Florida is one of only three states that deny civil rights to felons permanently and completely.
Read the full story.
Posted by George Petrick, Riverview on 11/27 at 02:19 PM
While reading the comments from people who are against reinstating a felon’s right to vote, all I could think of was that most of them have some lame reasons to deny someone the right to vote.
Many of them think punishment should continue forever, and that no one is ever entitled to make a mistake. These are most likely the same people who will wave the flag and talk about our freedoms, but don’t hesitate to take the freedoms away from others. Some of us thought the punishment was supposed to end after someone has done their time in prison.
Since Florida is one of the FEW states that doesn’t allow felons to vote, apparently most other states are more pragmatic in their thinking. But hey, this is Flori-duh.
Posted by Frantz Jedonne, union nj on 05/19 at 08:48 PM
Many love to discuss democracy. Unfortunately, there is no such thing the most prominent countries in the world are lack of democracy in this era big corporations are the rulers of the world.
Terefore if they must criminize certain class of citizen for their benefit they in turn will. A country with over 300 million people one must exclude some individuals to create leverage or confusion when the process is simply a selection not election. bye bye democracy
Posted by Emma Claesson, Sweden on 04/26 at 04:10 AM
For a country that prides it self of beeing “the defender of democracy” you donĂ‚Â´t really defend the human rights. Convicts are also citizens in your counry and the outcome of an election should reflect the will of all people, not certain groups! Since they to are affected when the politicians make decisions, they to shold be able to choose wich politicians who makes those decisions. I mean: isnĂ‚Â´t that the very basis of democracy? Everybody (over a certain age)in a true democracy are entitled to vote no matter gender, race, sexuality or actions.
Sidenote: I read that 13% of all black men are no longer entiled to vote. DidnĂ‚Â´t you have a big war just to give them the right to vote?
Posted by Capree Holmes, Tampa Florida on 11/04 at 11:31 PM
There is a multi-headed, multi-tentacled monster out there devouring minorites who live in certain neighborhoods. Incarceration is just one aspect of this menace, but it is an overwhelmingly damaging aspect. Especially because of the lost of civil rights.Our job, in working to achieve fairness and equity, is to sound the alarm about the unjust criminal justice system and demand that our leaders and those in power act now to halt this destructive, unfair treatment of our brothers and sisters, especially of our children.
Posted by ruby d martin, brandon on 11/02 at 06:39 PM
i truly believe that anyone who does anything that sends them to jail for a felony SHOULD LOSE ALL their civil rights for life. i also think that if people knew this maybe it would make them think before they commit a crime that would cost them their rights.
Posted by David Zimmer, HUDSON, FL on 10/31 at 05:35 PM
Felons are criminals, they did something they should not have and should have. People cannot say they didn’t know it was illegal anymore, as we are educated early on. So giving them back their rights and saying they can be part of the non-law-breaking crowd does nothing to deter them from repeating their crimes. It also does nothing to deter those thinking they could get away with it too. Ease up and we all lose.
Posted by Roben Taglienti, Naples, FL on 10/31 at 01:16 AM
Felons are just another segment of the population the Democrats are courting for votes - just slightly less popular then illegal immigrants. What felon would vote for a Republican who is tough on crime?
Posted by Ed Dykes, Tampa on 10/30 at 04:54 PM
Nice try for the sympathy vote, but not quite. Most fellons are habitual criminals and even this one “model citizen” is a FELLON! They should not be allowd to vote. Criminals should not be allowed to influence the political direction of this county. Fellons would obviously vote for more liberal criminal laws and lenient judges. Shame on you for finding the proverbial needle in the hay stack by finding a fellon who now is a modle citizen. If you change the law, the law would change for ALL FELLONS not just the model ones.
Posted by Robert Cerajewski, Largo,FL on 10/28 at 08:35 AM
In general,a criminal has made poor choices throughout his life to become a convict.
Many are repeat offenders,repeated poor
Painting a picture of the convict as a down-trodden victim is Hooey.
