Monday, August 15, 2011

Hidden Political Agenda in Delaying Civil Rights Restoration?



            In 2007 Governor Charlie Christ issued an Executive Order simplifying the process of civil rights restoration for felons convicted of non-violent criminal offenses.  Certain convicted felons were allowed to have their civil rights restored automatically or without a hearing. Fast forward to March 2011, current Governor Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi abolished Crist’s Executive Order and returned Florida’s civil rights restoration process to an old antiquated system. Under the “new” system, ex-offenders now have to wait between anywhere from between 5 and 7 years from the date of release before an application can be sent to the Clemency Board. The underlying purpose of the change, according to the Attorney General Bondi, is for ex-offenders to prove they have been rehabilitated. But as the article from the St. Petersburg Times suggests the purpose is not proof of rehabilitation at all, but rather to shrink the potential pool of Democratic voters.