Give Felons Their Rights Back

Give Felons Their Rights Back

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is taking another stand when it comes to jail sentences – allow felons the opportunity to get voting rights and gun rights back after they are released.

Joseph Gerth of the Courier-Journal writes:

“U.S. Sen. Rand Paul told a largely black audience Monday in Louisville that he will push to restore the voting and gun-ownership rights of felons who have completed their sentences — and he will urge state Senate Republicans to follow his lead.

Currently in Kentucky, felons must petition the governor to get their voting rights restored.

‘I am in favor of letting people get their rights back, the right to vote … Second Amendment rights, all your rights to come back,’ he said.

Paul recounted an anecdote, in which a man had pot plants in his dorm room closet during college, and received a felony conviction at the time. Now, 30 years later, it’s continually come up as an obstacle to getting a job.

Paul’s comments drew praise from at least one person, Rev. Patrick Delahanty, the executive director of the Catholic Conference of Kentucky. Delahanty said he hopes this will push Senate Republicans – who have previously shot down similar proposals – to get something done.

Some rights can be re-obtained by released felons through some different processes, including background checks and other applications. Paul would do away with that.

He believes that felons’ rights should be restored automatically – whether it be immediately after being released and completing their sentences, or at a specific time after they’ve been released.

He also said he’d be open to testifying in favor of legislation that would restore felon voting rights.

While there, Paul reiterated his stance that mandatory minimum sentences should be abolished for some nonviolent drug crimes, and added one more helping hand to the list: Helping people find jobs. He suggested tax breaks for businesses that create jobs in disadvantaged communities, saying he wasn’t concerned about a business paying taxes if they bring 1,000 jobs in to west Louisville.

Taxes don’t help the regular Joe and Jane. Jobs do. It’s all about your right to pursue happiness and liberty.

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