21 votes

But Do You Want Dylann Roof To Have Rights?

81 comments

  1. [61]
    acdw Link
    To answer the question, yes, absolutely. I think this article does a good job of enumerating what is an "universal right," or as the Founders put it, inalienable. These are basic human rights, and...

    To answer the question, yes, absolutely. I think this article does a good job of enumerating what is an "universal right," or as the Founders put it, inalienable. These are basic human rights, and it doesn't matter what someone did, they're still a person. To put it in pop-culture terms, this is why Batman doesn't kill -- if he did, he'd be just as bad as the people he dispatches. This quote sums up that view:

    Why should he even be allowed to live? If personal moral desert is a factor in these questions, then obviously someone like Roof “deserves” nothing at all, because he’s so reprehensible. But if we look at basic rights questions that way, then we will end up doing terrible things: letting prisoners die because we refuse to give them adequate medical treatment, for instance.

    I didn't realize Bernie Sanders was advocating for currently in-jail convicts to be able to vote; I can understand disallowing people who are in prison the right to vote (as part of the serving of their debt to society). But once they get out, they absolutely have the right to vote as citizens of the USA, and deserve the ability to exercise that right.

    19 votes
    1. [55]
      NaraVara (edited ) Link Parent
      Civic participation isn't a privilege though, it is a duty and obligation. Part of rehabilitating people so they can be constructive members of society should involve letting them practice...

      I didn't realize Bernie Sanders was advocating for currently in-jail convicts to be able to vote; I can understand disallowing people who are in prison the right to vote (as part of the serving of their debt to society).

      Civic participation isn't a privilege though, it is a duty and obligation. Part of rehabilitating people so they can be constructive members of society should involve letting them practice involvement in civic life.

      Presumably, people in prison have a vested stake in how the state is run, being as how they are wards of it. Why shouldn't they get a say? If we have a social situation where there are so many individuals who are morally or personally unsuited to excersizing the responsibilities of citizenship that it would throw an election, that says terrible things about how our society is structured that's generating so many broken men.

      30 votes
      1. acdw Link Parent
        This is a really good point. Honestly, I hadn't even considered allowing incarcerated people to vote, but now I've had a few hours to think about it, I think it's a good idea. Even if the worst...

        Presumably, people in prison have a vested stake in how the state is run, being as how they are wards of it. Why shouldn't they get a say?

        This is a really good point. Honestly, I hadn't even considered allowing incarcerated people to vote, but now I've had a few hours to think about it, I think it's a good idea. Even if the worst imagined situation were true, that is, if prisoners were able to coordinate and all vote for a criminal, they only make up 0.06 % of the voting population (as of 2016, meaning they wouldn't be able to make a meaningful impact anyway. And that's assuming they're ALL evil, which they absolutely aren't - they're just people, some of whom made a mistake.

        You're absolutely right, is what I'm trying to say. But of course, the American prison system isn't there for rehabilitation, but state-sanctioned revenge.

        19 votes
      2. [53]
        Loire Link Parent
        The same reason those people do not have have the right to their freedom. Incarceration places limitations on liberty. We as a society have decided that imprisonment is not solely rehabilitation,...

        The same reason those people do not have have the right to their freedom. Incarceration places limitations on liberty.

        We as a society have decided that imprisonment is not solely rehabilitation, but also entails a period within which the individual is restricted from at least one inalienable right. Should a felon be able to vote while in prison? I don't know the answer to that, and certainly there is an important discussion to be had about the purpose of imprisonment.

        4 votes
        1. [38]
          TheInvaderZim Link Parent
          I'd have more faith in allowing it if our prison system was better. Having heard the arguments from both sides now, the fact of the matter is our system is designed to keep people in jail, not...

          I'd have more faith in allowing it if our prison system was better. Having heard the arguments from both sides now, the fact of the matter is our system is designed to keep people in jail, not rehabilitate them. If that were different, then I could see arguments for voting rights, but were a long way off.

          With this fact alone in mind, you have to ask yourself: do I want a thief, murderer, pedophile, sex trafficker or drug dealer, one who has been proven guilty and who is not by any stretch of the imagination been reformed, to be able to shape public policy? For me, that answer is a resounding no.

          As it is, the bar to vote is already far too low - its absurd that in our democracy, an economics professor has exactly as much say in shaping economic policy - or an expert on race rights exactly the same as a KKK member for issues of representation. Giving those currently incarcerated the right to vote while we hold them to account for being criminals seems like an enormous leap in the wrong direction.

          3 votes
          1. [22]
            NaraVara Link Parent
            Except the point of voting isn't to have any say in shaping economic policy. The point is to have a say in delegating someone to shape economic policy on your behalf. Voting is about communicating...

            As it is, the bar to vote is already far too low - its absurd that in our democracy, an economics professor has exactly as much say in shaping economic policy - or an expert on race rights exactly the same as a KKK member for issues of representation

            Except the point of voting isn't to have any say in shaping economic policy. The point is to have a say in delegating someone to shape economic policy on your behalf. Voting is about communicating your value and objectives and having your representative, the professional legislator, go and represent those values and objectives for you in the policy-making.

            So why should the economics professor have more say than anyone else? The economics professor has inherent biases and class interests that the rest of society may not share. They might be good technicians at making economic predictions, but that's an argument to put them in the federal bureaucracy to help craft the policy. The Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Congressional Research, and our representatives' own staffs are chock full of informed professionals whose jobs it is to craft the policies themselves.

            What the representatives do, the people who voters actually vote for, is make decisions as to who the good experts are and what kind of advice to take.

            14 votes
            1. [21]
              TheInvaderZim Link Parent
              Because otherwise you get Trump. It really is that simple - idiots will elect people who can best appeal to idiots, not people who can make the best decisions. The entire 2-party system is built...

              So why should the economics professor have more say than anyone else?

              Because otherwise you get Trump. It really is that simple - idiots will elect people who can best appeal to idiots, not people who can make the best decisions. The entire 2-party system is built on this principle. Except our new democracy - even though it is representative democracy - just doesn't work when the tyranny of the majority trends towards self-destruction. This is relevant now more than ever, as the internet has taken the problem and accelerated it, and it's only going to continue to get worse. We as a society have decided to substitute "the facts are" for "I think" and it's doing enormous damage to progress as a whole.

              The idea of qualifying yourself before you can have a say on a subject is not an evil one, even though it is enormously unpopular in western society where we elect celebrities instead of scientists. I'd like to live in a world where everyone is smart and makes decisions in the greater interests, but we don't. The simple truth is,

              The Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Congressional Research, and our representatives' own staffs are chock full of informed professionals whose jobs it is to craft the policies themselves.

              There is nothing guaranteeing this to be true, and it's far from a fact.

              That's all I have to say on the subject, because I have trouble seeing how it's a debate. The ONLY way you can hope to progress as a society is by putting the people who actually know what they're doing in charge of things, and our former illusion of free democracy has been completely upended by information overload, because no one has any control over the conversation anymore.

              Sacrificing that progress just so the uneducated masses feel like they have a say in matters which they should not have a say in is, provably, problematic. That's all I've got.

              1 vote
              1. NaraVara Link Parent
                I don't see how you can look at a guy who: Lost the popular vote by 3 Million Benefitted from massive, racially motivated voter suppression Benefits from massive amounts of voter apathy Can only...

                Because otherwise you get Trump. It really is that simple - idiots will elect people who can best appeal to idiots, not people who can make the best decisions.

                I don't see how you can look at a guy who:

                • Lost the popular vote by 3 Million
                • Benefitted from massive, racially motivated voter suppression
                • Benefits from massive amounts of voter apathy
                • Can only advance an agenda due to absurd levels of gerrymandering that categorically disenfranchise the most materially disadvantaged
                • Evades justice due a hideously malapportioned senate that privileges representing administrative boundaries and land over people

                And decide the real problem here is that too many people are voting. The factors that contributed to Trump are all the features of our democracy that strategically disenfranchise people. The factors that created the situation we are in, wherein Trump is even possible, is due to features of our democracy that privilege the wealthy and connected over the unwashed masses.

                We as a society have decided to substitute "the facts are" for "I think" and it's doing enormous damage to progress as a whole.

                This is BS. Most policy disagreements are disagreements over values, not facts. Politics is an arena for competing material interests to form consensus. There is no magically objective "truth" in policy, it's just about trade-offs. People might lie and tell you the trade offs aren't really there, but that's different from pretending that there is some magically "qualified" group of people who will magically make the optimal trade-offs any time. Because the qualification for making good trade-offs is just. . . being a good person and a competent manager. It's a Wisdom roll, not an Intelligence one.

                Deciding who should reap gains from things and who gets to eat shit has no "factually correct" answer. Decisions about what to produce, how much, for whom are not technical questions and there is no special discipline of education that makes you better at answering them. In fact, as a public policy professional, the idea that we should hand the keys to the kingdom over to the technocratic dweebs among my colleagues whose bloodlessness is exceeded only by their self-regard fucking terrifies me.

                There is nothing guaranteeing this to be true, and it's far from a fact.

                No. That's literally how legislation works in this country. Congresscritters (actually, lobbyists) craft legislation and run it by the OCR and CBO to project what the economic and social consequences will be. They solicit reports from them to get recommendations. They hire legislative aides and assistants and advisors for their offices who are degreed and credentialed in relevant fields to give them input.

                because I have trouble seeing how it's a debate.

                Pack it up philosophers and political scientists. . .

                The ONLY way you can hope to progress as a society is by putting the people who actually know what they're doing in charge of things

                The people who think they actually know what they're doing usually don't. Because it's impossible to actually know the answers to questions like "what is a good life."

