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Posted: 2/13/2006 8:24:37 AM EDT
I read an article in SWAT magazine regarding this issue and it's gotten me thinking quite a bit. I've come to the conclusion that the system seems to be set up to prevent convicted felons from changing their ways even if they want to. Now, I will admit that some leapords never change their spots but that doesn't mean that we should punish everyone who has commited a felony for the rest of their lives...especially if they are one time offenders.

Now keep in mind, I'm not talking about violent offenders here like murderers, rapists, armed robbers and kidnappers. Look at someone who steals a car, or breaks into a house to steal a TV, or gets caught trying to sell a small amount of dope, or commits a white collar crime, or some other such foolishness. Now...let me be clear here I'm not talking about letting them off Scott free or just giving them a slap on the wrists. Do the crime, do the time. I'm fine with locking them up for however long...2-5 years or whatever. But now let's say that they are out of prison and on parole. They are now expected to get a job and keep out of trouble until their term is finished. However, they are severely limited in the jobs that they can have. If you have been convicted of a felony the law forbids any employer that does business with the government from hiring you. Period. Convicted felons can't even work at McDonalds. Also, when you get paroled you are dropped right back into the environment that you came out of. Now I'm not going to blame all the "environment" that a person is in for their actions, everyone has choices. But you have to admit that letting someone out of prison with a very narrow means of making a living and keeping them in an environment where they are usually surrounded by criminals is a pretty stacked deck. But let's say someone makes it and doesn't violate their parole (most probably don't...but alot of people do).

Now you have someone who has been released from prison, made it successfully back into society without resorting to crime and who still isn't allowed to vote, still can't work for any company that has a government contract, still can't own a firearm and if they are on probation, is still restricted in where they can and cannot go (or move to pursue a job opportunity). And they are usually stuck in that rut for life, unless they can get a judge to restore their rights...which they can petition for 10 years after their probabation has ended (which usually goes on for a couple of years after their parole has ended).

I just don't think that this is right. I think that non-violent felons should be given more of an opportunity (at least after their first conviction) to resume a normal life if they can keep out of trouble. And I think that letting them resume a normal life is a good way to help rehabilitate them.

I think that when we release someone on parole they should have the opportunity to move someplace completely different, even another state (as long as they inform their parole officer and continue to check in properly) and I would definately lift the laws preventing employers with government contracts from hiring convicted felons. Also, once the parole period is up, if the person has kept their nose clean then they should be restored as full citizens again with the right to vote, right to come and go where and when they please and yes with the right to own a gun. There used to be such a thing for criminals as paying your debt to society and I think that we should give them that opportunity again. Today if you break the law you are basically Fucked For Life.

My $.02
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:27:26 AM EDT
not all felons should. many of them are fine, but pedophiles, rapists, and the like should not.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:27:43 AM EDT
They did their time. If they are still a danger, why let them out?
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:27:55 AM EDT
I use to have the belief that if you were convicted you should not get your rights back. But with everthing being a felony these days I just don't believe that anymore.

Murders, rapists, major drug dealers, no. Some white collar crime, sure.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:28:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
not all felons should. many of them are fine, but pedophiles, rapists, and the like should not.



Sex offenders commit a crime that should be punishable by death.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:29:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
not all felons should. many of them are fine, but pedophiles, rapists, and the like should not.



Well of course not. I'm talking about non-violent offenders (and I believe sex crimes are considered to be violent crimes).

Pedophiles and Rapists should never see the light of day again, unless they are miraculously exhonorated by DNA evidence or something.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:29:53 AM EDT
agreed
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:30:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By nf9648:

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
not all felons should. many of them are fine, but pedophiles, rapists, and the like should not.



Sex offenders commit a crime that should be punishable by death.



So is a murderer a "life offender"?
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:30:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By falaholic1:
They did their time. If they are still a danger, why let them out?


Thats been beat to death in these threads.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:32:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
I use to have the belief that if you were convicted you should not get your rights back. But with everthing being a felony these days I just don't believe that anymore.

Murders, rapists, major drug dealers, no. Some white collar crime, sure.



I am kind of on the same page. I also read that article. I would be open to the restoration of rights to people convicted of non-violent felonies.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:32:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tc556guy:

Originally Posted By falaholic1:
They did their time. If they are still a danger, why let them out?


Thats been beat to death in these threads.



That's my opinion. If people share it, what do you care?
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:34:30 AM EDT
Felons should not have rights.

But, when you are let out of jail, you're not a felon anymore.

