Blind v. color blind: the injustice of State felon disenfranchisement schemes

Update item information
Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Political Science
Author Carpenter, Lauren Nicole
Title Blind v. color blind: the injustice of State felon disenfranchisement schemes
Date 2009
Description State policies which disenfranchise ex-felons, those who have served their complete sentences, have a long history. While "civil death" was a common punishment for convicts in Europe prior to the colonization of North America, ex-felon disenfranchisement statutes were adopted by several states, primarily in the South after the Civil War. There is substantial evidence that these statutes were created to exclude racial minorities. These discriminatory effects can still be seen today. Racial minorities in the United States, primarily African Americans, are incarcerated at a much higher rate than their white peers. Once convicted, these persons are often subject to disenfranchisement. Because of the racial disparities in conviction and incarceration, minority communities are often left with a diminished voice in the electoral process. Under the Voting Rights Act, as amended in 1982, any voting qualifications established by a state that result in disproportionate disadvantages for minorities are illegal. As a result, African American voters, who consistently vote for Democratic candidates 90% of the time, suffer from vote dilution due to felon disenfranchisement. Precedent suggests that courts analyzing such state statutes should consider a totality of circumstances, including the historical reasons for enactment and other harms suffered by the community. Ex-felon disenfranchisement schemes are not only a bad policy, but also are incompatible with equal voting rights as embodied the 15th Amendment, and therefore invalid under law.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Political rights, Loss of -- United States -- States ; Ex-convicts -- Suffrage -- United States
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Honors Bachelor of Science
Language eng
Rights Management (c)lauren Nicole Carpenter
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 4,789,883 bytes
Identifier etd2/id/1119
Conversion Specifications Original scanned on Epson GT-30000 as 400 dpi to pdf using ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Professional Edition.
ARK ark:/87278/s6611dv8
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-23
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 193166
Reference URL
Back to Search Results