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Up in arms: a felonís right to gun ownership
scpr.org ^ | 17 November, 2011 | Patt Morrison

Posted on 12/01/2011 7:03:19 AM PST by marktwain

True or false: Federal law dictates felons lose their right to bear arms. True. True or false: Felons can get those rights back, even those convicted of murder. Also true.

In fact, in some states a judge can reinstate those rights without review; in other states, gun rights are automatically restored after felons complete their sentence. In Washington state alone, The New York Times reports that “since 1995, more than 3,300 felons and people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors have regained their gun rights," 13 percent of whom committed new crimes.

The breakdown occurs at the intersection of state and federal laws. Under federal law, a presidential pardon is the only way to restore ownership rights to felons. But in the 1980s, after a series of reforms by the National Rifle Association, Congress granted state laws jurisdiction to oversee reinstatement.

Just yesterday, the House passed a law that would require states to honor concealed weapon permits issued by other states.

WEIGH IN:

Should convicted felons be granted the right to bear arms? Should a felon’s mental health be taken into consideration? Is this an issue over the Second Amendment or safety?

Guests:

Michael Luo, reporter, the New York Times

Jim Irvine, chairman, Buckeye Firearms Association

Adam Winkler, constitutional law professor at UCLA; author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America; he writes for The Huffington Post & Daily Beast

(Excerpt) Read more at scpr.org ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: banglist; constitution; felons; gunowners; gunownership; gunrights; rights
There is an audio link at the site for the discussion.
1 posted on 12/01/2011 7:03:23 AM PST by marktwain
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To: marktwain

no, you can’t take their “mantal state” into consideration. Sorry, but I believe gun ownership is an absolute right. Felon or not, he has a right to defend himself. Period. Goofy or not, same.

The second you use “mental issues” to deny the right to defend oneself, you walk right into what the Russkies did with placing in the insane asylum all their political challengers on the basis that they must be insane not to understand the “legitimacy” of the then power structure.

No no no no no.

People have the right to defend themselves. Period. With a gun. Period.


2 posted on 12/01/2011 7:12:08 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

It’s GOD given and no man or Government State or Federal has the Right to take this from me. “Shall not be INFRINGED”


3 posted on 12/01/2011 7:20:14 AM PST by BornFreeDie-N-Debt
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To: yldstrk
I completely agree with you with the exception of...

"Period. With a gun. Period.

The 2nd amendment makes no mention of guns. It clearly says arms.

4 posted on 12/01/2011 7:21:48 AM PST by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: Durus

ok, arms, grenades, swords, guns anything you arm yourself with.


5 posted on 12/01/2011 7:23:51 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: marktwain

if they can be trusted to be re-integrated into society, then they should be trusted with the right to own and bear arms.

besides, i’d rather know that a felon has a legal weapon, rather than an illegal one- they’d be less likely to commit a crime with a legal one.


6 posted on 12/01/2011 7:26:14 AM PST by absolootezer0 (2x divorced tattooed pierced harley hatin meghan mccain luvin' REAL beer drinkin' smoker ..what?)
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To: yldstrk
Agree. If you deny felons the right to keep and bear arms, you open the door for libs to make us all felons by enacting laws that are so restrictive, a person couldn't possibly live his life without breaking at least one of them. They and other statists are already doing that.

Honor the constitution and let a well-armed citizenry keep the number of felons down. The Founders weren't dummies.

7 posted on 12/01/2011 7:27:14 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: marktwain
Should convicted felons be granted the right to bear arms?

After someone convicted of a felony has served their complete sentence (incarceration + parole), all their rights should be restored. Voting, guns, movement, ALL of them. No three strikes sham. No review by the court. Either an appropriate sentence was handed out during the trial or not. But once you have served your time, you are now a full citizen again, automatically. Recidivist usually will keep themselves in court and under a sentence.

Should a felon’s mental health be taken into consideration?