If you are dangerous, apt to return to prison, incapable of being amongst society with all your rights restored, then the justice system has failed and your jail time was wasted. And, that's not the criminals fault - that society's fault.

I know that's not a popular viewpoint, but it's the way individual liberty is designed to work. If the system is not working, and dangerous people are being released from prison, change the method of incarceration - don't apply band aids to the problem by partially restoring an ex-felons rights and believe that he will be less of a danger. Only a liberal retard would believe this method of dealing with ex convicts works.

And, lo and behold, look at our justice system. It's not working.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:37:45 AM EDT
Some should and some should not. Example, I have a young bud that has allways been a gearhead. When he was 17 he took a 4x4 out for a offroad romp at night. He came to a nice flat area with slick grass that was perfect for doing doughnuts only problem was he had driven onto a golf course. He did about 10 grand in damage before he got busted.

He is now a married ,hard working and has a baby girl. He cant vote or own a gun it's a real pity.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:39:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NimmerMehr:

Originally Posted By nf9648:

Originally Posted By TheRedHorseman:
not all felons should. many of them are fine, but pedophiles, rapists, and the like should not.



Sex offenders commit a crime that should be punishable by death.



So is a murderer a "life offender"?



We already know murderers are subject to the death penalty, only problem is that it takes too long to kill them and a lot of them end up doing life instead. They shouldnt see the next morning after sentencing.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:45:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 8:46:38 AM EDT by TomHighway]
This poll asks the question in absolute terms ("all citizenship rights").

I am in favor of released felons getting back rights necessary to function in everyday society, such as a drivers license and the right to vote. Not giving them these rights seems to me to nearly guarantee that they will return to a life of crime.

I would not be in favor of allowing these individuals to get licensed in certain professions, like police, lawyers, CPAs, doctors, etc.

Gun rights is a difficult issue. Would you want someone convicted of armed robbery or murder to legally be able to buy a gun? What about child molesters or rapists? What about someone convicted of embezzelment or some (relatively) harmless white collar crime, like perjury or obstruction of justice?
It is probably better just to say no to allowing these felons to get there gun rights back.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:49:52 AM EDT
No they should not. Loosing your rights is part of the punishment.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:55:01 AM EDT
If you can get out of prison you should get your rights reinstated. The problem doesnt have to do with what they can and cannot do when they get out, its the fact that the dangerous ones are still alive after being caught. Theres no reason someone who cannot function in society should have a happy home for the rest of their long life if they are never to get out of prison. Kill the fuckers, every last one of them, and do it quick.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:02:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 9:03:49 AM EDT by dizza]

Originally Posted By falaholic1:
They did their time. If they are still a danger, why let them out?



Determinate sentencing at it's best.

-d
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:10:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
I use to have the belief that if you were convicted you should not get your rights back. But with everthing being a felony these days I just don't believe that anymore.

Murders, rapists, major drug dealers, no. Some white collar crime, sure.



Agreed. I think that a felon should have to petition to have their rights restored. Then they can be judged as to if their crime and punishment warrants they get their rights back. But, to automatically restore them will just let the system get abused.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:13:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
I use to have the belief that if you were convicted you should not get your rights back. But with everthing being a felony these days I just don't believe that anymore.

Murders, rapists, major drug dealers, no. Some white collar crime, sure.



I'm singing from the same hymnal.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:20:30 AM EDT
Some time ago, felons regained their 2nd amendment rights when they got out of prison. They really didn't care about voting rights. With prisons today being the gladiator schools that they are, it might not be a good idea to reinstate some rights. A lot of people go in and a lot of animals come out.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:22:53 AM EDT
The question posed is an absolute, as would be some of the proposals for laws. One thing many people have to realize is that not all felonies, especially federal felonies, are violent or sexual crimes, or pose a danger to anyone. Many financial crimes, including certain tax issues, are felonies. Whether they should be or not is a separate issue, but I doubt that some of the accountants who get convicted of felonies are a danger to me. Case by case, of course, but not as general as it seems, from both sides.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:25:59 AM EDT
I voted NO, but then I was taught the differences between a felony and a misdemeanor.

Mike
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:37:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By falaholic1:

Originally Posted By tc556guy:

Originally Posted By falaholic1:
They did their time. If they are still a danger, why let them out?


Thats been beat to death in these threads.



That's my opinion. If people share it, what do you care?


