Should Convicted Felons Ever Be Able To Vote?

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Share
Updated: 2/19 6:17 pm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AaronAdelson

Kentucky is one of the only states in the country that does not give felons their right to vote back after they finish parole. 

Should felons get that right back?  You may be able to decide on November's ballot.

The senate passed a bill to create a constitutional amendment about felons' voting rights; however, the bill the senators voted for is different than the one the house overwhelmingly passed.

The house version automatically restores voting rights to felons when they finish parole.  The bill excludes people convicted of intentional killings and sex crimes.  The senate version adds on a 5-year waiting period.

After the vote nobody in the crowd clapped.  The had of Louisville's NAACP called the senate's version a blueprint for suppression.

We spoke to two convicted felons in jail almost one year ago.

"I feel as though if you got a voice, then it should be heard," said Gregory Evans, who was convicted for facilitating a robbery.

"We're not all bad people.  We've all made mistakes in our lives.  We're being punished for it now.  We've become better people while we're in here, and I believe that should not affect our right to vote," said Richard Kyle, who was convicted for receiving stolen property. 

Kyle and Evans are now out of jail.

Representative Jesse Crenshaw proposes this bill every year.  It's called HB-70, and the senate has never voted on it.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said without the five-year waiting period the bill would never come up for a vote.

"There ought to be some level of gratitude that we are here today having this conversation," said Senator Damon Thayer, Majority Floor Leader.

Crenshaw said the senate version is not the same as HB-70, and he wouldn't support it.

We asked Crenshaw if he considered the senate committee's vote progress. 

"Let me go to another question please.  If there is one, and if there is not I'll see you all later.  No, I don't think it is as good as 70!  I sat here, and said that for four hours," said Representative Crenshaw. 

The meeting lasted for about one hour.

U.S. Senator Rand Paul testified in favor of felons getting their voting rights back.  He wants to stay out of the sausage making, and focus on the bigger picture.

"We have a cycle here of crime and poverty and drugs that we need to try and get out of.  I think a step forward is trying to do something about voting rights," said Senator Paul.

The bill will go to a conference committee where representatives and senators will hash out one bill to send to the Governor.
Share
0 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

No comments yet!
Most Popular
More than 30 teens escape from detention center
A spokesman says more than 30 teens escaped from a Nashville, Tenn. youth detention center and 17 are still being sought.
Kentucky prepares to regulate ride sharing
State regulators are preparing emergency regulations that will go into effect next month to govern ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft as they expand their services into Kentucky cities.
Police: One In Critical Condition After Shooting
A man was critically injured during a shooting in Shelby County Monday night. Video Video
Pulaski Co. Deputy Charged in Domestic Violence Case
A Pulaski County Sheriff's Deputy has been charged in a domestic violence case stemming from an incident that allegedly happened nearly six months ago. Video Video
Coroner: Elderly Mercer Co. Couple Die in Apparent Murder-Suicide
The Mercer County Coroner has confirmed that an elderly couple were found dead in their home Sunday night following an apparent murder-suicide.
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
   

WTVQ.com supports children's privacy rights. All persons under the age of 13 MUST have parental permission to use this website and direct parental supervision is strongly recommended.