                12 votes
              2. The_Fad Link Parent
                You understand that what you're describing is, in effect, an oligarchy, yes?

                You understand that what you're describing is, in effect, an oligarchy, yes?

                10 votes
              3. [18]
                Greg Link Parent
                Any thoughts on how to implement this in a way that isn't even more susceptible to corruption than the status quo?

                Any thoughts on how to implement this in a way that isn't even more susceptible to corruption than the status quo?

                4 votes
                1. [17]
                  TheInvaderZim Link Parent
                  It's very simple - a qualification process to vote that anyone can apply for, built by committee, working up from the local level rather than down from the top. The only leap here is assuming that...

                  It's very simple - a qualification process to vote that anyone can apply for, built by committee, working up from the local level rather than down from the top. The only leap here is assuming that our education system is competent enough to supply mostly-unbiased and mostly-true information and experts to supply the system, but if you don't believe that then you may as well burn everything to the ground anyway.

                  In the interim, this solves almost every problem with our democracy immediately, by ensuring:

                  • Everyone's voice has some degree of relatively immediate, noticeable and local impact (where it matters most), and is not overridden by aliens from the next county/city/state over.
                  • Anyone can continue to be eligible to vote, regardless of race, gender, nationality, as long as the resources (all of which should always be unconditionally publicly available) are present to enable them the knowledge to do so.
                  • Simultaneously, such a system helps filter for bias and gives much more room for even and level-headed discussion at the local level.
                  • Finally, the system protects against corruption by eliminating the space of ignorance it thrives in. With more involvement comes more accountability, and far more voices aware of the ins and outs of what's going on.

                  "but who designs the entrance requirements?"

                  An unbiased third party made up of experts in the field, vetted by a further unbiased fourth party until a consensus is reached.

                  "what if that material is still biased?"

                  The issue is brought up and voted on by the much more aware and intelligent populous.

                  "how do we ensure that everyone has time/resources to become qualified?"

                  Resources should always be publicly available and voting days should be holidays. If you still can't afford to educate yourself on the proper way to make a change, you literally cannot afford to help see it implemented properly.

                  "how does this stop stratification by, for example, income level, then?"

                  anyone should be able to raise issues with adequate public support (a la california's propositions), and the entry process should not be so extreme as to disenfranchise any one population group - financial support to those less fortunate but still wanting to participate is a no-brainer. And if they squander it, they're disqualified.

                  Most of this is semantics and a real-world application would be different, but you get the point. Education, then admission, then results.

                  1. [8]
                    spit-evil-olive-tips Link Parent
                    This sort of philosopher-king society is an interesting thought experiment, but it's just completely totally unrealistic in real life. So we have a civics test you have to take before you can...

                    "but who designs the entrance requirements?"

                    An unbiased third party made up of experts in the field, vetted by a further unbiased fourth party until a consensus is reached.

                    This sort of philosopher-king society is an interesting thought experiment, but it's just completely totally unrealistic in real life.

                    So we have a civics test you have to take before you can register to vote. There's a whole can of worms regarding the constitutionality of that, given the history of poll literacy tests, but say we set that aside.

                    Where do you find "unbiased" experts on American history, political science, etc? One expert says understanding the cause of the Civil War is crucial to be an informed voter, so it should be a question on the voting exam. Another expert agrees, but expert #1 says the cause was slavery and expert #2 says it was states' rights.

                    You put the objectively right answer on the voting exam (the Civil War was caused by slavery) and expert #2 and everyone politically aligned with them starts claiming the test is biased and trying to disenfranchise them.

                    Repeat ad nauseum for every political hot-button issue. Conservatives push to have a question on the exam to prove that voters understand economics, including "facts" like raising the minimum wage kills jobs. Liberals want a question to make sure voters are educated on the science of global warming, and so on. Appointment to the voting-exam-panel would become as coveted, and fought over, as Supreme Court nominations.

                    12 votes
                    1. [7]
                      TheInvaderZim Link Parent
                      Yeah, thats the biggest problem - the idea that objectivity is no longer objective - but its one that we, as a society, simply need to overcome isnt it? Because if you decide that objective facts...

                      Yeah, thats the biggest problem - the idea that objectivity is no longer objective - but its one that we, as a society, simply need to overcome isnt it? Because if you decide that objective facts dont matter you may as well just burn the entire system to the ground to get your way, which, hey, look at whats happening now! Although I'd never be caught dead arguing for a similar idea, the ultimate irony about constitutionality is that the original constitution did something similar by only giving the vote to white male property owners - who, at the time, were most likely to be relied on for objectivity and guideance due to their station.

                      Its by no means a perfect solution, but the alternative is a slow fall into facism as we collectively go the opposite direction and decide facts dont matter at all, which is what we're doing now. So what, then? Accelerate the process by doing questionable things like letting imprisoned convicts vote? Because the current system has already stopped working as it is, as the American liberal will learn quickly when the dems try to do hillary 2.0 with warren in 2020 and trump wins a second term.

                      Even though I know that the system above will never be fully implemented, there is a lot we can learn from it. Putting emphasis on local politics and participation, for example. And at the very least, we can stop things form sliding further in the wrong direction.

                      1. [6]
                        Micycle_the_Bichael Link Parent
                        You keep saying letting felons vote speeds up the fall into fascism and have 0 examples or proof that is true, meanwhile myself and others have given many examples of how that is not the case.

                        You keep saying letting felons vote speeds up the fall into fascism and have 0 examples or proof that is true, meanwhile myself and others have given many examples of how that is not the case.

                        7 votes
                        1. [6]
                          Comment removed by site admin
                          Link Parent
                          1. [5]
                            Deimos Link Parent
                            Get rid of the condescending tone and take the personal attacks out and I'll un-remove the comment.

                            Get rid of the condescending tone and take the personal attacks out and I'll un-remove the comment.

                            3 votes
                            1. [4]
                              TheInvaderZim Link Parent
                              No. I am so done with this. I'm obviously being baited in that this dude has pasted the same 1-sentence insubstantial response like 3-4 times to try and get me and engage, and the "personal...

                              No. I am so done with this. I'm obviously being baited in that this dude has pasted the same 1-sentence insubstantial response like 3-4 times to try and get me and engage, and the "personal attack" was a statement of fact that I can cite a goddamn source for if you want - except maybe not, because I think you killed those comments too! Maybe I shouldn't have have a discussion to start with? My fault. Unironically-I legitimately feel like any time I comment I should have just not bothered.

                              This is what, the fourth or fifth time I've made a series of completely valid points and been smacked down because I lost patience with everyone else "correcting" me into being wrong? The fuck do you want from me, Deimos? To just mindlessly agree with everyone else even though they're obviously, provably wrong, or else sit here and say nothing so you can watch over the echo chamber in peace? I really enjoy the discussions that I get with people who actually try and engage, and have had my views changed multiple times, which is what makes it worthwhile, but... what, should I just forgo that and not address anyone who disagrees with me?

                              To the point; do you want actual discussion, or do you just want me to go away? I can leave if you prefer, no hard feelings. Because it seems like any time I try to participate, you get antsy that I keep bumping the thread and conflict to the top of the page (something I can do nothing about), the comment threads spiral out of control because I actually try to reply to everyone (you can pick out the threads I'm a part of by the comment count - actual discussion!), and then I get shut down because I get tired of refuting the same point 4-5+ times. You see it as condescension, but I'm sure you can understand how tiring it would be when I can literally copy and paste entire comments multiple times as new responses, sometimes.

                              So, what? TLDR Here is me, the user, asking you, the leader, how I can do better, and to a larger extent, what you want the platform to be, because I get as much interest and enjoyment in stirring the pot against you as you do against me but simultaneously am continually wading through garbage in order to get to the parts I actually want to experience.

                              1 vote
                              1. [3]
                                Deimos Link Parent
                                I want you to learn how to talk to people like you're having a conversation, and not treat them as enemies that you need to defeat. You get involved in all these discussions where you clearly have...

                                I want you to learn how to talk to people like you're having a conversation, and not treat them as enemies that you need to defeat.

                                You get involved in all these discussions where you clearly have no intention of budging your viewpoint at all, and just get more and more frustrated with the "other side" that's doing the exact same thing as you, but act like you're obviously the righteous and correct one.

                                If you don't enjoy doing it, stop doing it. This isn't your job, it's a site you're using for information and entertainment. Either don't get involved in the arguments in the first place, or drop out of them when it's obvious that it's not going to go anywhere. Nobody except you cares if you get the last word or "win". The reason so many of the arguments you get involved in end up locked or removed is because it seems to be the only way to force them to stop.

                                10 votes
                                1. [2]
                                  TheInvaderZim Link Parent
                                  I've got nothing, then. I've always tried to find the common ground, and my only interest is in continuing the discussion to that end, not in finding a win or getting the last word. Relevantly,...

                                  I've got nothing, then. I've always tried to find the common ground, and my only interest is in continuing the discussion to that end, not in finding a win or getting the last word. Relevantly, that's why I stopped even trying to engage with he-who-shall-not-be-named, because there was no point in doing so on either of those fronts.

                                  But I find myself repeating the same thing I've thought to myself in the past, in that everyone else is not.

                                  So I just don't know. It's either a monumental personal failure on my part, I suppose, that I didn't see myself the way you're seeing me, or maybe I just need to excuse myself from the asylum because everyone else really is insane. I can't soundly reconcile with either avenue because neither one entirely makes sense. But you've already chosen the version that suits the narrative and I see no point in disputing it further with that being the case, so, bye, I guess.

