Felony disenfranchisement

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Felony disenfranchisement

Category: Essay

Subcategory: Criminal law

Level: College

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Felony Disenfranchisement and Good-Time Release

Felony Disenfranchisement
Laws barring felons from voting originated from the practice of ‘civil death.’ This law, brought to the United States by the English colonists, was a set of penalties for criminals that included losing the right to vote in any election. Initially, the law only restricted to people whose offenses were considered as an outrageous violation of the moral code. However, following the American Revolution, more states began to expand the penalty to involve all felonies. Currently, forty-eight states do not allow inmates of felony offenses to cast their votes. Thirty-five states bar inmates and offenders on parole from voting, while 31 states also exclude those on probation. Four states bar anyone charged with a felony even after they have served prison time. Regarding numbers, approximately 5.85 million Americans cannot vote due to felony disenfranchisement.
The race is an underlying issue in the process because those mostly affected by this law are Blacks. A total of 2.2 million African-Americans cannot vote due to this law. This number translates to about 7.7% of African American adult population disenfranchised compared to 1.9% of the non-Black population. In other words, one in every thirteen Black voters cannot vote compared to one in every fifty-six non-Blacks. With American laws getting, even more, punitive, it is projected that 30% of Blacks in the next gener…

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