You can certainly have it, but its an unrealistic expectation that you can pack a LOT of citizens away for an unspecified period of time until some arbitrary period when they were decreed to be "reformed". Talk about a system that was prone to abuse.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:45:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 9:46:45 AM EDT by BangStick1]
Crimes of violence = NO

Non violent felonies = Yes, on case by case basis.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:45:03 AM EDT
So long as they are not VIOLENT felons I would say that they should have all Constitutional Rights restored. I would agree with the article that the number of "crimes" that nowadays fall under the felony category are appalling.

White collar, non-violent, felons should have their full rights restored once they've served their time.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:45:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By falaholic1:
They did their time. If they are still a danger, why let them out?



+1
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:50:02 AM EDT
Non-violent felons should. Violent felons should not.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:52:23 AM EDT
I have a problem with the term "felon". No person who steals a car or sells dope should be lumped together with rapists, murderers, and the like. It is a very extreme generalization that is VERY unfair to a lot of people. I think that people that commit minor felonies should have their rights restored and should not be labelled the same as those that rape or kill.

People that commit a felony by stealing or selling drugs or other various white collar crimes should be called felons. People that rape and/or murder should be called dead.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:55:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GotGuns:
I have a problem with the term "felon". No person who steals a car or sells dope should be lumped together with rapists, murderers, and the like.



That's your opinion. My opinion is that dope dealers should be treated the same as attempted murderers. And someone who steals a car should be treated as a violent criminal.

You do know that horse thieves used to be shot, right? I don't see how stealing a car is much different.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:57:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ChiefPilot:

Originally Posted By GotGuns:
I have a problem with the term "felon". No person who steals a car or sells dope should be lumped together with rapists, murderers, and the like.



That's your opinion. My opinion is that dope dealers should be treated the same as attempted murderers. And someone who steals a car should be treated as a violent criminal.

You do know that horse thieves used to be shot, right? I don't see how stealing a car is much different.



Yes, and witches used to be burned at the stake.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:05:59 AM EDT
Of course felons should have rights.



The right to die.
Right to kill themselves.
Right to get the fuck out.



Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:15:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
I use to have the belief that if you were convicted you should not get your rights back. But with everthing being a felony these days I just don't believe that anymore.

Murders, rapists, major drug dealers, no. Some white collar crime, sure.



You mean like Anheuser Bush?

How dare you lump in those who complete a consensual transaction with those that would rape and kill.

A big +1 to not letting violent offenders out and restoring the rights of all others that have served their time.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:24:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 10:24:39 AM EDT by Gunplay]
.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:31:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 10:54:09 AM EDT by HardShell]

Originally Posted By motown_steve: (POLL QUESTION)
Should felons who have served their term well automatically have all citizenship rights restored?



Automatically? NO.

I have no problem with mechanisms which allow non-violent non-recidivists to apply for restoration (in many cases, such already exist), but I don't want it to be automatic. If criminal sentences were realistic and fully served, I might reconsider...
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:32:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By falaholic1:
They did their time. If they are still a danger, why let them out?



$$$

Happens every day in this country...
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:48:08 AM EDT
Since we are playing "What if"

I voted yes as long as there were some changes to the system.

1. Decriminalization of drugs and have them treated as cigs and booze is now.
2. Life Sentences w/o parole for child molesters or death sentence.
(I would have included rapists here as well but I've know too many psycho chicks, that would claim rape where there is none).
3. Minimum sentance for violent offenders.

If those system changes I would not mind full rights restored. Without some major changes I can agree.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 10:49:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:24:12 AM EDT
In my state, it works pretty much as it should.

Non-violent felons who keep out of trouble for 5 years after they finish their sentence can petition the court for their gun rights to be restored, and they often are. Other rights are restored automatically when the conditions of the sentence are met, usually this means when they complete probation or parole.

In some cases I think they should return your guns when they let you out, but those cases should also be called misdemeaners rather than felonies. A felony is anything punishable by a year in prison, whether the judge chooses to sentence them to a year or not, so while the sentencing may take account of the circumstances of the individual crime the loss of rights does not. If they only took away the gun rights of those who were actually sentenced to prison time, rather than short stints in a county jail or probation, that would be more reasonable.

Example, I know a guy who lost his gun rights who's never been to jail, never even been handcuffed, but spent a year on probation after entering a guilty plea because he wouldn't retain counsel to fight the charge, because he felt like he got himself into the situation and didn't want to ask anyone for money to get out.

There are thousands of such cases in every state I'm sure.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:26:18 AM EDT
I believe that if felons automatically had all of their rights restored upon completion of their prison sentence, then the backlash would cause an increase in the severity of punishment of criminals. For instance a person with their head in the sand would no longer be able to believe "Oh, he's a felon, so he can't get guns anymore, so he doesn't really need to spend that long in jail."
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:38:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By falaholic1:
They did their time. If they are still a danger, why let them out?




