Longer version, I assume everyone with a pulse heard Crazy Bernie say felons should be able to vote while they're still incarcerated during a CNN Town Hall Monday night. Sanders is quoted as saying,
“If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they're going to be punished. … But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people.”This actually stunned the CNN talking heads, with this exchange captured by Steve Guest making the rounds on Twitter:
While discussing Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris' comments on felons & terrorists voting from prison, Don Lemon says he was “stunned” Democrats are ok with terrorists voting from prison, & Chris Cuomo said it shows that “these people are way out there.” pic.twitter.com/LkyKnPQ6e2It shouldn't be extremely surprising because Bernie's from Vermont. Vermont allows felons to vote while still incarcerated and has for the entire history of the state. Felons may even run for office while incarcerated in the Green Mountain State.
Still, Cuomo and Lemon are right: proposing this is going to have most of America thinking the party has slipped too far. It's interesting that another presidential candidate, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, (I believe that's pronounced "booty judge" - at least, that's how I pronounce it) countered Sanders, saying, “When you’re convicted of a crime and you’re incarcerated … you lose certain rights.”
I think that's the starting point. The example of capital crimes, like the Boston Marathon Bomber that Sanders was questioned about, is particularly egregious. This guy deprived other people of all of their rights by killing them, and I don't think it's appropriate to talk about giving the murderer more rights than his victims. By that standard, no felon who commits murder should ever get any of their rights back.
Longtime readers will know that one of the drums I beat regularly is the Over Regulated State, including how everything is becoming a felony, and how the average American now commits three felonies a day. I should point out that lawyer Harvey Silvergate wrote that book back in 2011; I wouldn't be surprised if one could argue that it's up to four or five felonies a day by now. Central to this story is that there are felonies which are minor crimes compared to the Boston bombing, murder, rape or other capital crimes. Do you remember the story of inventor Krister Evertson?
Consider small-time inventor and entrepreneur Krister Evertson, who will testify at today's hearing. Krister never had so much as a traffic ticket before he was run off the road near his mother's home in Wasilla, Alaska, by SWAT-armored federal agents in large black SUVs training automatic weapons on him.Pulled over by SWAT team in full gear, pointing guns at him, because he forgot a sticker? The story gets a bit worse because while the jury for this trial sided with Evertson, the prosecutor was not going to let a
Evertson, who had been working on clean-energy fuel cells since he was in high school, had no idea what he'd done wrong. It turned out that when he legally sold some sodium (part of his fuel-cell materials) to raise cash, he forgot to put a federally mandated safety sticker on the UPS package he sent to the lawful purchaser.
Where am I going with this? I think of someone like Evertson when I hear about felons in Federal prison, not the Boston Bomber (yeah, I know: really "terrible people" - as Bernie said - are there, too). I think of some ordinary working guy who committed one of the countless felonies that happen everyday, but caught the attention of a zealous prosecutor. When you're in prison, you lose many of your rights, and the right to vote doesn't seem like a major loss to me. I lean to saying that while someone is in prison, they don't get normal citizen's rights. Once they're released, and their "debt to society" is considered paid, they should get those rights back, including the right to legally buy a firearm, vote and all the rest. The reality is that if someone is not in prison they can get a gun. If the purpose is to keep them from hurting someone, and there's a genuine concern they will, keep them in prison! Once they're out, once they've been declared ready to go back into society, they should get their rights back.
If everything is becoming a felony such that we're all committing three felonies a day, then we're all one random encounter with a zealous prosecutor from being a prohibited person and we all lose our 2nd amendment rights. This would allow us to get them back.
(From the Daily Caller)