Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Florida: Are You Pardoned?

The ACLU of Florida and the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition have launched a website featuring a search engine that will "enable people with past felony convictions in Florida to search state records and find out if their civil rights, including their voting rights, have been restored." The tool is available here and here. The Director of Florida’s Racial Justice and Voting Rights Projects says "It is imperative that the State makes the process of rights restoration automatic and paperwork free. But, until that time, there needs to be an easy way for Floridians with past felony convictions to determine their status.” Users of the search engine can fish through State clemency records and can contact the Office of Executive Clemency to request certificates of civil right restoration. The site also informs visitors of the names of persons whose civil rights have been restored and provides instruction on how to register to vote. The State has been lobbied to create such a website in the past, but without success. See more details here.

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