Why Did the Felon Cross the Road? To Register to Vote! How an increase in felon voting rights could change elections 

“You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” This phrase could be more accurately stated as, “You can lead a horse to water, but it’s the horse’s right as an autonomous being to choose whether or not to act upon its right to drink.”    Throughout the Freedom Fall series, myContinue reading “Why Did the Felon Cross the Road? To Register to Vote! How an increase in felon voting rights could change elections “

Jim Crow’s War in America Continues in Virginia and Kentucky

Virginia and Kentucky stand as two of the four commonwealths in the nation, along with Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. These two states are starkly similar in more than name. Both states have codified criminal justice systems with archaic and unfairly punitive rules. The twin commonwealths both require individual petitions to the governor, who gets to decideContinue reading Jim Crow’s War in America Continues in Virginia and Kentucky

Can Kentucky Afford to Restore Felons’ Right to Vote? It Can’t Afford Not to.

Disenfranchisement, or the permanent revocation of a person’s ability to vote, is a punishment written into the very foundations of Kentucky law. The discriminatory clause, a 131-year-old statute in the Commonwealth’s constitution, has a devastating effect on the civil liberties of the more than 240,000 Kentuckians who have been convicted of felonies, as it condemnsContinue reading “Can Kentucky Afford to Restore Felons’ Right to Vote? It Can’t Afford Not to.”

The Philosophical and Moral Implications of Felon Disenfranchisement

Great socio-political thinkers have sought to unravel the mystery of criminal disenfranchisement. There is no obvious answer as to who has the right to  deprive another human being of their basic human right to vote. History of Minority Exclusion from Voting The United States has a track record of excluding different groups of people fromContinue reading The Philosophical and Moral Implications of Felon Disenfranchisement

Behind Bars: The Economic Incentive to Incarcerate in Rural Kentucky

For decades in Kentucky and throughout the United States, it has been a commonly held notion that incarceration is predominantly an urban phenomenon. And up until recent years, Kentucky’s urban areas were indeed at the focal point of that phenomenon, incarcerating the largest proportions of their citizens. However, that pattern has altered today, and oddlyContinue reading Behind Bars: The Economic Incentive to Incarcerate in Rural Kentucky

Felon Re-Enfranchisement: Balancing the Needs of Strong Law Enforcement and Fair Justice Systems

Too often, political issues are depicted as a choice between two extremes. If you support criminal justice reform, you’re soft on crime. If you support strong law enforcement, you’re a proponent of mass incarceration. The disenfranchisement of former felons’ voting rights has long been stuck in this frustrating type of political conflict. I’ve written onContinue reading Felon Re-Enfranchisement: Balancing the Needs of Strong Law Enforcement and Fair Justice Systems

A Left-Wing Approach to the Question of Universal Suffrage

Felons have long been barred from voting in the state of Kentucky. In 2019, Governor Andy Beshear signed an executive order to allow certain non-violent felons to vote. However, executive orders are not permanent and can be overturned by future governors. In Kentucky right now, 15% of Black people cannot vote, and 20% of BlackContinue reading “A Left-Wing Approach to the Question of Universal Suffrage”

Kentucky Stands Alone on Felon Disenfranchisement 

Policymakers in state governments often take inspiration from surrounding states to implement changes in policy at home. Doing this gives lawmakers the ability to survey the intentions and effects of a certain policy before taking the risk of passing those policies in their state. This idea was explained perfectly by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis,Continue reading Kentucky Stands Alone on Felon Disenfranchisement 

To Build a Fair Justice System, End Monetary Bail

In the United States, one of our most sacred legal principles is being “innocent until proven guilty.” This principle establishes a system of fairness and rights for the accused; making it so that the accused do not bear the burden of proving their innocence. This asserts that it is better for society and the justiceContinue reading “To Build a Fair Justice System, End Monetary Bail”