Give Ex-Convicts the Vote

articles
March 30 2000 3:00 AM

Give Ex-Convicts the Vote

It's a crime to deny offenders their full rights of citizenship. 

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Hard-liners may say too bad—that's the price of making war on the law-abiding. But who suffers from this sanction? Not the impenitent ex-con, who is unlikely to waste his time on such chump rituals as voting. The only people who suffer are those who go straight, do their best to abide by social and legal norms, and hope to be accepted as full members of society. Some ex-convicts want to make the journey from criminal to full citizen. It's in their interest and ours to help them. Let them vote. 

Steve Chapman is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.