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< Back to question Should felons be allowed to vote? Show more Show less

According to the Sentencing Project, an estimated 6.1 million Americans have lost their voting rights because of felony disenfranchisement laws as of 2016. Lawmakers are divided about its implications: what constitutes human rights and what justifies taking them away, especially given a justice system that disproportionately imprisons minorities and the poor?

Felons should never be allowed to vote Show more Show less

Felons have displayed disrespect for society. Because of this, they should permanently lose their right to choose who governs it.
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Felons should not have a say in society

Felons should not be able to dictate the future of a community they have harmed.
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Proponents


The Argument

By committing a felony, felons have harmed their community and shown a lack of respect for it. Giving felons the right to vote enables them to have a say in what happens to the very community they have harmed. Only citizens who want the best for their communities should be able to vote. Felons have proven that they do not value the community's wellbeing. For this reason, they should be disenfranchised.

Counter arguments

Felons, once they have served their sentence, have repaid their debt to their community in the eyes of the law. There is no reason to continually punish them, especially when it blocks their progress in reintegrating themselves into society and discourages them from becoming invested in the community. This argument also assumes that felons are beyond change. It argues that because felons disregarded their community's wellbeing in the past, they will retain their disregard for the rest of their lives. Felons are capable of becoming upstanding citizens and leaving their past behind.

Premises

[P1] Felons have clearly shown their disregard for the community's wellbeing. [P2] Only citizens who value their community and the common good should be allowed to vote.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Felons have completed their punishment and should not have their right to help dictate their community's future taken away.

References


    This page was last edited on Wednesday, 22 Jul 2020 at 18:57 UTC

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