For example, Article 5, the right to liberty and security, allows for the restriction among other forms and reasons for detention. Alternatively, police could exert undue influence over the prisoners and how they vote. Denying them the right to vote is likely to undermine the respect for the rule of law. This could be done by making the law more selective; for instance, giving some prisoners the vote, but not others, depending on the length of their sentence or the nature of their crime. You managed a report on that? Instead of being pressed into responding to court cases and compensation claims, the government should use its authority to overturn this outdated and uncivilised ban. As you may know, prisoners in Ghana voted for the first time, I think, in the last election and a Kenyan Hight Court just ruled that prisoners have the rights to vote. In addition, there will be people in prison who only committed menial offences which are not enough of a good reason to remove their right to vote in a society that classes itself as liberal.
Prisoners could be enticed to vote a certain way. Terry McAuliffe issued a sweeping executive order that changed the lives of 200,000 ex-felons in Virginia, instantly restoring their right to vote. People need to understand that there are consequences to committing a crime. Most British politicians, from all parties, have vigorously defended the voting ban, despite legal challenges. Linking a ban on voting to imprisonment is arbitrary. I think that it is not fair because, the problems that the prisoners are having in prison. If we believe in the rule of law, we are just as much bound to observe the decisions of the European Court on matters within their competence as we are to obey the decisions of our own courts in matters within their competence.
Should they get the right too? Prisoners will also obviously have fewer rights than law-abiding citizens. Far from it: Perhaps the most important reason to allow prisoner voting is that prisons, not just prisoners, would benefit. This is not an argument for letting all, or indeed any, prisoners vote. Following the law means putting in place new legislation. Another example of a reasonable restriction can be applied to the education of a prisoner at school age. How do other European countries deal with votes for prisoners? Voting is a privilege, not a right, and people in prison has shown they are not worthy of that privilege by breaking the law in the first place.
He or she may be removed from education if it is necessary to do so, to prevent disruption or for security reasons. Both the previous Labour government and current coalition have failed to legislate - although various proposals have been debated in an attempt to end the long-running row with the Strasbourg court. So when they are sent to prison, the feel like they are lower than other people and that the government doesn't care about them any more. If the state believes someone has reformed to the level that they can be trusted to live with others again, they are let out of prison. We are based at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
This blog entry is concerned only with the second of these questions, but as it turns out, the status of the right to vote as a human right is highly relevant to the resolution of this moral issue. It set the deadline as 6 months from the judgment becoming final. Suppose you do think they should lose the vote. Learn more about why the right to vote matters with our and our. For example, if a person is given a prison sentence that is then suspended, they are allowed to vote. People say criminals too have the right to vote since they're human. If you are stupid enough or crazy enough to break rules that land you a prison sentence Murder, Theft, Corruption, etc.
Inside Time reserve the right to republish comments in its newspaper or in any of its other publications, however, in these cases, comments will be anonymised. It would be unfair that a whole prison's worth of voters could sway a council or a general election because the prison is so large it would affect the constituency size and count as a large part of the voters in the constituency and it would marginalise the votes of law abiding citizens in constituencies. However, the Commons was almost entirely preoccupied with the question of whether Strasbourg had exceeded its authority or was staffed with incompetent judges. Have you ever voted in a general or local election? But in fact, there are good reasons to embrace it. The idea that maturity is what qualifies a right to vote is just simply false. With your help, we can keep factchecking and demanding better from our politicians and public figures.
No-one is suggesting total obliteration of rights for prisoners or anyone else who fails to show responsibility, but unless you want a total breakdown of society and law and order some notion, somewhere, that someone has to take responsibility for their own actions has to factor into the legal system. Would you give someone who has recently blown someone else up the privilege of voting for the leader of our community? It can make possible a system that is based on rehabilitation and reintegration instead of one based on retribution. In the same way as they recover their right to liberty. But I want to suggest that the argument is misguided for another reason. Pay for your sins, and when your punishment is over, then you can vote.
My view is that everyone should vote, and no one should be excluded or allowed to reject the voting right, okay the under fives might chew the ballot paper but its still vote. People might argue that allowing them to vote can be expensive and unrealistic but it is unjustifiable since they are not in prison because the system wants to cut costs. Voters image:, © Alex Lee used under Creative Commons Licence. Quite the contrary — we all speak of rights and responsibilities in terms of personal morality, as we learn from the word go when our parents allow us to do certain things but expect behavioural standards in return. They therefore cannot be trusted to vote responsibly in the interests of society; many would probably simply vote for candidates promising lighter sentences for criminals.
In recent years, the Supreme Court and Congress have affirmed a variety of constitutional rights for prisoners. You can use these html tags:. How can we equate these minor offences with that of blowing things up? They may be suffering from a miscarriage of justice. I too am about to leave for the weekend, and this post will therefore be short, but will try and come back in more detail next week other commitments permitting. I was in prison for the elections in 2010 and 2015.
One can at once see the allure and limitations of this argument. So what does that mean then? If convicted prisoners could register to vote by post would you consider voting? Participation in self-government is the most basic expression of the principle of equality, a recognition that each person has basic, equal and presumptively irrevocable civic status in the society. If you provide the optional Email or Website addresses these will be published with your comment. But nothing in my argument turned on it being an absolute right. If they ever learned something they wold know what they did is wrong and would want to make it up and help their country in some way and voting, Can be one of those ways.