passed and what citizens should and shouldn’t do. Believe it or not there were people who are allowed to vote in prison. Jonathan Aitken, a former member of Parliament in the United Kingdom mentions that “The main point of a prison sentence is to show the offender and society as a whole that criminal behaviour results in loss of freedom and most of the rights that freedom offers.
He explains to people that if they don’t want to lose their voting rights, they shouldn’t go out and commit horrible crimes. The day being released from prison, exfelons should not be complaining on voting because they couldn’t follow the law in the first place therefore they shouldn’t make the law for people who follow them. Although people see that not letting ex-felons vote is like not letting woman and African Americans vote, it’s actually not similar at all. African Americans and women had to fight for their rights because they were seen as nothing to society and people felt like they were not capable of voting.
After years of protesting both African Americans and women can now vote and they never did anything wrong to lose their voting rights in the , but that still leaves whether ex-felons should vote. George Brooks an attorney says that “When someone commits a crime, he commits it not just against the victim, but against our entire society. Protests that time served is enough, and that society should prioritize the rehabilitation and reintegration of felons should fall on deaf ears. ” George Brooks says it clearly that not only is a certain person a victim but so is society and when someone goes against society they are going to get punished.
Not all ex-felons are bad people but a large majority of them are. The very few good people should be considered to undergo a process in which they are supervised and studied on to see if they could possibly get some of their voting rights back but not all of them. But for the other ex-felons they do not deserve their rights to vote at all. In the next few years it’s most likely that exfelons won’t get their rights because of who’s in office and how the majority of the population doesn’t want them to vote. Not letting felons vote will be protecting our future and the future of our country.