As long as mental health is allowed as a defense, unfortunately yes. First determine if the accused committed the felony. Then determine if they are insane.

Is this an issue over the Second Amendment or safety?

Those who would surrender essential liberties for a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. (Franklin) Felons can get firearms no matter what the law says.

8 posted on 12/01/2011 7:27:22 AM PST by fireforeffect (A kind word and a 2x4, gets you more than just a kind word.)
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To: marktwain

Interesting that there is less controversy about giving felons the right to vote than there is the right to defend themselves. Which one is more dangerous?


9 posted on 12/01/2011 7:28:51 AM PST by NonValueAdded (At 4 AM, it is a test; at 2 PM, it is a demonstration)
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To: marktwain

The Bill of Rights was about inalienable rights, not government granted rights that the government can take away.


10 posted on 12/01/2011 7:35:00 AM PST by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: yldstrk
People have the right to defend themselves. Period. With a gun. Period.

The policy that should be applied is: if he's too dangerous to have a gun, then why is he loose on the street?

I have a friend who got convicted on a drug charge many years ago. He plea bargained accepting a felony conviction in exchange for probation and no jail time (which in hindsight was a mistake, but he was younger then). He'd like to get his gun rights re-instated, but the legal costs would be several thousands of dollars, and it's not in his budget right now.

11 posted on 12/01/2011 7:35:27 AM PST by PapaBear3625 (During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.)
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To: yldstrk

roger that.


12 posted on 12/01/2011 7:37:40 AM PST by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: LibWhacker

You bet. The minute you deny felons, the power elite will finger us all as felons.

Plus, you deny the felon the right to defend himself.

People need to know this too, if you get charged with something or in any way get tangled up in the legal system, get a lawyer, if you don’t think he/she is doing a good job, fire them and get another.

Do not let your kids negotiate the legal system by themselves, it is far too dangerous and the effects are long lasting.


13 posted on 12/01/2011 7:40:37 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: marktwain

Wrong framing.

When they get out, they WILL be able to acquire such items - and in all likelihood will.
So why are they getting out? if they don’t warrant sufficient trust with the arms they can and will acquire (be it Glock or rock), why are they let out?


14 posted on 12/01/2011 7:42:41 AM PST by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: ctdonath2

“why are they let out?”

‘Good behavior’.

A concept I could never really fully understand.

How do you allow some, sentenced for a crime, with a determinate sentence, out of prison for ‘good behavior’?

It’s his ‘behavior’ BEFORE he went to prison that determined his sentence to begin with.

It shouldn’t matter what his ‘behavior’ was behind bars.


15 posted on 12/01/2011 7:47:01 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: ctdonath2

I might add though, if a person ‘completes’ his sentence then ALL rights should be restored..

Automatically..


16 posted on 12/01/2011 7:49:20 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: yldstrk

What you said.

+1


17 posted on 12/01/2011 8:04:51 AM PST by LadyBuck (In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir, gopher')
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To: marktwain

13 percent of whom committed new crimes...


How many of these crimes had anything to do with guns?

If they had, I think we’d hear of it.

I’m guessing they were primarily traffic “crimes”, drug “crimes”, and property crimes.


18 posted on 12/01/2011 8:06:19 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Author of BullionBible.com - Makes You a Precious Metal Expert, Guaranteed.)
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To: marktwain

If someone served their sentence, they should be able to lawfully exercise their RKBA just as they exercise their other rights. People shouldn’t be punished for what they did in the past.


19 posted on 12/01/2011 8:07:47 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Bigh4u2

How do you allow some, sentenced for a crime, with a determinate sentence, out of prison for ‘good behavior’?


It’s a way for government employees (the prison-industrial complex) to make their jobs easier. Sending dangerous criminals prematurely back to society is fine, if it means they can worry less about controlling a prison population.