                                  1. Deimos Link Parent
                                    There's no "narrative", and framing everything in terms like that is part of the problem. I just don't enjoy having to repeatedly get involved and babysit people that can't manage to just... talk...

                                    There's no "narrative", and framing everything in terms like that is part of the problem. I just don't enjoy having to repeatedly get involved and babysit people that can't manage to just... talk with people they disagree with. And I'm not aiming that at you exclusively, one of the other mistakes you seem to be making is believing that you're the only one that receives actions/warnings. You're not.

                                    But if the only way you can think of to address it is by just leaving completely, then maybe that's best. Send me a message if you'd like me to delete your account for you.

                                    6 votes
                  2. [4]
                    9000 (edited ) Link Parent
                    In contrast to your proposal, I would like to offer a different paradigm that you may also find attractive: citizens' assemblies. A citizens' assembly is a relatively new democratic innovation in...

                    In contrast to your proposal, I would like to offer a different paradigm that you may also find attractive: citizens' assemblies. A citizens' assembly is a relatively new democratic innovation in which you choose a random subset of the population to come together, become educated on a topic, engage with each other in a deliberative dialogue until broad consensus is reached and a decision is made. This decision has historically been of the form of a recommendation to the public for a referendum, but there is a group of political scientists who believe there should be a permanent assembly in place as a legislative body instead of a congress or parliament. It has famously been used twice in Ireland quite successfully, for very high profile issues.[1][2][3] It has also been used in other governments.[4][5][6]

                    It sidesteps some of the issues people have raised with your proposal, but not all. The largest issue it sidesteps is the allegation of oligarchy. Since the participants are randomly chosen from the population and educated afterwards, it prevents the need for any sort of education test to participate. This also ensures that all perspectives are included in the final decision-making process. Also, since it is a relatively small group with a strong emphasis on deliberation, it can find solutions to otherwise politically intractable problems (for instance, this might be an elegant solution to Brexit). Finally, depending on the specifics of the system, it's possible to make the citizens relatively immune to most common forms of corruption, since they have no campaigns to run nor future investment except as a normal citizen.

                    It does not solve the problem of who chooses which information is given to the assembly, which is analogous to who chooses the information on the test in your proposal. I had a recent discussion about how to solve this problem, though I don't currently have a solution. Looking to how Ireland approached their abortion referendum might be illuminating, though. If they can do it with one of their most controversial issues while maintaining widespread trust in the system, I'm sure it's possible to do again.

                    Anyway, I just wanted to inform people about this, as it seems to solve some issues around polarization and corruption in our current system (which you rightfully are concerned about), while still holding to democratic principles (especially if decisions by the assembly are ultimately ratified by referendum or something).

                    EDIT: Grammar


                    [1] https://www.citizensassembly.ie/en/
                    [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens%27_Assembly_(Ireland)
                    [3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_Convention_(Ireland)
                    [4] http://www.citizensassembly.gov.on.ca/
                    [5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens'_Assembly_on_Electoral_Reform_(Ontario)
                    [6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens'_assembly#Examples

                    4 votes
                    1. [3]
                      TheInvaderZim Link Parent
                      I'm aware of the concept and enjoy it. Thank you for so thoroughly sourcing! I think the biggest problem with it is it basically turns voting into jury duty - a theoretically important concept...

                      I'm aware of the concept and enjoy it. Thank you for so thoroughly sourcing! I think the biggest problem with it is it basically turns voting into jury duty - a theoretically important concept which most blow off and one that, if you wanted to actively participate in, the system would actively stop you from doing so. Voluntary committee is much more appealing to me and I think would survive for much longer.

                      As for the question of who informs the voters, that is a doozy - but when it comes down to it as I said elsewhere, there's a tough pill to swallow that if you want to have a say, the facts may not be what you want them to be, and the system itself should enforce objectivity rather than preference. Because the alternative, as, again, stated elsewhere, is that facts become less important and everyone just collectively loses their shit because there's no longer such a thing as truth.

                      The system itself would have to defend against misinformation and preconceptions, basically giving, to use low-hanging fruit, any flat-earther that participates a hard slap in the face and telling them to either embrace what's actually true or get out of the way.

                      1 vote
                      1. 9000 Link Parent
                        I see your point, and I too am generally more in favor of allowing people voluntary actions than forcing them to do anything. However, I think we can and should hold leaders to a higher standard....

                        I think the biggest problem with it is it basically turns voting into jury duty - a theoretically important concept which most blow off and one that, if you wanted to actively participate in, the system would actively stop you from doing so. Voluntary committee is much more appealing to me and I think would survive for much longer.

                        I see your point, and I too am generally more in favor of allowing people voluntary actions than forcing them to do anything. However, I think we can and should hold leaders to a higher standard. In this case, I think the relatively non-voluntary nature is important.

                        But first, one of the issues with jury duty is that there is typically no compensation for it, but it would not be hard to compensate members of the citizens' assembly for their time. This would also make it plausible for people of all walks of life to participate, since they don't need to fund themselves.

                        Anyway, back to the main point, I think it is important that people who actively want to participate are dissuaded. Arguably, our current system is made up entirely of volunteers who had to go through an extremely rigorous process to participate. But, the fact that they can choose to participate allows for perverse incentives for personal gain. Maybe I want to join the assembly because I care deeply about an important issue in my region, or maybe I want to join to give my business a government contract. I think there are plenty of people who want to get into politics for all the right reasons, but there is no way to really exclude those who are seeking personal enrichment and corruption over the good of the people. However, I think these traits are relatively rare on average in the whole population, and so a truly random selection would largely avoid this issue (and it would definitely avoid these self-interested people from choosing the terms of their participation).

                        Finally, I think randomly selected people will be much more likely to engage in legitimate deliberative dialogue with each other on most issues, instead of coming in with personal incentives. Elsewhere in the thread you bring up the rise of Trump as one of your anti-goals. A lot of people who voted for Trump had not been politically active in a long time. They felt as if they were not represented by either party, and had to do something radical to get anyone's attention. In this system, though, those people would be included, while simultaneously being expected to engage in a deliberative process, not an obstructionist one. I think this builds significant amounts of legitimacy that mere voluntarism would not.

                        ... and the system itself should enforce objectivity rather than preference.

                        I think a really important part of citizens' assemblies is not just the sortition, but the expectation of deliberative dialogue to get everyone on the same page. This seems like a great way to get everyone to agree with a basic shared narrative, without forcing it upon people through the force of government or progoganda or anything. (I'm not accusing you of favoring those methods! They were just the alternatives I could think of to get a randomly selected group of people to agree.) The caveat here is that the assembly still needs to be provided with reasonably accurate, or at least complete, information. But, I am less worried about the random anti-vaxxer, oil lobbyist, or QAnon getting in, because of this process.

                        2 votes
                      2. Halfloaf Link Parent
                        This is a thoroughly enjoyable chain of discussion! Thank you to all involved for helping to inform me on these topics!

                        This is a thoroughly enjoyable chain of discussion! Thank you to all involved for helping to inform me on these topics!

                        1 vote
                  3. Greg Link Parent
                    For me, it boils down to this: large, complex, long running systems are hard to predict, and human ingenuity is at its sharpest when there's personal gain at stake. I don't trust myself, or you,...

                    "but who designs the entrance requirements?"

                    An unbiased third party made up of experts in the field, vetted by a further unbiased fourth party until a consensus is reached.

                    "what if that material is still biased?"

                    The issue is brought up and voted on by the much more aware and intelligent populous.

                    For me, it boils down to this: large, complex, long running systems are hard to predict, and human ingenuity is at its sharpest when there's personal gain at stake. I don't trust myself, or you, or anybody else to form a committee that remains unbiased and incorruptible across multiple centuries when the counter-incentive is enormous political power and wealth. Any power given to the "right" people will, eventually, be exploited by the "wrong" people - the only proven viable solution is to place mutually reinforcing limits on that power (and, as you point out by the world's current situation, even that is showing cracks).

                    Your thinking relies on a dramatically improved educational system, with much greater access among the population. On that, I can wholeheartedly agree - but if you can achieve that, then many of the problems with our current system would solve themselves anyway. Adding a single bottleneck and point of failure at that point seems to me like far too high a risk.

                    4 votes
                  4. [3]
                    Micycle_the_Bichael Link Parent
                    Yeah dude you want an oligarchy. All of what you described is an oligarchy

                    Yeah dude you want an oligarchy. All of what you described is an oligarchy

                    2 votes
                    1. [2]
                      alyaza Link Parent
                      see i want to be generous and say that you're not reading their proposal in the best faith, but to be honest i can't see any way that wouldn't either start as or eventually turn into an oligarchy...

                      see i want to be generous and say that you're not reading their proposal in the best faith, but to be honest i can't see any way that wouldn't either start as or eventually turn into an oligarchy myself, and even with the most charitable interpretation given and ignoring the above point, it's actually still pretty close to how you'd set up a by-the-book oligarchy.

                      1 vote
                      1. Micycle_the_Bichael Link Parent
                        The only two ways I see to interpret the above is (1) all information necessary to be able to vote is freely available in which case you are requiring people to take a test to be able to vote on...