+1
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:01:36 PM EDT
No, and not only that HELL NO, nobody accidentally commits a felony. Violent or not. They've had the chance to show good judgement and made the decision to do the crime.

Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:05:57 PM EDT
Depends on what they have done to become a felon.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:06:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JoshNC:
So long as they are not VIOLENT felons I would say that they should have all Constitutional Rights restored. I would agree with the article that the number of "crimes" that nowadays fall under the felony category are appalling.

White collar, non-violent, felons should have their full rights restored once they've served their time.



BIG +1!!!
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:13:57 PM EDT
I think there needs to be more classifications than just misdemeanor and felony. I also think that stripping of gun rights should match the crime. I'm sorry but Martha Stewart with an AR does NOT scare me!

I think if you are still a danger you should not be let out. If you are let out have your guns back. They wouldn't be so likely to re-offend if the laws in this country hadn't turned the vast majority of the sheeple into an unarmed meat market for the predators.

And decriminalize consensual crimes like drugs etc... Treat them like any other form of substance abuse. You can't get a job if you're a drunk. You will get arrested if you drive drunk... Being legal does NOT mean there are no consequences...

I know so many people who are basically decent law-abiding people who made a mistake in their past and are forever labeled FELON by the system and it's not right. They are non-violent decent people who did something stupid and paid for it. Now their lives are forever tainted...
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:15:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/13/2006 8:20:02 PM EDT by www-glock19-com]
I agree non violent crimes
about anything can be a felony anymore
its just silly and it ruins a persons life for one miserable mistake
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:16:17 PM EDT
Any non violent offender that is trusted for release to freedom should also be trusted to protect themselves and family.

If they can't be trusted with their rights, they should not be getting released.
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 8:30:36 PM EDT
Felons are still citizens of this country just like you and I and SHOULD therefore have all the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution of the United States. To deny them their rights, the right to vote for example, is unconstitutional and should not be allowed. One day YOU may find yourself on the "wrong side of the law". That doesn't mean they should take your rights away!!!

By they way, aren't people in prison STILL paying taxes? AND getting paid WAY below minimum wage for the "jobs" they have while in prison?????????? It isn't right. my .02
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:21:12 PM EDT
The justice system casts it net a little too wide IMHO. Drawing too many into into the system while failing to deal effectively with those who truly are a plague on society. I was a volunteer regularly spending a little time each week with inmates in San Quentin for years. Don't mistake me for someone having misplaced sympathy. But when you hear story after story about getting a parole violation for something like "taking interest in an abandoned car" or a car breaking down and making you a half hour late to your appointment with your Parole Officer, there goes another three months.

I know that I was only getting one side of the story and that some of this is well deserved anyway, but it is a revolving door system that once you are inside you are pretty well trapped. A guy can get a $20 dollar an hour job in a trade or shop, be on his way to building a life, then get hooked up for some "violation" and goodby job, goodby life. How many times can you expect an employer to put up with that? Or a wife?

Even the rate of those with good busts would be reduced if parolees could stay away from the old evirons that harbor the old friends and temptations.

Great, you're out on parole and hooked up with your wife/girlfriend. Guess what. All she has to do is drop a dime and off you go. She has all the power in the relationship-wonderful woman that she is. Who are they going to believe anyway?

What chance do you have?

I know that if you you deal with ex-cons you are going to deal with some of the problems that come with
the territory. But given certain types of business, I know where I could find an extremely motivated, capable, resourceful, and loyal pool of labor. And as neighbors and members of society, those that will make the most of the chance to go straight should be given the opportunity. Those that won't should be treated accordingly. They will sort themselves out if we let them.


Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:35:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By falaholic1:
They did their time. If they are still a danger, why let them out?



+1

And why not let a person become a full, functioning member of society again. Talk about a reason to offend again. Maybe because they can never get their rights restored and they always feel like losers and failures. I think we should be helping people reform, not trying to keep them down forever. And, if they really are a continued threat, then, as stated above, why are we letting them out?
Link Posted: 2/13/2006 9:55:07 PM EDT
Nothing quite like denying a man his constitutional rights to feed an animosity towards the society which took them from him.

My friend I mentioned earlier, when his gun rights were restored, said "I feel like a citizen again"

His attitude changed, even so he'd kept his nose clean for years he was at peace with the world for the first time since his conviction.

People do dumb stuff, even good people make mistakes, particularly when they're young.

I'm glad to see the majority here seem to agree.
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