Felons

Christ Community Church

Florida faith leaders have come out in support of a state constitutional amendment that would give former felons a second chance. Those in support include a church in Southwest Florida.

Erik Hersman / Flickr


After a petition was signed by nearly 850,000 Floridians, the decision of whether or not voting rights will be restored to former felons in the state is now in the hands of the people.

Republicans running to replace term-limited Attorney General Pam Bondi would continue with the state’s legal approach to defending a controversial process for restoring felons’ voting rights.

But Democrats seeking the state Cabinet post oppose Bondi’s handling of the legal battle and support a proposed constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters in November, would automatically restore voting rights to felons who have served their sentences.

As an appellate court reviews an appeal by Governor Rick Scott and his cabinet in the battle for a new rights restoration scheme for felons, protesters rallied at the Capitol Thursday. Civil rights leaders urged support for a citizens’ initiative amendment on the ballot in November.

Siding with Gov. Rick Scott and the other members of the Board of Executive Clemency, a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Wednesday blocked a federal judge’s order that would have required state officials to overhaul Florida’s process of restoring felons’ voting rights by Thursday.

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