September 19, 2020         
AJC Mourns Passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg   •   BET, National Urban League and an Expanding List of Key Impact Partners Unite on National Black Voter Day, Friday, September 18   •   Dr. Scholl’s Shoes Wins Footwear Honor at the Accessories Council’s Design Excellence Awards for the Second Year in   •   Publix Named Among Fortune’s Best Workplaces for Women   •   Asana Named No. 8 on the 2020 Best Workplaces for Women by Great Place to Work® and Fortune   •   Crema.co’s New Coffee Matching Algorithm Guarantees the Perfect Cup   •   Helen of Troy Limited Announces Earnings Release Date, Conference Call, and Webcast for Second Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 Results   •   Ultimate Software Ranked #2 on Fortune’s Best Workplaces for Women 2020 List   •   Empowering women leadership in the agriculture and agri-food sector   •   The Integration and Development of Religion and Chinese Culture   •   Government of Canada COVID-19 Update for Indigenous Peoples and communities   •   Video Game Play is Booming. What do Parents Need to Know?   •   Landmark new agreement lays out path for reconciliation with Lake Babine   •   While Washington debates who can better protect Americans overseas, German courts display deep bias Against a Non-German African   •   Approval of Settlement of Canadian Boston Scientific Transvaginal Mesh Litigation   •   Choose Your Own Adventure and Google Collaborate to Launch E-Books for Younger Readers   •   Canada and Wabaseemoong Independent Nations sign a Relationship Agreement: Comprehensive Response to Mercury and Human Health in   •   Campbell Appoints Camille Pierce as Chief Culture Officer   •   Emily Leproust, Ph.D., to Receive 2020 Rosalind Franklin Award   •   New Citi Impact Fund Announces First Investments
Bookmark and Share

Rights Groups Speak Out On Convict's Voting Rights

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Four of the nation’s premier civil rights organizations, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Brennan Center for Justice, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and The Sentencing Project, have sent a letter to Florida’s Board of Executive Clemency, asking the board not to further restrict Floridians’ voting rights by requiring every individual with a criminal conviction to apply for restoration of their civil rights after a new waiting period that could be as long as five years.

In a meeting with members of the Executive Clemency Board, representatives from the ACLU of Florida and the NAACP learned that new mandatory waiting periods and application procedures may be announced as early as this Wednesday, March 9. Despite the pending action, the board has yet to make the proposal available to the public.

The civil rights groups urged the board to maintain the current clemency rules in Florida and to continue to restore voting rights to individuals who have served their sentences and rejoined the community.

If Florida rolls back its clemency rules, it will be one of only four states left in the country (Kentucky, Virginia and Iowa are the other three) that deny the right to vote to everyone with a felony conviction for life unless they receive clemency from the governor. The Board of Executive Clemency will meet this week to decide whether or not to adopt the proposed change of clemency rules.

According to the letter, “Instituting further administrative hurdles and a waiting period would be an enormous step backward for public safety, for hundreds of thousands of Floridians working to rejoin the community, and for our democracy.

“As organizations dedicated to civil rights and criminal justice, we believe that the right to vote is not only fundamental to an inclusive democracy, but also a critical component of an individual’s successful reentry into the community. There is strong evidence that restoring the right to vote to people exiting the criminal justice system significantly reduces recidivism, strengthens public safety, and helps build a healthier democracy and stronger communities.

“It is well documented that Florida’s criminal disenfranchisement laws are a relic of a discriminatory past. The voting ban was an attempt to weaken political power of African Americans, and it continues to have its intended effect today. The current law continues to exclude African Americans from the polls at more than twice the rate of other Florida citizens. Currently, nearly a quarter of those who are disenfranchised in Florida are African-American.”

The full text of the letter is available HERE 


STORY TAGS: ACLU , Brennan Center for Justice , NAACP , Educational Fund Inc. , The Sentencing Project , Executive Clemency Board

Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
Breaking News
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News