                        The only two ways I see to interpret the above is (1) all information necessary to be able to vote is freely available in which case you are requiring people to take a test to be able to vote on an issue. You can look to standardized testing in high schools to see that money buys you tutors and better resources which gives you an advantage which means the rich are at an advantage to vote on things and we are in an oligarchy or (2) you require a degree in order to vote on something in which case people who can afford to go to college (again, rich people are at an advantage) are the only people allowed to vote, in which case we are again in an oligarchy

                        1 vote
          2. [2]
            Greg Link Parent
            Perhaps allowing those most directly affected by this to vote would be a good path to reform and improvement. What about all the prisoners who don't fall under those headings? The drug users who...

            I'd have more faith in allowing it if our prison system was better.

            Perhaps allowing those most directly affected by this to vote would be a good path to reform and improvement.

            With this fact alone in mind, you have to ask yourself: do I want a thief, murderer, pedophile, sex trafficker or drug dealer, one who has been proven guilty and who is not by any stretch of the imagination been reformed, to be able to shape public policy?

            What about all the prisoners who don't fall under those headings? The drug users who were victims of overtly political policy making, for example? An amoral government is directly incentivised to punish victimless crimes with prison if the perpetrators would have voted for their opponents, and those people then have no redress because they can't vote down the policies that put them there.

            As it is, the bar to vote is already far too low

            Democracy is the worst system except all the others we've tried... I don't trust people as a whole to vote sensibly, but I have even less trust in the incorruptibility of anybody with the power to disenfranchise voters.

            7 votes
            1. MrGrey Link Parent
              Not to sidetrack but I've always hated that statement. It's an assumption that one generalized form of a government is best to date across all of geography/history/circumstance. The generalization...

              Democracy is the worst system except all the others we've tried...

              Not to sidetrack but I've always hated that statement. It's an assumption that one generalized form of a government is best to date across all of geography/history/circumstance. The generalization in terms of context are so wide as to boil down to 'we' want what 'we' already have because 'we' have determined it's the best 'we' can possibly think of.

          3. alyaza Link Parent
            i do. why does being any of those things suddenly mean you don't get a say in how your country's run, especially considering we already do have states where prisoners voting is something that...

            With this fact alone in mind, you have to ask yourself: do I want a thief, murderer, pedophile, sex trafficker or drug dealer, one who has been proven guilty and who is not by any stretch of the imagination been reformed, to be able to shape public policy?

            i do. why does being any of those things suddenly mean you don't get a say in how your country's run, especially considering we already do have states where prisoners voting is something that happens and nothing bad has happened because of it?

            As it is, the bar to vote is already far too low - its absurd that in our democracy, an economics professor has exactly as much say in shaping economic policy - or an expert on race rights exactly the same as a KKK member for issues of representation. Giving those currently incarcerated the right to vote while we hold them to account for being criminals seems like an enormous leap in the wrong direction.

            given the less than stellar history of the US implementing measures like this and the fact that there is really no way to make this work in an even remotely equitable way under the current circumstances of our country, i don't think you want to go down this road again--not that you could, of course, since any measures of this sort are and would absolutely be struck down as unconstitutional.

            6 votes
          4. [5]
            Micycle_the_Bichael Link Parent
            Question for you: What happens if we gave felons the right to vote? What is the negative effect? What policy are convicted felons going to force through that are (1) Bad and (2) They are going to...

            With this fact alone in mind, you have to ask yourself: do I want a thief, murderer, pedophile, sex trafficker or drug dealer, one who has been proven guilty and who is not by any stretch of the imagination been reformed, to be able to shape public policy? For me, that answer is a resounding no.

            Question for you: What happens if we gave felons the right to vote? What is the negative effect? What policy are convicted felons going to force through that are (1) Bad and (2) They are going to outvote the general population? What are you afraid of them voting for?

            As it is, the bar to vote is already far too low - its absurd that in our democracy, an economics professor has exactly as much say in shaping economic policy - or an expert on race rights exactly the same as a KKK member for issues of representation. Giving those currently incarcerated the right to vote while we hold them to account for being criminals seems like an enormous leap in the wrong direction.

            So... you don't want a democratic government. If you think there is a problem with 2 people having the same weight in voting, then you want a different system of government. That's fine and valid, but be clear: You don't want a democratic government.

            6 votes
            1. [4]
              TheInvaderZim (edited ) Link Parent
              I want a qualified democracy, which is still a democracy. ANYONE should be able to qualify themselves to speak on an issue, but if you don't have that qualification, you shouldn't get a say in how...

              I want a qualified democracy, which is still a democracy. ANYONE should be able to qualify themselves to speak on an issue, but if you don't have that qualification, you shouldn't get a say in how things are done. What we are doing now (in the US) is the polar opposite, worst-case scenario, where we put fuel barons in charge of the EPA and unqualified celebrities in charge of the government.

              Question for you: What happens if we gave felons the right to vote? What is the negative effect? What policy are convicted felons going to force through that are (1) Bad and (2) They are going to outvote the general population? What are you afraid of them voting for?

              After seeing the sudden rise of fascism and extremism in democracies all across the world, you really need to ask what happens? Here's a simplified version:

              There are 2.3ish million Americans currently incarcerated.
              That's the population of Alaska and the Dakotas combined, and if they were organized (bear with me), they would be the 35th largest state in the union by population. Which is all to say:
              A) it's a lot of people.

              There are arguments to be made that many of those people should not be in jail, which I agree with, but is beside the point. For simplicity, let's take the number at face value.

              Of those 2.3 million people, their primary interests can be relatively guaranteed to be as follows, for better or worse:

              • Voting against the legislation that put them where they are (depowering criminal law)
              • Making the systems which brought them there as ineffective as possible (depowering law enforcement)
              • Ensuring that they can continue to operate in perpetuity.

              Which isn't to say there's some big conspiracy, it's just to say that:
              B) people in prison want to not be there, and not be put back there. Sensible reform is one thing, but it's much faster, easier and WAY easier to communicate that you just dismantle the entire system.

              Why would you want to (almost literally) give the criminals the keys?

              1 vote
              1. [2]
                alyaza Link Parent
                because nothing happens in this case if you do. you're kinda ignoring the fact that a lot of places literally don't have felony disenfranchisement and let people vote in prison, so we don't have...

                Why would you want to (almost literally) give the criminals the keys?

                because nothing happens in this case if you do. you're kinda ignoring the fact that a lot of places literally don't have felony disenfranchisement and let people vote in prison, so we don't have to speculate what would happen, we can just observe what does happen. and, incidentally, when we do observe them, they don't use this power to vote the way you're saying they would.

                7 votes
                1. Micycle_the_Bichael (edited ) Link Parent
                  I’m going to quickly add a list. On mobile so poorly formatted sorry. Internationally 21 countries* allow felons to vote (see bottom of table for exceptions):...

                  I’m going to quickly add a list. On mobile so poorly formatted sorry.

                  Internationally 21 countries* allow felons to vote (see bottom of table for exceptions): https://felonvoting.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000289

                  In USA: both Maine and Vermont allow felons to vote while in jail: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disfranchisement#Resulting_from_criminal_conviction

                  3 votes
              2. Micycle_the_Bichael Link Parent
                So in this world we have (1) All criminals deserve to be there (2) They all register to vote (3) They universally all vote (4) They find a representative in the house of representatives to put...

                So in this world we have (1) All criminals deserve to be there (2) They all register to vote (3) They universally all vote (4) They find a representative in the house of representatives to put forward their bill (5) The bill makes it through committee (6) Prisoners become a large enough PAC to pressure members of the house and senate to decriminalize crime. (7) The president doesn't veto it. (8) The public apparently doesn't give a shit about this at any point in the process?

                6 votes
          5. [7]
            MimicSquid Link Parent
            My question to you is: where is the line? What crimes are ok enough to leave those criminals the right to vote? Who do you trust to make that decision and enforce it?

            My question to you is: where is the line? What crimes are ok enough to leave those criminals the right to vote? Who do you trust to make that decision and enforce it?

            5 votes
            1. [6]
              TheInvaderZim Link Parent
              You've kinda just asked me to describe the entire criminal justice system, lol. You should be given the right to vote back, regardless of your crime, the moment you've paid your debt to society...

              You've kinda just asked me to describe the entire criminal justice system, lol.

              You should be given the right to vote back, regardless of your crime, the moment you've paid your debt to society and walk away free, under the assumption that you are now reformed and capable of making good decisions. Whether or not that's true is an entirely different topic, but any point prior to that and you're trusting the country's future to someone whom (justifiably) you wouldn't even trust with your car keys.

              1. [5]
                MimicSquid Link Parent
                So it's a matter of trust, then? What I'm hearing is that, because they've been imprisoned people cannot be trusted to have a voice in society and that once they're out of prison you can trust...

                So it's a matter of trust, then? What I'm hearing is that, because they've been imprisoned people cannot be trusted to have a voice in society and that once they're out of prison you can trust them again. Is that in line with your feelings?

                2 votes
                1. [4]
                  TheInvaderZim Link Parent
                  Not at all, its a matter of accountability. Assuming that a completed sentence holds a chance of reform, we have a group of people which we're holding accountable to their misdeeds and, moreso,...

                  Not at all, its a matter of accountability. Assuming that a completed sentence holds a chance of reform, we have a group of people which we're holding accountable to their misdeeds and, moreso, which could not hold themselves accountable to being proper members of society to begin with. Trust has nothing to do with it - those people have proven that they cannot make responsible choices, and its no more their right to make irresponsible ones for society as a whole than it is yours to drive into oncoming traffic.

                  1. [3]
                    MimicSquid Link Parent
                    Imprisonment does not guarantee that a crime was committed by the person imprisoned. As such, your claim that prisoners have proved anything about themselves based simply on the fact that they are...

