could I get a proof reader please, punctuation & grammar?

Is This Still the Land of Second Chances?

It's a widely published and accepted fact, that on any given election day in America, barely fifty percent of the voters will show up at the polls to cast their votes. Bloggers, political columnists, and scholars have bemoaned for years that such voter apathy threatens the integrity of our representative democratic process. Yet it is largely overlooked that well over five million Americans will not be allowed to vote in the next election. While this might seem unbelievable, given the current societal climate of political correctness, it's absolutely true. In fact the numbers are even larger today than they were five years ago when this article was written. Who are these disenfranchised voters, and how can this be happening in America, one would logically ask. The answer would seem, on the surface, to take the wind out of the sails of any argument to reverse the situation though. You see these five million plus people who won't be allowed to vote, all have one huge strike against them, they're convicted felons.

Reynolds Holding, in his 2006 article for Time entitled, “Why Can't Felons Vote?”, comes down very clearly on the side of reversing this situation and makes very effective use of emotions to illustrate his point. He does so by highlighting the case of a Mississippi woman that pleaded guilty to passing bad checks. She made the checks good, paid her fines and court costs and was placed on probation, yet is now permanently banned from voting by state law.

He also does well in his use of reason and logic. He points out the disparity of laws among the states, pointing out that in two states those currently incarcerated are denied the right to vote. While in over thirty states those who have served their time, been released on parole, and those like the exemplified Mississippi resident, in his story who were placed on probation, in lieu of jail time, are denied this basic constitutional right. He makes a sound case for the fact that those individuals in these latter two classes should be allowed to vote, as it serves to reintegrate them into society.

He uses solid historical legal arguments as well to make his case, by citing the facts that until 1800 no state barred felons from voting, and that even though in 1860 most states did, the purpose was primarily to “largely to block African Americans, who though rarely allowed to vote were disproportionately represented among felons.” He then follows up with a sound ethical argument by saying, “Today, the impact of these laws still falls disproportionately on poor, minority males, a fact that seems to have skewed more than a few elections.”(Felons)

While many would scoff at his proposal, citing the old adage about you did the crime, now do the time. Yet there is the point, they have served their time and been released, or in some cases served no jail time at all, but rather were placed on probation. We're not talking about people convicted of organized crime, terrorism, or high treason, most of these folks were convicted of non-violent crimes, things like passing bad checks, drug possession, or DWI. In a dozen states like Mississippi though, a person convicted of over twenty different crimes, can never vote again, even after serving their jail sentence and the terms of parole or probation.

Holding ends his story with what I believe is a sound argument. We live in an era when the country is lucky if half the people show up to vote for president and even less will turn-out to vote in local and primary elections. Doesn't it make sense to not only encourage these sort of people to vote, but to even go as far as requiring it. I certainly think so! My opinion though, as a second year student at a small backwater community college in Missouri might not hold much weight. However I feel like I might just be on the right track, because the man I am so whole-hardheartedly agreeing with isn't just some left leaning writer, with a liberal arts degree from a small school. Mr Holding graduated from Harvard in 1977 and received his law degree from Duke in 1982. He's was formerly a lawyer with the distinguished firm of Debevoise & Plimpton prior to being the legal affairs editor for the San Francisco Chronicle and subsequently becoming a columnist for Time. It's good to see some of the media outlets still make some room for really important issues that affect so many of our nation's citizens.

2 Answers

Relevance
  • Froggy
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Is This Still the Land of Second Chances?

    It IS a widely published and accepted fact, that on any given election day in America, barely 50% of the voters will show up at the polls to cast their votes.

    Political columnists, scholars AND ‘bloggers’ have bemoaned for years that such voter apathy threatens the integrity of our representative democratic process.

    Yet it is largely overlooked that well over 5 million Americans will not be allowed to vote in the next election. While this might seem unbelievable given the current societal climate of political correctness, it IS absolutely true.

    In fact the numbers are even larger today than they were 5 years ago when this article was written.

    Who are these disenfranchised voters and how can this be happening in America, one would logically ask?

    The answer would seem on the surface, to take the wind out of the sails of any argument, to reverse the situation.

    You see, these 5 million plus people who won't be allowed to vote all have one huge strike against them; they ARE convicted felons.

    Reynolds Holding in his 2006 article for Time entitled, “Why Can't Felons Vote?” comes down very clearly on the side of reversing this situation and makes very effective use of emotions to illustrate his point. He does so by highlighting the case of a Mississippi woman that pleaded guilty to passing bad CHEQUES. She made REPARATION FOR THE CHEQUES, paid her fines and court costs and was placed on probation, yet is now permanently banned from voting by state law.

    He also does well in his use of reason and logic. He points out the disparity of laws among the states, pointing out that in two OF THESE, those currently incarcerated are denied the right to vote while in over thirty states those who have served their time, been released on parole and those like the exemplified Mississippi resident who WAS placed on probation in lieu of jail time, are denied this basic constitutional right.

    He makes a sound case for the fact that those individuals in these latter two classes should be allowed to vote, as it serves to reintegrate them into society.

    He uses solid historical legal arguments as well to make his case, by citing the facts that until 1800, no state barred felons from voting and that even though in 1860 most states did, the purpose was primarily to “largely to block African Americans, who though rarely allowed to vote, were disproportionately represented among felons.”

    He then follows up with a sound ethical argument by saying, “Today, the impact of these laws still falls disproportionately on poor, minority males, a fact that seems to have skewed more than a few elections.”(Felons)

    Many would scoff at his proposal citing the old adage about ‘you did the crime, now do the time’.

    Yet HERE is the point, they have served their time and been released, or in some cases served no jail time at all but rather were placed on probation. We're not talking about people convicted of organized crime, terrorism, or high treason; most of these folks were convicted of non-violent crimes like passing bad CHEQUES, drug possession, or DWI/DUI (Driving While Intoxicated/Driving under the Influence).

    In a dozen states like Mississippi though, a person convicted of over twenty different crimes, can never vote again even after serving their jail sentence and the terms of parole or probation.

    Holding ends his story with what I believe is a sound argument. We live in an era when the country is lucky if half the people show up to vote for THE PRESENDANCY and even less will turn-out to vote in local and primary elections. Doesn't it make sense to not only encourage these MISCREANTS to vote, but to even go as far as MAKING IT MANDANTORY? I certainly think so!

    My opinion though, as a second year student at a small backwater community college in Missouri might not hold much weight. However I feel like I might just be on the right track, because the man I am so whole hard-heartedly agreeing with, isn't just some ‘left’ leaning writer with a liberal arts degree from a small school.

    Mr Holding graduated from Harvard in 1977 and received his law degree from Duke in 1982. He was formerly a lawyer with the distinguished firm of Debevoise & Plimpton prior to being the legal affairs editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, and subsequently becoming a columnist for Time.

    It's good to see THAT some of the media outlets still make some room for really important issues that affect so many of our nation's citizens.

  • coe
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    i'm an author who consistently strives to get the punctuation desirable. In my case, a number of the guidelines of punctuation have replaced because of the fact i substitute into in college. besides the indisputable fact that, it is not any excuse. As somebody who tries to make a residing with the English language, i think we would desire to consistently seek for to benefit each little thing we are able to bearing directly to our craft. this is severe that authors attempt to maximum magnificent their errors in the past they get to the writer. do not anticipate others to locate your blunders. the suited evidence readers could make errors. this is my call on the e book. hence, I take it in my view whilst i come across a mistake interior the total product. yet even with our suited efforts, they nonetheless make it into our paintings now and returned.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.