By virtue of conviction for crimes against society he is stripped of all rights and sent away for rehabilitation.
Until one becomes a responsible,acceptable and productive member of that society once again he
deserves no right to a “poor choice”
Posted by Jeff Bowers, Tampa on 10/28 at 01:33 AM
If this woman was so agonized over her civil rights, why did she wait eight years to apply for reinstatment?
Also, I was wondering how many mother rapers and father stabbers this reporter crawled over to find this woman, when the end of the article reveals that she was provided by the Davis campaign.
Look for more stories on subjects favorable to Davis on the Trib front page for the next 10 days. God only knows what they have cooked up for Crist on Dirty Thursday
Posted by Susan Young, Jacksonville, Florida on 10/27 at 11:34 PM
This young woman broke the law and she is a felon. She gave up her right to vote when she committed the crime. So what it was nine years ago. She needs to get over herself and remember she is a convicted felon and what she did to earn that title.
The law does not steal votes as suggested in the article
this young woman chose to commit a felon and now she is unable to vote because of the crime she committed. I say she is living with the results of her actions. SHE SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO VOTE!
Posted by Val Green, land o'lakes on 10/27 at 10:12 PM
florida ranks on the bottom in several areas, it sounds like some folks are proud of it. Florida does allow for the return of voter rights, but it is so much easier if you have LOTS OF MONEY. You might need a lawyer, free time during the days, a car to get around, etc. What florida is doing is illegal in other states, I’m embarassed for florida.
Posted by Gary Durst, Bonaire, Ga on 10/27 at 06:59 PM
While the story was clearly slanted to rouse emotions on the part of the reader, I can look past that and see no reason why this particular person shouldn’t receive clemency; I’ve no doubt there are others like her. That being said there exists another population of felons whose crimes have rendered their civil rights forever forfeit, and who deserve neither clemency nor sympathy. Florida’s clemency law is sound; unfortunately like many civilly administered programs, the process is ineffective. The real solution is not blanket restoration of rights, but rather how to more effectively process appeals for clemency so that each applicant receives timely and equal due process under the law.
Posted by ROCKY COCCHIOLA, Brandon FL on 10/27 at 11:54 AM
Why change a law that makes sense? We are fed the line by politicians that we should forgive the lawbreakers and restore their privileges. Their reasoning is that it costs money and time to process these people back into the mainstream. It’s clear their bottom line is to garner more votes. The Trib article states there is a tremendous backlog of applications. Applying to regain certain privileges is fair. The State government is guilty of causing the backlog. It’s their problem and they should own up to their ineptness in keeping up with whatever work they are expected to perform. If an individual or individuals have been derelict in their duties in this area, throw the bums out. Isn’t it about time we get rid of the garbage?
Posted by Allyson Veley, Tampa on 10/27 at 11:15 AM
Who out there can stand up and say “I’ve never made a bad decision in my life!”? If you can, please introduce yourself to all of us poor souls who have been waiting for your return to Earth from Heaven above. Melissa made a bad decision at a time in her life when things weren’t looking so great. She took responsibility, did the time, and is now seeking her right to voice her opinion on issues that might in fact help other young people get through difficult times without taking the same road she chose. I, for one, will not stand in judgment. I appauld her journey.
Posted by Regan Bjorklund, Valri on 10/27 at 10:49 AM
Forget the sob story from the woman, what do you expect her to say? How about the clear bias of the article and reporter? Only 2 out of 43 paragraphs (and only one quote) expressing support for the denial of restoration! Of course the photo with young child had to be included (You have to tug at the hearts strings so close to an election.) Most importantly, you have to end with the money quote, “I know he (Davis) is very much for civil rights.” clearly implying Crist is not. NO BIAS IN THIS ARTICLE AT ALL!
