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  #1  
Old 02-13-2011, 05:05 PM
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Prisoners should have the vote?

The European Court of human Rights 7 years ago upheld that the UK should give prisoners the right to vote. http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/...ers____rights/ But as that story spells out our Parliament has now had a vote on the issue and it has refused to enact what has been demanded from them by a court we have signed up to.

A quote about comments given by our Prime Minister
Quote:
David Cameron today said it makes him "physically ill" to be forced to give prisoners the vote.
http://www.kentonline.co.uk/kentonli...ners_vote.aspx

Do prisoners have any human rights or do they forfeit certain rights when they break the law and get sent to prison? Is having a vote a human right anyway or is it a duty to vote?

Do prisoners have the vote in your country? Do you think that is right?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2011, 05:21 PM
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Here a convicted felon must petition the governor to have his his voting rights reinstated. I personally disagree. I think rights should be restored immediately after a sentence in completed. I think persons serving time should have no rights, other than minimally basis human rights. There should be no right to vote.
 
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:43 PM
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I also agree that once your sentence is finished, all privileges and rights of citizenry. Having voting rights taken away even after paying your debt to society is idiotic.

Although we probably give prisoners that right. We're big doormats like that.
 
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScriptMan View Post
I think persons serving time should have no rights, other than minimally basis human rights. There should be no right to vote.
And what about those persons who are wrongfully convicted and are serving sentences when they are innocent?
 
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Old 02-14-2011, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dWhite View Post
And what about those persons who are wrongfully convicted and are serving sentences when they are innocent?
I assume that would probably fall under the first line of his statement, as being wrongfully convicted would hence remove being incarcerated. They could then be given the retroactive right to vote, but the chances that such an election being that slim is as good as winning the lottery.
 
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  #6  
Old 02-14-2011, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dWhite View Post
And what about those persons who are wrongfully convicted and are serving sentences when they are innocent?
Convicted == prisoner == no rights. Exonerated == not convicted == full rights restored. Anything else is just speculation and circumvention of due process. While the occasional person is wrongfully convicted 99% of those convicted did the crime.
 
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Old 02-14-2011, 05:01 PM
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I've yet to see logically sound argument for denying those convicted of any crime the right to vote.

If one is to subject to Law, then one must also have the right to a voice in its being made and enforced.

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Old 02-14-2011, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deepsand View Post
I've yet to see logically sound argument for denying those convicted of any crime the right to vote.

If one is to subject to Law, then one must also have the right to a voice in its being made and enforced.

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Is some of the argument that those who chose a life of breaking the law should not be part of it's making because they would want the law to be so that they were no longer outside it.

The main argument over here seems to be that they have chosen an action that means society has segregated them from society, no longer participating in it, by their choice, therefore they have no rights to say where society should go, hence no vote.

There is no argument in the Uk about gaining the right back, once you are resident outside prison on the residential date, one is in fact required to register as is every citizen. Though exercising the right is at a person's own discretion..
 
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  #9  
Old 02-14-2011, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymously View Post
Is some of the argument that those who chose a life of breaking the law should not be part of it's making because they would want the law to be so that they were no longer outside it.
And, if that be the will of the people as a whole, why should it not be so?

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  #10  
Old 02-14-2011, 07:00 PM
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I agree with deepsand.
One should have the right to vote on laws
one is subject too. Otherwise ... there is no democracy.
To Require one who votes to never break the law
is the same as any other requirement to vote. It is unconstitutional.
 
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  #11  
Old 02-14-2011, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabble View Post
I agree with deepsand.
One should have the right to vote on laws
one is subject too. Otherwise ... there is no democracy.
To Require one who votes to never break the law
is the same as any other requirement to vote. It is unconstitutional.
Ftr, not correct. Something that is expressly presupposed in the constitution cant be "unconstitutional" unless theres been a subsequent amendment making it so.

The constitution expressly prohibits disenfranchising voters for for several reasons enumerated in the amendments... Sex, race, etc.

It also mentions several reasons a person might have their right to vote denied or abridged... Those reasons being "participation in rebellion, or other crime".

See amendment 14, paragraph 2. http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am14
 
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  #12  
Old 02-15-2011, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dWhite View Post
And what about those persons who are wrongfully convicted and are serving sentences when they are innocent?
If one is wrongfully convicted of a crime and serving a prison sentence, the right to vote is the least of their worries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepsand View Post
I've yet to see logically sound argument for denying those convicted of any crime the right to vote.

If one is to subject to Law, then one must also have the right to a voice in its being made and enforced.
When one decides to commit a crime, they are expressly giving up their right to vote on laws which they have decided they are not subject to.
The commission of a crime IS, in itself, removal from the participation in and cooperation with societal law.
 
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2011, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabble View Post
I agree with deepsand.
One should have the right to vote on laws
one is subject too. Otherwise ... there is no democracy.
To Require one who votes to never break the law
is the same as any other requirement to vote. It is unconstitutional.
Constitution has nothing, of course to do with the UK, but we have signed up to the European Court of Human Rights and they have deemed voting a 'Human Right' and therefore cannot be taken indiscriminately (as I understand that it means we simply removed every prisoners rights). The case was brought by John Hurst who is a convicted killer. Many ask what human rights did he afford to the person he killed or their family?

But should one be able to vote on laws that they have shown contempt for?

It is also seen here that crime is against society, not an individual, and so the right to participate in society is taken away from those who offend against it. It is not taken by the individual, group etc who were the victims, it is taken by the courts representing society by due process who exclude certain people from society and participating in society for a period of time related to their offence against society. If voting is allowed then they have not been removed from participation in the society they offended against.

