Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Racist Origins of Felon Disenfranchisement

Efforts to reform Alabama's law disenfranchising people convicted of felonies have failed in the past decade. CreditRob Carr/Associated Press

The New York Times:

The history of disenfranchisement was laid out in a fascinating 2003 study by Angela Behrens, Christopher Uggen and Jeff Manza. They found that state felony bans exploded in number during the late 1860s and 1870s, particularly in the wake of the Fifteenth Amendment, which ostensibly guaranteed black Americans the right to vote.

They also found that the larger the state’s black population, the more likely the state was to pass the most stringent laws that permanently denied people convicted of crimes the right to vote.

These bans were subsequently strengthened as the Jim Crow era began to take hold.

Read complete article here