------ Original Message ----- 
From: Sherry Swiney 
To: PATRICK Crusade 
Cc: ~~Carla Crowder - Reporter 
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2004 9:52 PM
Subject: Re: Jebs Florida - (re: disenfranchisement problem USA)

Hi Everyone,
I added the associative note in the subject line in ( ) parentheses.  I am collecting articles that associate with the huge number of disenfranchised citizens in the USA. Please see "Facts of the Week" -- "Today, 4.7 million Americans cannot vote. Because of racial, ethnic, and economic disparities in the criminal justice system, the impact is most severe in communities of color: an estimated 13 percent of African American men are unable to vote because of a felony conviction. That's seven times the national average." Please nevermind the issue of "color" any more (that mindset is merely "divisionary" and we're all in this sinking boat together).
Instead, think about what 4.7 million additional voters would mean to the internal workings of the prison and judicial system in this country.  Did you know that some of the protections we enjoy in the freed world - or used to enjoy - are because of lawsuits filed by prisoners in the years gone by?
I think an effort in the direction of getting the votes back to these people would be conducive to the primary goal of stopping prison abuse, promoting rehabilitation over retribution, ending executions, the war on drugs and wrongful convictions.  I think this because giving prisoners and ex-prisoners back their right to vote would have a great affect on how prisoners in prison and defendants in court are treated.  It would be a catalyst toward that end.  Except for the morons who "like it in prison" or the ones who have literally lost their minds "because" of the way they are treated in prison, the majority of thinking prisoners have spent at least some of their time (if not *all* of their time) reading law and finally learning that they do indeed have rights that their states are violating and have been violating for years and years! 

If they could vote on measures, I think the turnout would be far superior to the average citizen in the so-called free world.  If these other citizens (who far out number the 4.7 million disenfranchised) don't like what the prisoners and ex-prisoners are voting for then they would have to get up off their couches, put down their beers, turn off their TV's and go out to vote for the things they see as valid laws and rules for their society.  
I see a "Potential" here for a domino effect to occur in our time that will change the lives of millions of people for the better.  It's just a matter of whether or not an effort is made in the direction of getting the votes back to those 4.7 million disenfranchised US citizens.  The URL above is a link to one of several organizations that is doing that.  For the reasons stated above, the Patrick Crusade Director wishes to promote this effort as well....that is why I am collecting associative articles under my wing.  
I hope I am singing to the choir :-).  I have this really grand mental vision where a lot of other human rights organizations, seeing the wisdom in promoting this potential too, hold a contest to see which organization develops the most interesting promotional schemes and gets the most press - LOL.  
I don't think the public or the politicians would be ready for all of us promoting ONE seemingly simple issue at the same time :-).  Ah...would that such a mental image become manifested in our time :-).
God Bless you All,
Sherry Swiney 

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