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Civil Right Restoration and Florida’s Ex-Felons

Victor via Flickr

In February, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made a statement urging states to repeal laws that prohibit the restoration of civil rights like voting from former felony offenders. Pointing to the backlog of former felons waiting to have their cases heard by the Florida Board of Executive Clemency, civil liberties advocates say the sunshine state’s policies on restoring rights to ex-felons are among the most restrictive in the nation and that they are a barrier to reducing recidivism rates.

Proponents of Florida’s current policy point out the seriousness of some felony offenses and argue that ex-felons should have to live crime-free for a period of time before asking to have their rights restored. We’ll explore how Florida’s policies compare with other states in the U.S. and what may come from a recent compliance review by the United Nation’s Committee on Human Rights.