20 posted on 12/01/2011 8:09:37 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Author of BullionBible.com - Makes You a Precious Metal Expert, Guaranteed.)
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To: yldstrk

I wouldn’t say that every mentally unstable individual should have a gun,

but everyone that cannot be trusted with the means to defend themselves shouldn’t be loose in our society.

In other words, if they can’t be trusted with a gun,
they can’t be trusted amongst those who can.


21 posted on 12/01/2011 8:12:23 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: marktwain
...13 percent of whom committed new crimes.

That is far lower than I would have expected, and it does not state how much of that percentage was gun crime vs. the usual posession of controlled substances, petty theft, public intoxication, failure to show for parole check-in appointments...

Perhaps the new gun crime stat is so low that the enemidia chooses not to report it?

22 posted on 12/01/2011 8:13:11 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: PapaBear3625
He'd like to get his gun rights re-instated, but the legal costs would be several thousands of dollars, and it's not in his budget right now.

Sounds like he need to get the ACLU to take his case pro-bono. They love druggies! (He doesn't have to tell them he's reformed.)

23 posted on 12/01/2011 8:16:26 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: Bigh4u2
It shouldn’t matter what his ‘behavior’ was behind bars.

With all due respect, slight disagreement. Proper behavior gets him out on time; bad behavior adds time to sentence. Fair to all.

24 posted on 12/01/2011 8:19:22 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: LibWhacker
If you deny felons the right to keep and bear arms, you open the door for libs to make us all felons by enacting laws that are so restrictive, a person couldn't possibly live his life without breaking at least one of them.

I'm going to look up that paragraph from Atlas Shrugged which states it that way!

25 posted on 12/01/2011 8:23:03 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: Bigh4u2

That’s my point: for most practical purposes, they ARE restored by the simple fact he’s not physically incarcerated, and thus able to exercise those rights regardless of any paperwork formalities. The “free, but rights denied” notion is more a denial of reality: he’s out, so he can exercise RKBA - be it rock or Glock; any denial is just a matter of being caught transgressing the shapes of ink on paper, and that likely after the concern has become a tragic reality.


26 posted on 12/01/2011 8:25:00 AM PST by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: JimRed
Found it!

“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” -Atlas Shrugged

27 posted on 12/01/2011 8:26:28 AM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: marktwain
Life-long sentences should be only for specific crimes, spelled out in law and imposed after conviction.

They should not be part of some blanket category called "felony" so some 19-year-old who steals a car ends up dealing with burdens at age 35 that no 19-year-old would even consider when committing to an action.

28 posted on 12/01/2011 8:28:59 AM PST by Tribune7 (Perry, Newt, Cain or Santorum)
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To: JimRed

“Proper behavior gets him out on time; bad behavior adds time to sentence. Fair to all.”

Any behavior that would ‘add time’, should be severe enough to charge him with another ‘crime’ and he should be tried and sentenced just as before.

Calling the warden a ‘putz’ to his face is not a good enough reason to ‘add time’ to a sentence already predetermined by a Judge or Jury.

Committing another crime should be the only way.


29 posted on 12/01/2011 8:36:04 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: yldstrk
if you don’t think he/she is doing a good job, fire them and get another.

Regarding that, since I see you are an attorney, can you tell me the name of some lawyer's publication that features articles about the courtroom exploits of local lawyers? I think it's a single publication, but one that has a different edition for each city.

I heard about it on the radio many years ago, before the internet. Supposedly it's a good way to find some of the best lawyers in your city. When you find yourself in need of an attorney, you're supposed to go to the library and read all the back issues. You're sure to find someone, or so said this lawyer I was listening to on the radio. It's supposed to be a good resource for people who are not in the profession and so do not know who the good lawyers are in their town.

I wrote down the name of the magazine but misplaced it long ago. (I never need a lawyer . . . knock on wood . . . but just in case, it'd be a nice thing to know once again.) Thanks!

30 posted on 12/01/2011 8:36:29 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: ctdonath2

Another thing is the ‘3 strikes rule’, of which I am only aware of in California and New York.

What makes those states feel they have the authority to add charges to someone’s crime because they are a ‘3 time loser’?

The interesting thing about New York is, you don’t even have to commit the crime that state.

If you are convicted in New York of 2 felonies, and are arrested, tried and convicted of another felony in another state, New York says they have the ‘right’ to charge you with a ‘3 strikes’ felony if you return to their state.

What they have done is essence is created a ‘crime against the state’ that should never exist.


31 posted on 12/01/2011 8:44:03 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
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To: JimRed

Yes, thank you. Good idea. I did not mean to imply it was original to me. I think I first saw it reading Lysander Spooner, not Rand.


32 posted on 12/01/2011 8:44:03 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: marktwain

How stupid can some people be?

First, a felon is a felon because he broke the law.

Second, a felon will own a weapon or gun if he wants to regardless to the law.

Rule 1: Felons don’t obey laws......PERIOD!

Rule 2: People who think a law will stop a felon from owning a gun are stupid....PERIOD!


33 posted on 12/01/2011 8:51:05 AM PST by DH (Once the tainted finger of government touches anything the rot begins)
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To: marktwain
As I recall at the time the Second Amendment was proposed and promulgated a convicted felon underwent Civil Death upon his conviction; Civil Death meant he could not vote, enter into a contract, make a will or own a weapon. It appears that the founders probably knew of the imposition of Civil Death when they passed the first ten amendments and yet had no problem with the deprivation of felons "rights."

Pity for the felon is one of the symptoms of todays decline; the inability to exclude and sympathy for those that harm society i.e. felons. Firm Up!

34 posted on 12/01/2011 9:13:28 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: marktwain
Yes, with the exception of having once, committed a VIOLENT crime having involved a weapon, then, I would have reservations, based on the totality of circumstances.

Other than that, and certainly for all NON-VIOLENT felons, the answer is an unequivocal YES, but don't look to the spineless legislators (including Republi-tards) to vote to change the law any time soon.

35 posted on 12/01/2011 9:19:39 AM PST by Conservative Vermont Vet (l)
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To: marktwain
Yes, with the exception of having once, committed a VIOLENT crime having involved a weapon, then, I would have reservations, based on the totality of circumstances.

Other than that, and certainly for all NON-VIOLENT felons, the answer is an unequivocal YES, but don't look to the spineless legislators (including Republi-tards) to vote to change the law any time soon.

36 posted on 12/01/2011 9:19:56 AM PST by Conservative Vermont Vet (l)
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To: yldstrk
Sorry, this must be it. Google is a wonderful thing! :-)
37 posted on 12/01/2011 9:23:17 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: marktwain

I don’t have any problems with a convict getting his rights to keep and bear arms back. It shouldn’t be quick and it shouldn’t be easy, but it should be available. Say, 6 months to a year clean, and small stack of paperwork.

But if they are ever convicted of another felony (esp. a violent one, or one involving weapons) they should lose it permanently.


38 posted on 12/01/2011 9:38:39 AM PST by Little Ray (FOR the best Conservative in the Primary; AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: PapaBear3625

The policy that should be applied is: if he’s too dangerous to have a gun, then why is he loose on the street?

+1


39 posted on 12/01/2011 9:56:27 AM PST by Natufian (t)
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To: ctdonath2
why are they let out?

depends on the state. in Kalifornia, it's for 'overcrowding' due to having to house all the illegals. here in MN, it's due to everyone gets probation or a slap on the wrist.

40 posted on 12/01/2011 10:01:41 AM PST by WOBBLY BOB (Congress: Looting the future to bribe the present.)
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To: marktwain

Felons, if they want guns will have guns. They just won’t be legal. Laws against possession by felons are useless. The 2amd is unconditional. Laws against possession of arms of any sort by anyone are illegitimate. Laws legitimately forbid and punish criminal use of guns, and knives and bricks and hands and such. Laws do not prevent criminals from either possessing or using guns. The primary- perhaps the only real- deterrence to wrongful use of guns by felons or by anyone is the knowledge that other folks, often not obvious, have guns and can and will use them in defense.


41 posted on 12/01/2011 11:22:51 AM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: absolootezer0

huh????

second amendment makes all arms legal...

i don’t know what you mean by more likely to with a legal one...

shall not be infringed means just that. if rights are god given then we all have the right to self defense and cannot be denied.

glad to see so many right thinkers


42 posted on 12/01/2011 1:47:19 PM PST by teeman8r (Armageddon won't be pretty, but it's not like it's the end of the world.)
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To: AEMILIUS PAULUS

Your post intrigued me enough to do a little reading on the subject. From what I read, civil death carried over from England to the colonies, but during the time of the Founding Fathers, was applied exclusively to incarcerated felons serving their sentences. Around the time the Constitution was ratified, prisoners who were serving terms of imprisonment were civilly dead, but became “civilly alive” again upon completion of their sentences. In addition, governors routinely (to the point that it was expected) issued explicit pardons to convicts upon their release. Civil death, or any type of restriction on natural rights, was never applied in the United States to those who had served their sentences and been released, until at least 1820 (in New York) and didn’t spread to most of the country until the 1850’s.

So the argument that the Founders accepted the imposition of civil death is true, but the historical evidence indicates that they would not consider it to apply to those who had served their sentences and been released. I don’t think it’s a matter of having “pity” for felons (at least those who have committed violent crimes against other people, not “paper felons” like Martha Steward), but more a matter of the practical reality of preventing non-incarcerated persons from exercising their natural rights, and the idea that if a person has been adjudicated as too dangerous to exercise their natural rights, that person should not be amongst free men regardless of the conditions imposed.


43 posted on 12/01/2011 6:36:35 PM PST by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
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To: teeman8r

i was just saying, IMO, if an ex-con has already committed a “crime” to obtain a weapon, it sems they’d be more likely to use that weapon in commission of another crime.


44 posted on 12/02/2011 4:37:14 AM PST by absolootezer0 (2x divorced tattooed pierced harley hatin meghan mccain luvin' REAL beer drinkin' smoker ..what?)
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To: absolootezer0

the problem is letting those offenders out before they are rehabilitated or at all. a rethinking of time for crime must be addressed.

but the penalizing of an individual from protecting oneself to the best of their abilities violates their constitutional rights that shall not be infringed.

lots of people fall into the trap of good intentions...

teeman


45 posted on 12/02/2011 6:02:20 AM PST by teeman8r (Armageddon won't be pretty, but it's not like it's the end of the world.)
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To: Turbopilot
Interesting. Civil Death originated with entering the clergy then extended to those convicted of felony. My point was it was known-and not abolished-by our founders as were whipping, hanging, the stocks etc. There probably were instances of restoration of “rights.â€

As to pity for felons I'll stick with what I said. There is a regular cult of felon pity people, just look at what happens when the rare execution takes place, or the movement to restore the convicted felons right to vote, or the "free mumma" movement; etc. etc. A great historian once said:" there comes a time in the history of every people when they become so pathologically soft and tender that they actually side with those elements of their society that harms them i.e. criminals." Our society is in that place.

46 posted on 12/02/2011 9:42:57 AM PST by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: fireforeffect

Upon service of sentence and release, all rights should be restored; if judged insane they are still a threat to society and should never be released. Upon conviction of a second crime the sentence should be doubled, no reductions for good behavior or any other reasons. If convicted of killing another human being for any reason other than self defense, an immediate sentence of death by hanging in the public square. Sentence to be carried out within 5 calendar days of conviction.


47 posted on 12/05/2011 1:50:14 AM PST by 5th MEB (Progressives in the open; --- FIRE FOR EFFECT!!)
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