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Ex-fellons and the Right to Vote - Essay Example

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It stands to be one of the unique nations in the world that not only professes to affiliate to democracy and liberty in an ethical context, but whose history is replete with ample instances where the conscious of the nation rose to restore the well deserved democratic rights to large segments of its citizens, deprived of their just and human aspirations. …
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Ex-fellons and the Right to Vote
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"Ex-fellons and the Right to Vote"

Download file to see previous pages Above all, the hallmark of a thriving and ever growing nation is that time and again it dares to face the questions and issues that tend to be an impediment to the well being and dignity of some or all of its citizens. In some states of the United States of America, ex-felons, that is the people who committed a crime and have served the concomitant sentence, are not allowed to vote. This very provision not only deprives a good proportion of the citizens of their essential and basic rights, but also in a way tends to compromise their sense of dignity and respect. In a social, political, legal and humanitarian context, the ex-felons should have the right to vote in this country.
The provision of debarring the ex-felons from voting is not only anti-democratic, but also contrary to the objective of enabling the ex-felons rejoin the society as worthy equals. It could reasonably be understood that a great many people tend to have reservations, as far as the task of taking an initiative about mixing with and employing ex-felons is concerned. Yet, the very society which punished these people for the crimes they committed also carries the responsibility of assuring that once they have served their sentence, they do not get stigmatized and persecuted, once they are set free. However, the provision for restricting the ex-felons from voting not only amounts to a state sponsored persecution, but also does much to further alienate and sideline these individuals. Genuinely speaking, how could one expect these people to rejoin the society as law-abiding and responsible citizens, when they state formally declares them to be untrustworthy, by debarring them from voting. Many people tend to put forward the argument that serving a sentence is not a guarantee that the ex-felons have abstained from their criminal and unlawful tendencies. However, at a deeper analysis, this argument smacks predominantly of abject prejudice, rather than being logical enough to deserve a blanket generalization. There was a time when many thought that the blacks should not have the right to vote. There was also a time when many felt that the women should not have the right to vote. In retrospect, everybody now understands that such provisions were based on ruthless prejudice and senseless biases. The plea for allowing the ex-felons to vote ought to be seen in the same light. A Democracy cannot deny a future to a citizen, simply because one had a tainted past. United States of America is a country based on the rule of the law and is run as per the sacrosanct constitutional arrangements. As per the law of the land, every citizen guilty of violating the law should face a trial and be appropriately punished by a court of law. The very same law also states that no citizen can be punished twice for committing one crime, and the act of punishing an ex-felon for a crime, for which one has already served a sentence, deserves to be labeled as being extrajudicial. Now, when the people who have feelings against ex-felons say that these people should be punished for their trespasses, it is just and understandable. Yet, advocating the withdrawal of the voting rights of ex-felons, especially when they have already paid their debt to the society, is positively akin to extrajudicial and unconstitutional lynching, if nothing else. Declaring a human to be an unequal and non-citizen, especially when one has immensely suffered for the crime one committed, perhaps not only at the level of one’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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