Felony Disenfranchisement in America: Historical Origins, by Katherine Irene Pettus

By Katherine Irene Pettus

Pettus strains legal disenfranchisement from Athenian democracy to the current. She analyzes the contradiction among current kingdom disenfranchisement practices and vote casting rights jurisprudence and concludes that americans lack equivalent vote casting rights: the precise to vote for nationwide representatives is trumped via kingdom legislation that outline felonies and the factors for disenfranchisement. the vast majority of the disenfranchised at the present time are African-American, and so much legal convictions are drug-related. still, drug use and trafficking are both disbursed throughout demographic teams. the present edition in kingdom legislation disenfranchising felons, the shortcoming of normal definitions of felonies, and the racial disparities in the legal justice method reproduce a number of the inequalities of the colonial the USA, regardless of the advance of federal citizenship and vote casting rights legislations because the finish of the Civil struggle.

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Extra resources for Felony Disenfranchisement in America: Historical Origins, Institutional Racism, and Modern Consequences

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The citizenship/honor/protection—disenfranchisement/ dishonor/vulnerability syllogism implies that citizenship status is synonymous with safety and protection. ”13 His political equals assessed an individual citizen’s honor by comparing his personal attributes with those of their peers. Honor was a social and public property: men established their own worth by monitoring their standing vis-à-vis other men in their status group. ”14 Franklin shows how the notion of honor diffused down to all free members of the society from its ruling-class origins.

Allen 2000, 61) Punishment of citizens that resulted in atimia was a form of collective “forgetting” of an individual: it required that the citizen “disappear” from the polity so that his act would cease to pollute its collective honor. Thus atimia can be construed as a negative distribution of honor, in terms of Weber’s spatialized framework. Unless, however, the atimos (dishonored citizen) chose exile, he did not disappear from the polity at all, he faded into the ranks of metics, slaves and women whose negative status prevented them from appearing at the Assembly or the law courts, and only rarely at the temples.

The most recent 36 Felon Disenfranchisement in America and greatest expansion since Reconstruction in the definition of felonies and crimes warranting imprisonment in the penitentiary has taken place in the contexts of the “wars” on crime and drugs. 62 CONCLUSION The brief survey of ancient and premodern citizenship regimes, which constitute the “positive” institutional genesis (the DNA) of the modern practice of American felon disenfranchisement, suggests that a core component of the identity of the pre-modern citizen was the symbolic and material property of honor.

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