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Disenfranchisement Just or Unjust? Essay Sample

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Disenfranchisement Just or Unjust? Essay Sample

Background and Thesis

Should American citizens who were once incarcerated lose their right to vote? Currently across the nation American citizens who were once convicted of a felony has lost their right to vote, even after being released from prison, parole, probation, and paying all of their fines to the county or state in which they live. The term of this current condition is Felon disenfranchisement. Once being released back into society, Those who have been incarcerated are expected to pay due taxes and fees to the government.Why are the voting rights, which is part of the eight Amendment, taken away from an American citizen, after serving their sentence.

Disenfranchisement is the revocation of the right of suffrage (the right to vote) of a person or group of people, or rendering a person’s vote less effective, or ineffective. Disenfranchisement may occur explicitly through law, or implicitly by intimidation or placing unreasonable requirements. Fighting in wars payment of taxes, and serving on juries are required as an American citizen. Barbara Martinsons wrote the article:“Time served, time to move on. Encouraging change oriented criminal justice movements, ecouraging and supporting ex offenders in the pursuit of a higher education.

Yes going to prison necessarily entails the lost of liberty, but the right to vote is in many ways more important than the right to walk down the street. Voting is the most basic movement against the state. In Massachusetts there are about 25,000 inmates. when they are released to their families, they should have the right to vote also. in doing the math those prisoners are counted as votes lost by the Democractic party. There are opposing parties who believe that felons while serving their sentence, and after serving their sentence should not have the right to vote. Opposers believe that polticians should not rely on the vote of pedophiles and home-invaders.


There are American citizens that believe that felons should not have the right to vote. “The murder….has expressed contempt for his fellow citizens and broken the rules of society… it is fitting that society should deprive him of his role in determining the content of those rules.”(qtd in Felons should not be allowed to vote.) This viewpoint contends that dsenfranchisement laws affect african americans only because they commit more crimes. Opposers believ e that disenfranchisement is just because lawbreakers have shown their contempt for society by committing crimes and should not have any say in voting on what laws should be. Allowing lawbreakers to vote devalues the right to vote. Opposers do not feel that this is a avenue of racism, just a mere coincedence that blacks are affected more than whites or other non-blacks.

Forty-eight states currently restrict the right to vote. most states forbid current inmates to vote others extend such bans to parolees, and still others disenfranchise felons for life. Someone who violates another’s right to life, liberty and property forfeits his own rights to these rights. Society can rightfully remove these rights. The felon has broken society and violated the trust of his fellow citizens. They feel that Felons should be deprived of his role in determing the content of rules or electing officials. Criminal should not be viewed as victims. Countries devalue the franchise by throwing it all away on murders and criminals, whose victims blood is still on their Hands.


Contrary to popular belief, felony disfranchisement laws are not part of the criminal justice system. Instead they are state elected laws, enacted by state legislatures, or governors. Losing the right to vote is not in any way part of a criminal sentence, it is a consequence dictated by law.

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