                    Imprisonment does not guarantee that a crime was committed by the person imprisoned. As such, your claim that prisoners have proved anything about themselves based simply on the fact that they are in prison is based upon an idealized view of a criminal justice system that has shown itself to be remarkably imperfect in its ability to punish wrongdoers and avoid punishing the innocent.

                    2 votes
                    1. [2]
                      9000 Link Parent
                      This is true, but I'm not sure what this means for this conversation. Our criminal justice system is our only method of systematically deciding whether we think that someone is guilty. If the fact...

                      Imprisonment does not guarantee that a crime was committed by the person imprisoned.

                      This is true, but I'm not sure what this means for this conversation. Our criminal justice system is our only method of systematically deciding whether we think that someone is guilty. If the fact that it gets it wrong sometimes means we can't take away the right to vote, then can we take away any rights? Can we lock people up for the safety of society?

                      I 100% agree that our criminal justice system can, and needs to, be better. But I don't think this is a great argument in favor of felony voting, because even in the face of significant prison reform, we will have to use an imperfect process to determine guilt.

                      2 votes
                      1. MimicSquid Link Parent
                        For this conversation what it means is that we should use this admittedly imperfect instrument as lightly as possible. I think that It's absolutely necessary to imprison people sometimes, for...

                        For this conversation what it means is that we should use this admittedly imperfect instrument as lightly as possible. I think that It's absolutely necessary to imprison people sometimes, for their safety and for the safety of society. But knowing that imprisonment is an imperfect solution to ensuring public and individual safety, I think that we should limit the other effects it has on the prisoners. Taking away further rights and responsibilities beyond the bare minimum necessary to protect society doesn't seem to provide any additional benefit, and also serves to further alienate prisoners from society in general.

                        3 votes
        2. [3]
          alyaza Link Parent
          i don't think "we as a society" really did that--lawmakers did, and because most people just don't care about it because it doesn't directly affect them and it's super easy to smear people who are...

          We as a society have decided that imprisonment is not solely rehabilitation, but also entails a period within which the individual is restricted from at least one inalienable right.

          i don't think "we as a society" really did that--lawmakers did, and because most people just don't care about it because it doesn't directly affect them and it's super easy to smear people who are against that sort of thing using the tactics outlined in the OP article, it eventually became the status quo (which is slowly unraveling because people, it turns out, aren't actually especially for felon disenfranchisement if you put it to a vote).

          (also, doesn't it seem super convenient that the one right we happened to take away from felons because we decided we "had" to take away a right from felons was the one they can directly use to materially improve the conditions of their imprisonment, given how the US prison system tends to treat its prisoners?)

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            Loire Link Parent
            We didn't just take one right away from felons. Their personal freedom and autonomy is gone for the period of their incarceration. They lose their First Amendment right to assembly. They lose...

            doesn't it seem super convenient that the one right we happened to take away from felons because we decided we "had" to take away a right

            We didn't just take one right away from felons.

            Their personal freedom and autonomy is gone for the period of their incarceration. They lose their First Amendment right to assembly. They lose their second amendment rights. They lose their Fourth Amendment rights.

            1. alyaza Link Parent
              they lose none of these rights de jure and in a lot of prisons, they don't lose them in a de facto sense either until they're exercised in an inconvenient way for the prison.

              they lose none of these rights de jure and in a lot of prisons, they don't lose them in a de facto sense either until they're exercised in an inconvenient way for the prison.

              2 votes
        3. [11]
          NaraVara Link Parent
          You've missed my framing of what voting is: It's not a right so much as a responsibility of citizenship. When we talk about a right to vote what we're actually talking about is a right to have...

          Incarceration places limitations on liberty.

          You've missed my framing of what voting is:

          Civic participation isn't a privilege though, it is a duty and obligation.

          It's not a right so much as a responsibility of citizenship. When we talk about a right to vote what we're actually talking about is a right to have your stake in the body politic acknowledged. We don't give people the vote because it's such a thrill, we do it because it's the only way to give them the means to protect themselves from state oppression.

          also entails a period within which the individual is restricted from at least one inalienable right.

          Usually with the purpose of rehabilitating them or keeping society safe from them, not just for shits and giggles. You can't just heap punishments or indignities on people for fun.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            alyaza Link Parent
            the current state of much of the US prison system, alas, seems to beg to differ with you. god only knows how many prisoners have random rights basically taken from them or are forced into arcane...

            You can't just heap punishments or indignities on people for fun.

            the current state of much of the US prison system, alas, seems to beg to differ with you. god only knows how many prisoners have random rights basically taken from them or are forced into arcane and ridiculous punishments (even though neither are technically lawful) by the prisons they're incarcerated in.

            1. NaraVara Link Parent
              Letting them vote would be a way to prevent this. It would probably be inadequate, but it would be something.

              Letting them vote would be a way to prevent this. It would probably be inadequate, but it would be something.

              3 votes
          2. [8]
            Loire Link Parent
            I will reread your comment to see if I missed the framing but I don't believe that's the case. Your personal freedom, you autonomy, your liberty, are the most important, most "inalienable" of...

            I will reread your comment to see if I missed the framing but I don't believe that's the case.

            Your personal freedom, you autonomy, your liberty, are the most important, most "inalienable" of rights. And yet that is taken away for, as you say, "the purpose of rehabilitating them or keeping society safe from them". Voting, although important, is not nearly as important of a right. Criminals (and as I mentioned in another comment, I am not referring to those unjustly incarcerated of petty crimes their peers suffer little to no consequences for) have displayed an inability to follow the laws of society. Why should they have a hand in controlling those laws? Often the crimes they have committed have harmed society, not just the individual. Thus "keeping society safe from them" extends to their voting rights, which we have seen can be used in a damaging fashion. Serious criminals have displayed themselves to be unable to function within society, why should they retain the right to aid in crafting society before their rehabilitation is complete?

            1. [5]
              NaraVara Link Parent
              This is what you're missing. I'm not talking about voting as a happy fun time activity you get to do because it's so fun. Voting is a burden and somber responsibility we have as citizens. It's a...

              Voting, although important, is not nearly as important of a right. Criminals (and as I mentioned in another comment, I am not referring to those unjustly incarcerated of petty crimes their peers suffer little to no consequences for) have displayed an inability to follow the laws of society.

              This is what you're missing. I'm not talking about voting as a happy fun time activity you get to do because it's so fun. Voting is a burden and somber responsibility we have as citizens. It's a right we exercise because it's the only mechanism that exists to protect us from state abuse.

              Often the crimes they have committed have harmed society, not just the individual.

              Just as often these are people who have been harmed by society in ways that left them poorly socialized and unable to address their issues any other way. I don't see how further marginalizing them will address this problem for them or for generations to come after.

              Serious criminals have displayed themselves to be unable to function within society, why should they retain the right to aid in crafting society before their rehabilitation is complete?

              I would need to see some actual proof of this that doesn't rely on reductively framing all incarcerated individuals as some sort of mental and moral defectives. Especially in light of the fact that we have plenty of morally defective sociopaths in the commanding heights of society who get and stay there because they have lawyers and accountants to help the stay within the bounds of the law while they engage in strictly immoral behavior.

              Why should they have a hand in controlling those laws?

              We let people who are bad with computers get an outsized say in how user interfaces and user interactions are designed. We do this because addressing the failure-modes of a system tends to be much better at improving the system than cutting off everyone for whom the system doesn't work from being able to influence it.

              6 votes
              1. [4]
                Loire Link Parent
                Nobody is being so ridiculous as to minimize the importance of voting by suggesting it's a "happy fun time", I'm not sure why you keep going back to that. In many cases that is absolutely the...

                I'm not talking about voting as a happy fun time activity you get to do because it's so fun.

                Nobody is being so ridiculous as to minimize the importance of voting by suggesting it's a "happy fun time", I'm not sure why you keep going back to that.

                Just as often these are people who have been harmed by society in ways that left them poorly socialized and unable to address their issues any other way. I don't see how further marginalizing them will address this problem for them or for generations to come after.

                In many cases that is absolutely the case, I agree. However that doesn't change the arithmetic. Should we not incarcerate those whose crimes are a result of poor socialization, or a "failure of society"? Then why is that an argument for their ability to vote from prison? That's a stronger argument for moving towards a rehabilitation minded criminal system over that currently employed by the United States.

                Especially in light of the fact that we have plenty of morally defective sociopaths in the commanding heights of society who get and stay there because they have lawyers and accountants to help the stay within the bounds of the law while they engage in strictly immoral behavior.

                The failures of our system should not be used as an excuse. The world needs to do a better job of investigating, sentencing, and punishing rich/white collar criminals. It also needs to do a better job of law making that doesn't allow for "accountants" to help you skirt the law. We need to be better at eliminating the governmental leadership that legislated in favour of upper class sociopaths.

                I would need to see some actual proof of this that doesn't rely on reductively framing all incarcerated individuals as some sort of mental and moral defectives.

                Rereading my comment I can see that I inadequately explained what I meant. I am not saying that felons are permanently unable to function within society. You are correct in stating that they are not moral/mental defectives. What I mean to say is that they have pursued actions that have damaged society in some way, and as such, have proven themselves unable to put the needs of their community ahead of their own. They have proven they do not have the forethought to vote with the betterment of their society as a priority. Until their rehabilitation is complete (and again we come to the failure of the U.S. system not actuy rehabilitating felons), how can we expect them to serve the civic good?

                We let people who are bad with computers get an outsized say in how user interfaces and user interactions are designed. We do this because addressing the failure-modes of a system tends to be much better at improving the system than cutting off everyone for whom the system doesn't work from being able to influence it.

