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5 Quotes by Attorney General Eric Holder on Restoring Voting Rights to Felons

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 02:20 PM

While Attorney General Eric Holder will quickly be ending his term, he continues to talk about the importance of restoring voting rights to felons. Holder calls it a civil rights issue, which unfairly prevents many Americans from fully re-entering the community after paying their debt to society.

Here are five quotes from Eric Holder on the topic:

1. "We're marshaling a broad coalition of bipartisan leaders to urge state lawmakers to repeal and rethink misguided and unjust policies like felon disenfranchisement, so voting rights can be restored to those individuals who have served their time, paid their fines, and completed their probation or parole." - During the Interfaith Service and Community Forum at Ebenezer Baptist Church Atlanta, GA, December 2014.

VOTE NOW: Should Convicted Felons Be Allowed to Vote?

2. "I call upon the American people — who overwhelmingly oppose felony disenfranchisement — to join us in bringing about the end of misguided policies that unjustly restrict what's been called the 'most basic right' of American citizenship." - At the Georgetown University Law Center, February 2014.

3. "The history of felony disenfranchisement dates to a time when these policies were employed not to improve public safety, but purely as punitive measures — intended to stigmatize, shame, and shut out a person who had been found guilty of a crime. Over the course of many decades –— court by court, state by state — Americans broadly rejected the colonial-era notion that the commission of a crime should result in lifelong exclusion from society." - At the Georgetown University Law Center, February 2014

TELL US: How Do You Feel About Voting Rights for Convicted Felons?

4. "Across this country today, an estimated 5.8 million Americans — more than the individual populations of 31 U.S. states — are prohibited from voting because of current or previous felony convictions. Nearly 150 years after Reconstruction, when felony disenfranchisement laws were first widely implemented throughout the South to intentionally reduce the electoral strength of former slaves, 40 percent of these individuals are African-American — meaning that nearly one in 13 African-American adults is currently ineligible to cast a ballot. In three states — Florida, Kentucky and Virginia — that ratio is one in five." - At the Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform, March 2015.

5. "More state legislatures must end felon disenfranchisement — and so many other barriers to reentry — for individuals who have served their sentences and rejoined their communities, and invest in alternatives to incarceration like drug courts — something I'd like to see in the next five years in every federal district in America. It means Congress must act to restrict and refine those crimes to which mandatory minimums apply and extend the Fair Sentencing Act so that no one is serving a sentence based on a disparity in punishment between crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses that Congress, the president and the attorney general have all declared unjust. And it means gatherings like this one must continue to bring together leaders and advocates, academics and public servants, from all backgrounds and circumstances, to renew our commitment to this vital cause." - At the Bipartisan Summit on Criminal Justice Reform, March 2015.

VOTE NOW: Do You Think Convicted Felons Should Be Allowed to Vote?

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While Attorney General Eric Holder will quickly be ending his term, he continues to talk about the importance of restoring voting rights to felons. Holder calls it a civil rights issue, which unfairly prevents many Americans from fully re-entering the community after paying their debt to society.
felons, voting rights, quotes, eric holder
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2015-20-15
Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 02:20 PM
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