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Archive for the ‘florida’ Category

Restoring Rights is Righteous

Posted by thelamp on April 22, 2007

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and his cabinet have approved a plan to restore voting privileges and other civil rights to felons who have finished their sentences. Voting is a vital aspect of being a citizen in a democratic nation. The Center for Moral Clarity applauds this plan, because it should go a long way to help men and women who have paid their debt to society.

Until this change in policy, Florida was one of three states in the nation that permanently barred former felons from the voting booth. Perhaps lawmakers in Virginia and Kentucky will see the merit and wisdom in Florida’s compassionate decision and follow their lead. Full participation in the democratic process is advantageous for the entire nation.

During the 2004 presidential election, Florida had an estimated 960,000 ex-felons who were unable to vote. Nationwide, some 5.3 million Americans – roughly one in every 40 adults – have currently or permanently lost their voting rights as a result of a felony conviction. Among them are 1.4 million African-American men (that’s 13 percent of all black men in America). This rate is seven times the national average. Given current rates of incarceration, as much as 40 percent of the next generation of black men can expect to lose their right to participate in elections at some point in their lives.

Although the initial punishment is warranted, it’s wrong to keep people on the fringes of society permanently once they have served their sentences. Such restrictions benefit no one.

Each state has developed its own process for restoring voting rights to ex-offenders. However, in many instances, the restoration processes are so complicated and cumbersome that few who are eligible take advantage of the opportunity. It shouldn’t be that difficult.

Forgiveness is fundamental to Christianity. Through their activism, Bible believers have the ability to influence public policy to reflect this biblical principle. By restoring an ex-offender’s civil rights, the state is acknowledging that the crime has been put in the past and the door is open to a fresh start in society.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, charlie crist, civil rights, felons, florida, Recent News & Events, Religion/Politics, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »