President Obama has made criminal justice reform one of his top No. 1 priorities during his final year in office and is actually following through, commuting the sentences of hundreds of supposedly nonviolent felons and urging private businesses to follow the government’s lead in removing questions about prior convictions from job applications.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia gave the president a hand in April when he used his executive power to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons just in time to vote for Hillary Clinton, and the movement continues across the country.
— Asm. Shirley Weber (@AsmShirleyWeber) May 31, 2016
The legislation still has to make it through the state senate, but on Tuesday, California’s Assembly took its own steps to grant felons voting rights, redefining terms such as “imprisoned” in order to restore voting eligibility for felons in county (but not state or federal) jails, on probation or under community supervision.
The bill passed by a 41-34 vote, presumably without the support of U.S. Navy veteran and Assembly member Melissa Melendez.
Bill to allow convicted felons to vote from their jail cell just passed the assembly MM
— Melissa Melendez (@asmMelendez) May 31, 2016
— Ronni G (@ronni_g) May 31, 2016
— Smokey Behr (@Smokeybehr) May 31, 2016
@asmMelendez Golly, in the America (and Calif.) I grew up in, felons LOST certain rights-INCLUDING the right to vote! Sad state of affairs.
— Steve Tye (@SteveTye2) May 31, 2016
But … knowing that they can play a part in the electoral process gives felons a sense of social responsibility, reduces recidivism, slows global climate change and makes rainbows glow just a little brighter. Just last week, Assembly member Shirley Weber celebrated another legislative victory with the passage of her restorative justice bill.
My Restorative Justice bill passed Assembly today. Need to find more effective approach to public safety. My remarks https://t.co/MV8o5G4HLK
— Asm. Shirley Weber (@AsmShirleyWeber) May 27, 2016
Where existing law treats imprisonment as punishment for a crime committed, Weber’s bill would declare instead that “the purpose of sentencing is public safety achieved through accountability, rehabilitation, and restorative justice.”
@asmMelendez . This nation has gone mad.
— Tired Of Stupid (@breakingnewslh) May 31, 2016