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A civil rights victory

Seen at Bob’s, with a different take (i.e., not happy):

The North Carolina Supreme Court says a 2004 law that bars convicted felons from having a gun, even within their own home or business, is unconstitutional.

Good. Civil rights should be restored once your debt to society is paid.

34 Responses to “A civil rights victory”

  1. FatWhiteMan Says:

    I’ve always thought that too. I’m not talking on parole or probation but once you serve your full sentence, your rights should be restored. How else could you ever promote rehabilitation if they know they will always be 2nd class.

  2. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Question,

    Who ever said the end of your incarceration *had* to be the end of debt to society?

  3. SayUncle Says:

    no one. there is parole, after all.

  4. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    So why can’t the removal of civil rights (such as gun ownership) extend past incarceration?

  5. SayUncle Says:

    why can it?

    Seems to me to be too broad.

  6. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Why can it, because losing civil rights is pretty much the definition of criminal punishment?

    I mean, if it’s perfectly legitimate to completely take away your liberty (jail) for the rest of your life I don’t see why it’s somehow “too broad” to take just a portion of your liberty away for the same time period.

  7. SayUncle Says:

    then that should be part of the sentence. not part of some law, i would think.

  8. SayUncle Says:

    And, of course, where does that end? I mean, restrict arms? Why not restrict peaceable assembly since you could be a gang member. Or make you go to church? etc.

  9. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    That is:

    1) You’ll shower when we tell you, sleep when we tell you, wake when we tell you, excersize when we tell you. We’re going to take away your freedom of movement, freedom to choose your own food, clothes, entertainment and your guns for the rest of your life.

    2) You’ll shower when we tell you, sleep when we tell you, wake when we tell you, excersize when we tell you. We’re going to take away your freedom of movement, freedom to choose your own food, clothes, entertainment for 20 years and your gun for the rest of your life.

    And it’s the second scenario that’s *worse*?

  10. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    Why not restrict peaceable assembly…?

    We do. It’s called house arrest.

    Or make you go to church?

    *If* it were legal to do that inside a jail as a punishment I don’t see why it shouldn’t be legal to do that outside a jail as punishment. But since it can’t be done *inside* either, it’s irrelevent.

  11. SayUncle Says:

    your point on that is lost on me but i presume you mean to illustrate that one’s sentence is a factor?

  12. anon Says:

    The relevant thought process here is: If you can’t trust them with a gun, why are you letting them out on the streets to begin with? If you wouldn’t trust them with a gun, how can you say they’re rehabilitated? If they aren’t rehabilitated, why are they being released?

    These are the questions people (courts/ parole boards/ misc. libtards) need to be asking. This decision will REQUIRE people taking these questions more seriously.

  13. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    then that should be part of the sentence. not part of some law, i would think.

    Sentences *are* a part of law: “Punishable by up to…but not less than…”.

  14. SayUncle Says:

    the up to/less than refers to prison time.

  15. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    By why can it not refer to other losses of liberties? Why must it *only* be jail time.

    Like I said, if it’s legitimate to write law that takes away *all* your liberties as punishment for a crime, why is it worse to write a law that only takes away a subset of them?

  16. straightarrow Says:

    because a life sentence should not be the punishment for every damn thing.

  17. jimmyb Says:

    “because a life sentence should not be the punishment for every damn thing.”

    Damn straight.

  18. jimmyb Says:

    They already get a life sentence anyway, as most people are hard pressed to find a good job with a felony record, regardless of time passed and/or education.

    I think for nonviolent crimes it should come off of your record after 10 (5, 7?) years of good behavior.

  19. nk Says:

    I could not agree more. Our laws are far too #$%^ harsh and we only have ourselves to blame. The Constitution allows it, “for the life of the person attainted”, for our hardness of hearts.

  20. Tom Says:

    So if a felon, unarmed, is killed after being released back into society after paying his debt and is killed due the restrictions (punishments) you’re OK with that yuaintguano?

    How about if the scary felony was, oh something like having the wrong kind of plant (orchids) or an eagle feather or any of the other asinine BS laws out there?

    You like that idea? Maybe you ought to start looking into all the laws and determine your own innocence on all the obscure completely insane felonies that they keep adding to the books first!

  21. The Packetman Says:

    I agree with you Uncle.

    But at the same time, I’d eliminate parole.

    Then again. I’d probably do the whole thing different!

  22. Xrlq Says:

    I agree that if loss of gun rights post-incarceration is going to happen, it should be part of the sentence. In Britt’s case it clearly wasn’t, as he was convicted in 1982, had his civil rights restored in 1987, and then lost them again in 2004 as a result of the law in question. The Supremes could have taken the easy way out and ruled as they did on ex post facto grounds. Instead, they ruled that it violated the RBKA.