                There is a wide gap between an operating system and society. Lowest common denominator U.I. design is not the same thing as allowing criminals direction over society, leadership, and the laws they have broken. Digital plebeians are not breaking the law. They are not engaging in illegality. They are not actively and knowingly acting in a way that is a damaging to society.

                You skirting around the point here. If we are locking people in cages, how can we not justify also curtailing their right to vote? I am neither here nor there on felon disenfranchisement, however of you can't effectively describe why the ability to vote during incarceration is more important than a felon's freedom, how will the general population come to your side?

                1. NaraVara Link Parent
                  Because social ills affect everyone, in and out of prison. Prisoners are just the ones who get the shittiest end of the stick. Why not? The fact is, there is no evidence to indicate that the...

                  However that doesn't change the arithmetic. Should we not incarcerate those whose crimes are a result of poor socialization, or a "failure of society"? Then why is that an argument for their ability to vote from prison?

                  Because social ills affect everyone, in and out of prison. Prisoners are just the ones who get the shittiest end of the stick.

                  The failures of our system should not be used as an excuse.

                  Why not? The fact is, there is no evidence to indicate that the prison population would be any worse at making electoral decisions than the public at large. Meanwhile, there IS material harm that comes form not allowing the prison population to have representation, ranging from having them being subjected to slave labor, appalling living conditions in prisons, and routinized abuse and sexual exploitation.

                  They have proven they do not have the forethought to vote with the betterment of their society as a priority.

                  This puts them on par with most of the electorate, so what's the problem?

                  If we are locking people in cages, how can we not justify also curtailing their right to vote?

                  This is some nonsense "if you don't eat your meat you can't have any pudding" logic. Who says? Why? You haven't justified how these two things are connected in any way besides just sort of feeling like it.

                  2 votes
                2. [2]
                  9000 Link Parent
                  You've mentioned this several times in the thread. Would you feel more comfortable with felons voting if the U.S. had a rehabilitative criminal justice system, say on par with Norway? Or, do you...

                  That's a stronger argument for moving towards a rehabilitation minded criminal system over that currently employed by the United States.

                  You've mentioned this several times in the thread. Would you feel more comfortable with felons voting if the U.S. had a rehabilitative criminal justice system, say on par with Norway? Or, do you feel like the topics are separate and that some people on this thread are offering arguments for rehabilitation as if they are arguments for felony voting?

                  1 vote
                  1. Loire Link Parent
                    The former, although also partly the latter. Part of what I'm arguing is entirely rhetorical. The majority of arguments are worked up about the prisoners right to vote, while not particularly...

                    The former, although also partly the latter.

                    Part of what I'm arguing is entirely rhetorical. The majority of arguments are worked up about the prisoners right to vote, while not particularly mentioning the fact that imprisonment is, as the system currently stands, a de facto removal of a many important personal rights and freedoms. When our system (and for that matter, most country's systems) prioritize throwing a human being into a cage and depriving them of a a variety of rights as punishment, how can we be worried about their right to vote first? "We" as a society, and polling numbers still bear this out so it is societal, have accepted the punishment model as much of a failure as it is. Disenfranchisement is a punishment.

                    As the thread progressed discussion progressed almost universally towards rehabilitation over imprisonment, as if to show felon suffrage would lead to Norwegian prisons. The two are not one and the same and when the very idea of a Norwegian prison model is never on the table, how would felon voting change that? American politicians rarely do what's in the best interest of their base, what are the chances for felons? I would hope that anyone who has seen the numbers would support the Norwegian system, but that's not what Bernie (to bring it all the way back to the top) is offering.

                    3 votes
            2. Greg Link Parent
              I'm going to pull this out specifically because for me it's one of the most important parts of the debate. Imprisoning one's political opponents is a time-honoured tradition, and one of the major...

              as I mentioned in another comment, I am not referring to those unjustly incarcerated of petty crimes their peers suffer little to no consequences for

              I'm going to pull this out specifically because for me it's one of the most important parts of the debate.

              Imprisoning one's political opponents is a time-honoured tradition, and one of the major goals that shaped Nixon's drug policy (and, by extension, US drug policy to this day). Allowing prisoners to vote dramatically reduces the incentive for policies like that to target political opponents and their base.

              I'd suggest that the two issues (prisoner enfranchisement and unjust, petty criminalisation) are inextricably linked, and that fixing the former will significantly help the latter.

              If you disagree, I'd be interested to know how you think we might better approach the issue of politicised lawmaking?

              5 votes
            3. alyaza Link Parent
              because at that point, you're basically arguing for disenfranchisement of all prisoners, not just felon disenfranchisement. the US prison system is not rehabilitative, it's punitive. the Norwegian...

              why should they retain the right to aid in crafting society before their rehabilitation is complete?

              because at that point, you're basically arguing for disenfranchisement of all prisoners, not just felon disenfranchisement. the US prison system is not rehabilitative, it's punitive. the Norwegian prison system is a rehabilitative one. basically no american prisoner is rehabilitated in prison, which again contributes to our high rate of recidivism.

              2 votes
    2. [3]
      spiraldancing Link Parent
      Just to clarify, currently, many felons in the US do not have the right to vote, even after completing their sentence. It varies state-by-state. Florida made big news last year when the people of...

      But once they get out, they absolutely have the right to vote as citizens of the USA, and deserve the ability to exercise that right.

      Just to clarify, currently, many felons in the US do not have the right to vote, even after completing their sentence. It varies state-by-state. Florida made big news last year when the people of Florida-by referendum-overruled their own politicians and granted their ex-felons the right to vote (sthg like 5% of the voting public).

      5 votes
      1. alyaza Link Parent
        which those politicians have then generally failed to respect and which have continually tried to sabotage the implementation of, it should be noted. it's doubtful all or even most of the felons...

        Florida made big news last year when the people of Florida-by referendum-overruled their own politicians and granted their ex-felons the right to vote (sthg like 5% of the voting public).

        which those politicians have then generally failed to respect and which have continually tried to sabotage the implementation of, it should be noted. it's doubtful all or even most of the felons in florida will actually be able to exercise their right to vote when all is said and done with the way the republican leadership in the state is going about things, despite the overwhelming mandate reform got.

        2 votes
      2. acdw Link Parent
        Yes -- I was making a rhetorical statement by saying they do have the right to vote, regardless of the law. Many states do not recognize that right to vote, though. I think, also, that voting...

        Yes -- I was making a rhetorical statement by saying they do have the right to vote, regardless of the law. Many states do not recognize that right to vote, though.

        I think, also, that voting rights for ex-felons has much higher support among Americans.

        2 votes
    3. [2]
      Pilgrim Link Parent
      A coworker told me this and I said there is no WAY that was true. I had to come back to him the next day and apologize. Dammit Bernie this is the type of stuff that'll sink you with the general...

      I didn't realize Bernie Sanders was advocating for currently in-jail convicts to be able to vote;

      A coworker told me this and I said there is no WAY that was true. I had to come back to him the next day and apologize. Dammit Bernie this is the type of stuff that'll sink you with the general populace!

      1 vote
      1. acdw Link Parent
        Maybe we need him to say stuff like this to move the Overton window. I do get what you're saying though ... do we have the time to shift everyone's thinking on this?

        Maybe we need him to say stuff like this to move the Overton window. I do get what you're saying though ... do we have the time to shift everyone's thinking on this?

        4 votes
  2. [13]
    papasquat Link
    I hate how disingenuous these arguments against this are. Especially Corey Booker's quote: As if black and brown people aren't disproportionately incarcerated in the US, and allowing prisoners to...

    I hate how disingenuous these arguments against this are. Especially Corey Booker's quote:

    “If Bernie Sanders wants to get involved in a conversation about whether Dylann Roof & the marathon bomber should have the right to vote, my focus is liberating black & brown people & low-income people from prison..”

    As if black and brown people aren't disproportionately incarcerated in the US, and allowing prisoners to vote wouldn't enfranchise far more black and brown people than it would Dylann Roofs. Also, as if Bernie Sanders hasn't been dedicating his life towards civil rights work since before Corey Booker was a twinkle in his dad's eye. That quote is just so typically grandstanding, slimy and insincere in politics. I wish politicians could have honest conversations about these types of policy decisions without trying to exploit political "weaknesses" like this.

    14 votes
    1. The_Fad Link Parent
      That quote is perfect example of why I don't like Cory Booker, despite the fact that he and I agree on a great deal politically.

      That quote is perfect example of why I don't like Cory Booker, despite the fact that he and I agree on a great deal politically.

      4 votes
    2. [11]
      Loire Link Parent
      Acting as if Corey Booker can only be disingenuous in not wanting imprisoned criminals to vote, is acting as if there is only one right answer to the dilemma. I am by no means a politician, nor do...

      Acting as if Corey Booker can only be disingenuous in not wanting imprisoned criminals to vote, is acting as if there is only one right answer to the dilemma. I am by no means a politician, nor do I have any opponents to exploit and I am still fairly opposed to incarcerated individuals voting while serving their sentence.

      Perhaps he actually feels this way about the topic and isn't being a slimy bastard just because he disagrees with Sanders? Perhaps Sanders isn't correct on every policy he puts forward? Perhaps the answer to minorities being imprisoned in larger numbers than whites is not "give them the vote" but to reduce their levels of incarceration.

      1 vote
      1. Greg Link Parent
        An honest disagreement with the policy is one thing, but paraphrasing "my opponent wants to help the worst people you can think of" is disingenuous and smacks of political point scoring. He's not...

