Local ‘Times’ Misses the Story Again - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Local ‘Times’ Misses the Story Again

“Barred from Fla. Voting,” the top of page 1A headline of Monday’s Tampa Bay Times sobs above a whiney story about the fact Florida does not allow convicted felons to vote, even after they’ve been released from prison, unless they complete a process to restore their civil rights.  A process that many folks who found Florida’s laws inconvenient, thus their problems with the legal system, find too inconvenient to maneuver. Easier, and doubtless more satisfying, to complain to sympathetic reporters.

According to the relentlessly leftist Times, the offense here, other than the original ones of course, about which the Times shows little interest, is that 1.5 million felons in Florida, who have demonstrated no respect for the state’s laws, cannot help choose those who enact and execute those laws. The story, actually a thinly veiled editorial masquerading as a news story, pleads that the proper path would be for felons to go directly from the prison cell to the voting booth.

The process for restoring voting rights for felons is indeed long. But it is designed to ferret out those offenders who have truly gotten themselves between the ditches. It requires time and effort on the part of the applicants. But these folks did not become felons for being late to choir practice. Their offenses were real, as was the harm caused by them. Many who’ve gone astray at one point deserve a second chance. But society deserves a process that sees that second chances go to those who deserve them.

And, oh yea, the story. Had these numbers landed on my desk back when I was writing for a daily newspaper, the story would have been that Florida has a shocking total of 1.5 million felons, not that these former drug dealers, burglars, arsonists, check kiters, and other kinds of bad actors can’t help select who their county commissioners will be. Or perhaps even be able to vote against the judge who sent them to prison.

Larry Thornberry
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Larry Thornberry is a writer in Tampa.
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