Posted by Amy Love, south tampa on 10/27 at 10:43 AM
It’s amazing to me how so many people see things in black and white. Are there no gray areas any more? God forbid anyone on this board who is condemning this woman should make a mistake and pay for it FOREVER. It kills your self esteem. She already served her time. She seems remorseful and regrets what took place. She doesn’t need the rest of us judging her for one mistake. And Gil- she robbed somebody’s house, not a liquor store. And the reason she hit him w/ a bottle is because she was being choked. I think if you are a first time offender then your rights should be restored. If you are a habitual offender then you should be given max penalty including taking voting rights away. People make mistakes, we are not robots.
Posted by ted church, memphis, tn on 10/27 at 10:27 AM
its STOOPID!! what an 18 or 20-year-old does ONCE, does not compare to what a serial criminal does. There needs to be some sensible mechanism to restore civil rights. unless, of course, one WANTS to eliminate certain classes of voters—but NO ONE wants to do that, do they? Nah!! and lets not even get into what the well-connected, potential felon can bargain down.
Posted by Chantal Natalie, Tampa FL on 10/27 at 09:38 AM
I am amazed the ingnorance of some of the comments that were made. To get such a rise out of some must have hit a nerve. I agree, this young woman has paid her price for her mistakes. We all make them. She has the right to vote as the rest of society. It was 9 years ago. Not as if she is running the streets and raking havoc today. She has straighten her life out. Being that i know her personally, she is a wonderful person, who brings good into our lives. So to the ones that are closed minded, here is a comment for you” He who lives in a glass house, should NOT throw stones.”
Have a good one! Keep doing what you are doing Melissa! You have a lot of support!! Love ya!
Posted by Sherri McNamee, Valrico on 10/27 at 09:23 AM
It’s unfortunate that she made the wrong decision but she has to live with it and realize that she can be a contributing member in other ways through education and addressing young people who might be at risk. In this case maybe she does deserve to have her rights restored but there are many offenders who, in no way, should ever have the right to decide how our state is governed. Is the state willing to restore rights on a case by case basis instead of blanket restoration? I might support a program that takes the crime(s) committed into consideration before restoring voting rights.
Posted by Lee Giles, Tampa on 10/27 at 08:55 AM
Do the crime, do the time? Unless your wealthy and can afford the high priced attorney fees that it takes to make charges go away. Unfortunately, the majority of civilians who ‘do the time’ are the poor, the minorities, and the weak.
Too bad we don’t hold the wealthy up to the same standards. Too bad that Florida doesn’t allow those that have been through the ‘tough love’ system to vote on how it operates.
Posted by Jackie Manthos, Lutz, FL on 10/27 at 08:38 AM
Interesting that the previous postings here are full of mean words about a woman who agreed to have her story printed by the Tampa, despite the fact that she KNEW people would do just what these writers did….be unforgiving and cruel. This woman has more courage than most, to expose her teen age background to all of us for a cause which she has championed. We should be proud of her instead of mean spirited and judgmental. Judge not, les ye be judged! Jackie Manthos
Posted by Carole Dickey, on 10/27 at 08:00 AM
She defied the law by drinking underage, being drunk and disorderly, attacking someone with a bottle.
She paid the price and will (voting wise) continue to pay it.
Are we supposed to change our laws to eradicate the punishment? If she wants to “change the system,” why not put the lessons she’s learned to work trying to influence other teens who may be headed on the same path.
Share her experiences with teen groups, encourage them to play by the rules instead of breaking them and expecting the rules to change to accommodate their bad behavior.
Posted by Art Pulliam, Town-n-Country on 10/27 at 07:42 AM
Excuse me if I don’t shed a tear over felons getting there rights restored. I don’t believe many felons were thinking too hard about the rights of their victims.
Posted by Jane Krug, work on 10/27 at 07:38 AM
It is the law. My son, also a felon at 17, also lost his right to vote. He doesn’t whine about it, he accepts it as part of his punishment for his particular crime. Grow up, people. If you commit a felony, you lose the priveledge to vote. We all know that! I don’t understand the need for a story about it.
People want to do what ever they choose, then blame EVERYONE else for it. This law doesn’t STEAL votes as the article suggests. SHE GAVE UP HER VOTE when she chose to become a felon.
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