        An honest disagreement with the policy is one thing, but paraphrasing "my opponent wants to help the worst people you can think of" is disingenuous and smacks of political point scoring.

        He's not debating the policy, he's throwing out a sound bite that puts Sanders as a person on the same side as Dylan Roof - that's what I would describe as slimy.

        9 votes
      2. [8]
        alyaza Link Parent
        or we just could do both. the two are not mutually exclusive, and there is really no logical basis for stripping people of their right to vote for being incarcerated, much less continuing to...

        Perhaps the answer to minorities being imprisoned in larger numbers than whites is not "give them the vote" but to reduce their levels of incarceration.

        or we just could do both. the two are not mutually exclusive, and there is really no logical basis for stripping people of their right to vote for being incarcerated, much less continuing to restrict it after a sentence is served as many states do.

        3 votes
        1. [7]
          Loire Link Parent
          Just so we don't go back and forth on this point, I want to clarify that I believe those who have served there sentences deserve all their rights returned to them, and those states that prevent...

          much less continuing to restrict it after a sentence is served as many states do.

          Just so we don't go back and forth on this point, I want to clarify that I believe those who have served there sentences deserve all their rights returned to them, and those states that prevent former felons from voting are reprehensible.

          Or we just could do both. the two are not mutually exclusive

          No one is saying they are exclusive. You are acting as if allowing those who are incarcerated the right to vote is the only right answer. It isn't, and their is an important debate that needs to occur on the topic.

          (And again before we get I to a back and forth in inane details, I am not referring to those people incarcerated on petty crimes like marijuana possession, which is unjust and should not be occurring in the first place.)

          Incarceration is by definition a curtailment of freedom. You lose the most fundamental of rights in your personal liberty. This is a consequence of committing a crime which has infringed about the rights of other people, it's part of the punishment. How can we argue throwing someone in a cage is fair game, but taking away their right to vote for that period is wrong?

          Incarcerated individuals have shown themselves to be dishonest or irresponsible with their civic responsibilities, and thus allowing them the most important responsibility of guiding civic leadership may be considered naive or misguided. To put it more succinctly those who are not willing to follow the law, might not have a role in making the law until rehabilitated. We have, as a society, decided upon a set of minimum objective standards of responsibility for voters. We do not allow children to vote, or the mentally incapacitated to vote, and prisoners are considered within the same sphere.

          1 vote
          1. [5]
            9000 Link Parent
            We can reframe how we view prison. I think there are four main, non-mutually exclusive possible goals for prison: punishment, deterrence, keeping society safe from those that can't be deterred,...

            ... it's part of the punishment. How can we argue throwing someone in a cage is fair game, but taking away their right to vote for that period is wrong?

            We can reframe how we view prison. I think there are four main, non-mutually exclusive possible goals for prison: punishment, deterrence, keeping society safe from those that can't be deterred, and rehabilitation. You (and many other Americans) argue that punishment is an important part of the process for prison. So, them being in a cage is largely a result of the punishment, and we might as well take away the less important rights too.

            However, I think a lot of people in this thread, myself included, would like to change how we view prison to focus more on the last two goals. Prison doesn't need to be about punishment for its own sake. In fact, I personally think punishment is kind of expensive in addition to being morally unjustifiable. If there were someone in prison with 10 years left on their sentence, but you knew with a 100% guarantee that if they were released today, they would not continue their antisocial behavior (no matter how bad that behavior was), should we go ahead and release them? Society wouldn't be worse off, and it'd actually be cheaper for the taxpayer. To keep them incarcerated requires a concept of retribution for its own sake, which I find deeply disturbing.

            And, to answer your clearly rhetorical question: if the point of prison is not primarily to punish and deter, but primarily to protect society from violence and help those who do antisocial things become productive members of society again, then it can make sense that we imprison when necessary to ensure safety, but have no need to disenfranchise the prisoners.

            Incarcerated individuals have shown themselves to be dishonest or irresponsible with their civic responsibilities, and thus allowing them the most important responsibility of guiding civic leadership may be considered naive or misguided.

            I have two points to make to this. First, I think the pervasive view that criminals have a personal moral failing that the rest of us do not have is dangerous. Crime rates correlate with poverty levels, so does that mean that poor people are morally inferior? I would argue no. I would argue there are structural issues that can make it difficult to adhere to the law. I'm sure you've heard the thought experiment about whether it's okay to steal bread to feed your family, but that's clearly biased in this case. Instead, is it okay to sell weed to feed your siblings? If your choice is between being evicted and starving in the streets, or robbing someone, can we say that to choose to rob is only a moral failing? It's easy to say that me sitting here in my nice room without significant financial stress or thought of what to eat would never mug anyone! But, I'm also not in a position where it would seem at all advantageous to me.

            And before you get me wrong, I'm not arguing that criminals have no moral failings. Nor am I arguing that there is no line that can't be crossed. But, if we only say "mugging is bad and it's only the muggers fault, so we should punish them, give them no way to change their personal or structural situation, and then demand they never do it again," then we're setting ourselves up for failure in the long run. The people in prison are some of the most affected by the structural issues that put them there. If we are going to solve those problems, we need all stakeholders, including those already imprisoned, at the table.

            Second, the response to moral failings should be proportionate and relevant. If someone is a violent danger, they should be locked away from potential victims until they're not. If someone is an embezzler, they should be kept away from others' finances until we know they won't do it again. What have all felons done to deserve their vote being taken away? Because, unless we have a reason to take it away, it's a right they should keep.

            4 votes
            1. [4]
              Loire Link Parent
              First off, let me say you make a very good argument, and my replies to it are not to reduce it in any way. I appreciate your comment. I am not an American, and to be clear I don't believe in...

              First off, let me say you make a very good argument, and my replies to it are not to reduce it in any way. I appreciate your comment.

              We can reframe how we view prison. I think there are four main, non-mutually exclusive possible goals for prison: punishment, deterrence, keeping society safe from those that can't be deterred, and rehabilitation. You (and many other Americans) argue that punishment is an important part of the process for prison. So, them being in a cage is largely a result of the punishment, and we might as well take away the less important rights too.

              I am not an American, and to be clear I don't believe in prison as a punishment. You later recognize I am being rhetorical and that is certainly the case with the question: "If we justify throwing people in a cage..."

              I would much prefer a system of rehabilitation to punishment. Before that I would prefer a system that doesn't incarcerate those who have committed harmless crimes such as drug use (although certain drugs may lead to harm to others while in use). That is not the system we have, and thus I am not wasting time on theoreticals of what should be. The majority of American people believe criminals should not vote while in prison, and I for one cannot bring myself to disagree with them within the system as it currently stands. If we are okay with throwing them in cages, voting rights are the least of our worries.

              If there were someone in prison with 10 years left on their sentence, but you knew with a 100% guarantee that if they were released today, they would not continue their antisocial behavior (no matter how bad that behavior was), should we go ahead and release them?

              There is no way to know that, and I would argue it is taking a much to lenient perspective on human beings. Someone who is willing to commit first or second degree murder, may be rehabilitated in some cases but the mindset that allows for such heinous actions isn't easily treated, and may very well be a moral defect in a minority of cases. The same is true for rape, arguably the most heinous of crimes. Can a pedophile be rehabilitated? Most likely only with chemical castration. What about an arsonist? Can someone who has committed violent robbery be rehabilitated? Perhaps only if you improve their economic conditions.

              You can't know, in many cases, whether a violent criminal will reoffend. I don't commit murder because snuffing out another human's life is a nightmare to me. I can't even consider rape because causing that sort of life long trauma on another person is abhorrent in my mind. How can we know, whether or not someone who has sank to those depths is rehabilitated? We set the timeframe and hope they are by the end of it.

              Now, certainly a petty thief/corner weed dealer (again, why is the war on drugs a thing?) as per your "supporting the family" example, is a much simpler scenario and there is plenty of room for compassion there. As for the mugger? Yes even if their situation is dire, violently robbing another human being, not only stealing their property but robbing them of their own rights, is a moral failing. Human on human violence is something we have bred out of modern society to the point that the vast majority of us, across all socioeconomic conditions, find it incomprehensible. You are not unable to mug someone because you are comfortable, you are unable to mug someone because you have been raised and socialized to be incapable of it.

              But you're not wrong in that prison does not offer a solution to those moral failings nor structural issues. Your economic outlook will not improve while in prison. We must do more to improve those structural deficits.

              1 vote
              1. 9000 Link Parent
                Yes, of course there is no way to know that. But, my point was more that your answer to this impossible question would inform your answer to real questions. If you said that yes, you would be...

                There is no way to know that, and I would argue it is taking a much to lenient perspective on human beings.

                Yes, of course there is no way to know that. But, my point was more that your answer to this impossible question would inform your answer to real questions. If you said that yes, you would be willing to release this person, then there is likely some guarantee threshold below 100% you still agree with, be it 60%, 80%, 95%, or 99.9%. Because then, we can look to science and other countries, as @alyaza does in my sister comment, to see how to lower the recidivism rate to an acceptable level. However, if you answered no to my hypothetical, then there is value in keeping them in prison outside of preventing societal harm, and there would be no recidivism rate that makes releasing them early tolerable.

                ... first or second degree murder ... rape ... a pedophile ... an arsonist ... violent robbery

                The question here is whether people who commit such heinous acts as these can be rehabilitated. I think that the answer for most of these is 'yes', but it would involve a lot of work to get to a more humane model that actually attempts to rehabilitate. It would require mental health work, personal finance classes, group therapy, and more, all within prisons. But, my point is that I agree with you down thread that we should emulate something like the Norway model.