I fully support that prisoners should be treated like human beings and that prison is not just punishment or protection of society and should have a strong emphasis on rehabilitation (I have said this in other debates on this forum) but it does take away many human rights for an example the right to family life it seems to me that voting is more of a privileged and duty and comes way below the exclusion of a right to be part of a family and belongs more with the nature of being excluded during the time of that exclusion.

The issue for the Uk government is that it has lost a vote to give prisoners serving less than 4 years the vote the other day and without somehow steam rolling this through Parliament is not likely to get the change needed to satisfy the European Court and that will lead it into having to pay millions of pounds in compensation to prisoners. That also is fuelling controversy.
 
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  #14  
Old 02-15-2011, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robjones View Post
Ftr, not correct. Something that is expressly presupposed in the constitution cant be "unconstitutional" unless theres been a subsequent amendment making it so.

The constitution expressly prohibits disenfranchising voters for for several reasons enumerated in the amendments... Sex, race, etc.

It also mentions several reasons a person might have their right to vote denied or abridged... Those reasons being "participation in rebellion, or other crime".

See amendment 14, paragraph 2. http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#Am14
Interesting.
I must admit I was not aware of that provision although I had thought I was familiar with the 14th amendment. I have learned something new today. Thank you.

My only comment would be the provision seems the result of an
unholy compromise. I would be interested in knowing what judicial
ruling have been issued as to what constitutes 'other crime'?

What an interesting can of worms.

I still stand in favour allowing prisoners to vote.
I admit your agument is a valid one.
so ... let's proceed.

Last edited by rabble; 02-15-2011 at 08:02 AM.
 
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  #15  
Old 02-15-2011, 08:06 AM
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Yes. Our Constitution has nothing to do with your processes in EU.
I can only say 'Think Globally. Act locally.'

I can only hope the US will eventually become a law abiding
member of the world community.

Here in the US it is common practice to deny criminals
their civil rights although they are god given and can not be abridged by the states.
I equate the right to vote with freedom of speech. It is, as you can see,
a minority opinion here.

Last edited by rabble; 02-15-2011 at 08:11 AM.
 
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  #16  
Old 02-15-2011, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zap View Post
When one decides to commit a crime, they are expressly giving up their right to vote on laws which they have decided they are not subject to.
Expressly? That's an unfounded conclusion.

And, what of those who do not know that an act is criminal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zap View Post
The commission of a crime IS, in itself, removal from the participation in and cooperation with societal law.
It is nothing of the sort. It is merely an act which, at the particular time and place committed, was defined by someone as being a crime.

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  #17  
Old 02-15-2011, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabble View Post
My only comment would be the provision seems the result of an unholy compromise. I would be interested in knowing what judicial
ruling have been issued as to what constitutes 'other crime'?
To the best of my knowledge, such determinations have been left solely to the individual States to decide.

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  #18  
Old 02-15-2011, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
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To the best of my knowledge, such determinations have been left solely to the individual States to decide.

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Even the very mention of rebellion seems to be politically motivated.
I have not researched historical aspects of the 14th. My thinking is it helped to
abolish slavery by making federal law supreme over the states.
Was the inclusion of 'rebellion' specifically aimed at confederate soldiers?

Maybe I will join with conservatives in thinking the 14th should be
revisited.

Last edited by rabble; 02-15-2011 at 04:50 PM.
 
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  #19  
Old 02-15-2011, 05:31 PM
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Section 3 was clearly aimed at preventing those who had violated their oaths to defend the US Constitution from sitting in certain offices.

From the 14th:

Quote:
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Per Fourteenth Amendment: Participants in a Rebellion,

Quote:
Section 3 prohibits the election or appointment to any federal or state office of any person who had held any of certain offices and then engaged in insurrection, rebellion or treason. However, a two-thirds vote by each House of the Congress can override this limitation. In 1898, the Congress enacted a general removal of Section 3's limitation
For more, see FindLaw - U.S. Constitution: Fourteenth Amendment, Sections 3 and 4.

Quote:
SECTIONS 3 AND 4. DISQUALIFICATION AND PUBLIC DEBT

The right to remove disabilities imposed by this section was exercised by Congress at different times on behalf of enumerated individuals. In 1872, the disabilities were removed, by a blanket act, from all persons ''except Senators and Representatives of the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses, officers in the judicial, military and naval service of the United States, heads of departments, and foreign ministers of the United States.'' Twenty-six years later, Congress enacted that ''the disability imposed by section 3 . . . incurred heretofore, is hereby removed.''
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Last edited by deepsand; 02-15-2011 at 05:46 PM.
 
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  #20  
Old 02-15-2011, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymously View Post
But should one be able to vote on laws that they have shown contempt for?
The commission of a crime does not perforce evidence contempt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymously View Post
It is also seen here that crime is against society, not an individual, and so the right to participate in society is taken away from those who offend against it. It is not taken by the individual, group etc who were the victims, it is taken by the courts representing society ...
Taking that line to its ultimate logical conclusion, a society whose individual votes determined what was deemed to be criminal at that time and place. Law is not immortal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymously View Post
... by due process who exclude certain people from society and participating in society for a period of time related to their offence against society. If voting is allowed then they have not been removed from participation in the society they offended against.
In fact, nothing short of isolation removes them from such participation. To hold that some forms of participation are allowable, while voting is not, is arbitrary.

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