  23. Diomed Says:

    I’ve seen the prohibitions attached to released felons described as constituting a ceremonial execution of their citizenship. All well and good, until one considers that a) we now have “ceremonial capital punishment” for more “crimes” than one could possibly know are crimes, and b) such permanent relegation to, at best, second-class status makes successful reintegration into society impossible even for those who would be so inclined. If the punishment is permanent, if you’ll always be less than a real citizen, if the best you can hope for is a life of flipping burgers or welfare, why not really earn it with a continuing life of crime?

    The system is self-defeating, assuming its purpose was to reduce crime.

  24. RAH Says:

    Too many laws designed to make some decent people felons. It is easy to be felon by mistake.
    Now if this was for person with a viplent felpny gun rights restricted may be reasonable. But since they served their sentence and got their rights restored that also means the right to have a gun. Usually they will not be able to get a CCW because of the past felony.

  25. comatus Says:

    Crime inflation: a felony is supposed to be something really special. Now, limitation of arms is the punishment for Lautenberg misdemeanors, too. I’ll support debarring arms, and all sorts of other stuff, for actual real criminals. Horse thieves, for instance.

    I had an acquaintance who stood accused of having an odometer rolled back. His lawyer suggested nolo contendere and no trial. That turned out to be the lowest class of felony in our state, so I pointed out that he’d never be able to vote or own a gun. His answer was he “never did that stuff” anyway.

    When you think about it, used car fraud is something like horse stealing. Sort of.

  26. Rignerd Says:

    While I agree that there are crimes rated as felonies that don’t seem to be that serious, I do think that for some or many felonies you should be debarred the right to vote and bear arms. Yes that is punishment too.

    I would support an appeals process to regain the right to vote and bear arms after a felony conviction. Perhaps a panel of Judges or sworn citizens could review the case and interview the subject. Some felonies would render you ineligible for review, like armed robbery, rape or murder.

  27. Pol Mordreth Says:

    Here’s the thing – once your sentence is complete (including parole and probation), it should take a second, special jury trial where the state would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any civil rights should be taken away based on the specific details of your crime and your efforts to rehabilitate yourself. Anything less violates the constitution.

    Respectfully,
    Pol

  28. Chas Says:

    Markie Marxist sez: “Stripping private gun owners of their right to keep and bear arms by felonizing them has been one of our most successful approaches to disarming private citizens. Of course, our Marxist/warrior/hero/criminals still arm themselves at will, so it has no effect on their efforts at ripping off capitalism and bringing down America. If we keep expanding the prohibition until we make it illegal to own a gun after getting a parking ticket we’ll have America much further down the road to totalitarianism!”

  29. workinwifdakids Says:

    Would anyone be against lifetime revocation of RKBA due to a violent crime committed with a gun?

  30. Manish Says:

    so whats your take on felon voting and having sex offenders register their where-abouts.

  31. Pol Mordreth Says:

    Workinwifdakids:
    I doubt I could support it. If the individual is that dangerous, banning legal firearms purchases isn’t going to stop him. Whether he uses a knife the next time, or gets an illegal gun, the individual will strike again if so inclined. If the person is that dangerous, he needs to be still incarcerated or executed in the first place.

    I would also never support an automatic revocation of any civil rights. There has to be due process, and since he has already completed his punishment it needs to be a full jury trial for revocation.

    Manish:
    Again, full jury trial after the period of incarceration is over to restrict civil roghts. For voting rights, maybe if the felon had multiple convictions for vote fraud.
    Sex offenders are tougher. The recidivism rate for pederasts is very high from my understanding, but there are a lot of guys on that list for teenage mistakes. I have a neighbor on the list from the mid ’70’s, he pled no contest to Statutory rape when he was 18 because his (long time) girlfriend’s parents filed charges when she turned up pregnant. Is he a danger to society and needs to be on a list?

    Respectfully,
    Pol

  32. SayUncle Says:

    so whats your take on felon voting and having sex offenders register their where-abouts.

    Not a fan. In fact, I’ve blogged about it before.

  33. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    because a life sentence should not be the punishment for every damn thing.

    Where did I say that a life sentence was proper for every damn thing.

    In fact what I’m arguing is to prevent a lifetime of incarceration. That is, today, if society decides to strip only a single civil right from you for your crime for life I have to take away *every* civil right for life. That, to me, seems like overkill. If I were to commit a crime whereupon I’d lose my 2A rights for life, I’d sure as hell like to not have to sit in jail for the entire time to make that happen.

    So if a felon, unarmed, is killed after being released back into society after paying his debt and is killed due the restrictions (punishments) youre OK with that yuaintguano?

    How’s that different than if, unarmed, he is killed while in jail? Why do you get to have clean hands when you rendered him defenseless, but mine aren’t for the exact same thing?

    How about if the scary felony was, oh something like having the wrong kind of plant (orchids) or an eagle feather or any of the other asinine BS laws out there?

    Again, I never said that any particular punishment is appropriate for any particular crime. That life imprisonment is inappropriate for speeding doesn’t mean that life imprisonment isn’t appropriate for mass murder.

  34. Yu-Ain Gonnano Says:

    That is, you are arguing, if society…

    Sorry, got too fast.