Florida Governor restores felon voting rights

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By Michael Peltier, Reuters

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters)- Florida officials on Thursday voted to end the practice of stripping ex-criminal offenders of their civil rights, including the right to vote.

Florida is one of just three U.S. states, all in the Deep South, that have maintained long-standing constitutional barriers to restoring civil rights to those that have committed serious crimes, rights groups say.

Meeting in a special session, the Florida Clemency Board agreed by a 3-1 vote to allow some 950,000 ex-felons to automatically have their civil rights restored, removing a barrier that goes back 140 years.

The changed rules still require the state’s most serious offenders — murderers and sexual offenders — to undergo a formal review by the four-member panel led by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist.

“We must provide a system to allow these people to become productive members of society,” said Crist, invoking Passover and the Easter holidays as a time of forgiveness.

The vote pitted Crist against Attorney General Bill McCollum, also a Republican and the sole dissenter in the ruling, and is just one of a raft of ways in which Crist is distinguishing himself from his predecessor as governor,

Jeb Bush, the president’s younger brother.

This is HUGE Y’all.   HUGE.   HE JUST REINFRANCHISED 950,000 people.  The Governor of Florida is a REPUBLICAN!!!!  This is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9 thoughts on “Florida Governor restores felon voting rights

  1. Oh yes, this is huge! It’s great to see Crist pulling Florida out of Bushworld.

    I read about what he proposed doing a few days ago but was afraid to get my hopes up. Just two more slave states to go.

  2. rikyrah,

    RE-ELECTION is what is in it for him. He has been receiving phenominal press since his term began because he is a moderate Republican who has made a point of overturning Jeb Bush’s wingnut B.S.

  3. Ogre Mage

    If only Crist could have been Governor of Florida and passed this bill in 1999 … still, better late than never.

  4. Wow, more good news coming by way of Skeptical Brotha…thanks! I never did quite understand why those who have served their time for whatever crime it is that they have committed, are NOT allowed to return to society with the ability to actually TAKE PART by voting. Always astounded me. If one of the reasons for jail time is “suppose” to be to rehabilitate someone and create a functioning citizen, how can you do that while taking away rights every citizen has? Yeah, I know…naive me, right?😉

  5. LLR

    Does this mean that non-violent offenders will also be able to own a firearm? People are always wanting to restore voting right to ex-felons but they never want to restore gun rights to them. If they can vote, they should be able to own a gun for self defense.

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