                If someone would continue to be a danger to society, I have no qualms about leaving them locked up (humanely, not solitary, or anything), but if we don't try hard to rehabilitate and help these people first, then we're not being honest with ourselves about their prospects.

                ... you are unable to mug someone because you have been raised and socialized to be incapable of it.

                Well, then with the right rehabilitation, we can help socialize the mugger, too. I personally think there are plenty of social and economic realities that prevent me from committing illegal acts, much moreso than just my strong moral compass. It's really hard to live in a bad neighborhood. I don't think we should underestimate that.

                again, why is the war on drugs a thing?

                Oh my god, tell me about it.

                2 votes
              2. [2]
                alyaza Link Parent
                i think the counterpoint to this which suggests that the vast majority of them can would again be norwegian prisons, which are quite geared toward rehabilitation. their recidivism rate is miles...

                There is no way to know that, and I would argue it is taking a much to lenient perspective on human beings. Someone who is willing to commit first or second degree murder, may be rehabilitated in some cases but the mindset that allows for such heinous actions isn't easily treated, and may very well be a moral defect in a minority of cases. The same is true for rape, arguably the most heinous of crimes. Can a pedophile be rehabilitated? Most likely only with chemical castration. What about an arsonist? Can someone who has committed violent robbery be rehabilitated? Perhaps only if you improve their economic conditions.

                i think the counterpoint to this which suggests that the vast majority of them can would again be norwegian prisons, which are quite geared toward rehabilitation. their recidivism rate is miles lower than the UK or the US, which both have generally punitive systems. according to the BBC:

                When criminals in Norway leave prison, they tend to stay out. Norway's recidivism rate of 20% is one of the lowest in the world. By contrast in the UK it's about 45%, while in the US more than 76% of prisoners are re-arrested within five years.

                there are certainly some people who cannot be reformed or who are too dangerous to release, of course, and even norway has the ability to indefinitely keep people imprisoned in the form of the 21-year renewable prison sentences it gives to particularly severe offenders, but in general their model would suggest that something close to 4/5ths (because i'm sure that some people who re-offend aren't caught in re-offending) of the people we sentence to prison time have the potential to be rehabilitated in such a way that they do not re-offend--if we take the time to actually facilitate their rehabilitation, anyways, and provide them the support both in prison and outside of it that they need to not re-offend.

                1. Loire Link Parent
                  I agree with you that Norway is and ideal model to strive for.

                  I agree with you that Norway is and ideal model to strive for.

                  1 vote
          2. alyaza Link Parent
            this would be a valid point if: a) prisoners were a special class of people and not all regular individuals sharing similar circumstances but really nothing more and if b) we didn't have two...

            To put it more succinctly those who are not willing to follow the law, might not have a role in making the law until rehabilitated. We have, as a society, decided upon a set of minimum objective standards of responsibility for voters. We do not allow children to vote, or the mentally incapacitated to vote, and prisoners are considered within the same sphere.

            this would be a valid point if: a) prisoners were a special class of people and not all regular individuals sharing similar circumstances but really nothing more and if b) we didn't have two states which have no felony disenfranchisement which do just fine, or large parts of the developed world which have no such disenfranchisement and do fine, to draw from for examples of how this works in practice. it's not like we're breaking new ground with this idea. it's been pretty clearly demonstrated that prisoners aren't these super scary sleeper agents about to vote for prisoner jihad or something, and in any case felony incarceration is on dubious ground even when you don't consider the people it affects.

            1 vote
      3. papasquat Link Parent
        That's not at all why I think he's being disingenuous. I think he's being disingenuous by framing the argument as "we can either allow Dylann Roof and the marathon bomber to vote, or we can...

        Acting as if Corey Booker can only be disingenuous in not wanting imprisoned criminals to vote

        That's not at all why I think he's being disingenuous. I think he's being disingenuous by framing the argument as "we can either allow Dylann Roof and the marathon bomber to vote, or we can liberate black and brown people".
        You're starting from a false premise, and Corey Booker is a smart guy, he knows he's starting from a false premise.
        It's the exact same tactic Donald Trump makes when he says things like "They're sending rapists and murderers and the democrats want to let them in"
        It's a slimy, petty way to try to achieve brownie points with people that already agree with you, and anyone with a slight inclination towards critical thought can see right through it.

        If you disagree with the policy, say why you disagree with the policy. Don't grandstand and intentionally misrepresent it.

        3 votes
  3. chas Link
    What bothers me about taking away the vote from anyone is the prospect of corrupt government using this to avoid accountability. We should make it as hard as possible to unjustly legislate...

    What bothers me about taking away the vote from anyone is the prospect of corrupt government using this to avoid accountability. We should make it as hard as possible to unjustly legislate dissidents into prison and ignore their votes.

    6 votes
  4. Rez Link
    If an election comes down to Dylann Roof's vote, many other things went wrong before then. We can no longer trust that loopholes will not be exploited. America already has the highest...

    If an election comes down to Dylann Roof's vote, many other things went wrong before then. We can no longer trust that loopholes will not be exploited. America already has the highest incarceration rate in the world - this loophole is basically already being exploited by some politicians to depress turnout among groups that would naturally vote against them. You already have politicians shamelessly admit that they gerrymander on the basis of partisanship. Why not fear that it will be further exploited?

    We've seen what we get when we trust in norms and people's better nature. Our democracy faces a much greater threat from the existence of this loophole than whatever threat a prison population being able to vote poses. Many other countries functioning better than the U.S. allow prisoners to vote and the sky isn't falling there. Prisoners not being able to vote gives fascism a route to assert control over our democracy - whatever threat a prisoner voting poses is paltry by comparison to that existential threat.

    5 votes
  5. The_Fad Link
    Maybe I'm just a filthy humanist but I was under the impression we, as a society, understood that singular decisions don't define a person? It's weird that the oft-referenced examples of people...

    Maybe I'm just a filthy humanist but I was under the impression we, as a society, understood that singular decisions don't define a person? It's weird that the oft-referenced examples of people you wouldn't want to vote are people who committed atrocities one time, rather than people who committed atrocities repeatedly. Serial killers, for example, would be the first on my list of "can't vote", gun to my head. Or the heads of militant, oppressive regimes. People who choose over and over again to act against the best interests of humanity as a whole. But instead we focus on these mass murdering showmen? Please.

    5 votes
  6. zaarn Link
    When freedom of speech is in danger, the Americans climb the barricades without much of a second thought, but if they get arrested and jailed for climbing barricades they find no issue in loosing...

    When freedom of speech is in danger, the Americans climb the barricades without much of a second thought, but if they get arrested and jailed for climbing barricades they find no issue in loosing the right to participate in politics. /hyperbole

    I live in a country where prisoners, no matter the crime, have a right to vote. Prisons must help them vote by any means necessary. This means letting them cast a vote-by-letter in some cases, though a lot of prisoners are allowed outside regularly and most use that to go to their polling station and cast a vote.

    The right to vote is a fundamental building block in democracy, even more so than free speech or free opinion, or any other right really. Prisoners are part of the nation and are citizens as much as a free person, prisons should not be abused for cheap work and to silence minorities and low-income persons from participating in the political discourse.

    5 votes
  7. alyaza Link
    so one recurring theme i'm seeing in this post is people drawing a something of a distinction between what they feel are unjust felony convictions (like many people who have been convicted for...

    so one recurring theme i'm seeing in this post is people drawing a something of a distinction between what they feel are unjust felony convictions (like many people who have been convicted for marijuana possession) and just felony possessions (the usual fair: people convicted of murder, violent crimes, fraud, etc.) and saying or implying that they would let people who have been unjustly convicted/unjustly stripped of their right to vote, which to me raises an interesting question that some of the chains in here have gotten into somewhat: what would you say is the line for a felony unjustly taking someone's right to vote (if there is any) for those of you who support felony disenfranchisement or think it's a necessary evil? is it just things like marijuana convictions? non-violent crimes in general? i'm curious.

    2 votes
  8. [2]
    SunSpotter Link
    I'm confused by this. Is Bernie including felony offenders in this? Felony offenders don't have a right to vote period in 22 states, would this force states to change that? The article doesn't...

    I'm confused by this. Is Bernie including felony offenders in this? Felony offenders don't have a right to vote period in 22 states, would this force states to change that?

    The article doesn't bring this up at all however; it talks like there's no legal distinction between a cutpurse and mass murderer. Which is strange considering that if anyone were going to suggest a dividing line, it would be with felonies. And it would make all this talk about Dylann a non-issue.

    Personally I can agree to forcing prisons to give inmates with misdemeanors the right to vote, since its a right they maintain outside of prison anyways. I'm less sure about felonies.

    1 vote
    1. alyaza Link Parent
      yes and yes, to my understanding. i think the problem with dividing lines like is that what constitutes a misdemeanor and what constitutes a felony varies by state, so someone in the same...

      I'm confused by this. Is Bernie including felony offenders in this? Felony offenders don't have a right to vote period in 22 states, would this force states to change that?

      yes and yes, to my understanding.

      Which is strange considering that if anyone were going to suggest a dividing line, it would be with felonies. And it would make all this talk about Dylann a non-issue.

      i think the problem with dividing lines like is that what constitutes a misdemeanor and what constitutes a felony varies by state, so someone in the same circumstances as someone else might be rendered incapable of voting when someone the state over can simply because of state law. also, it'd be kind of a clusterfuck, i think, and just in general it's probably easier to be all or nothing on this issue than try and split the difference.

      3 votes