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Voting Rights for Human Felons Versus Bank Felons

 

Courtesy of Pam Martens

In 2012, the Sentencing Project released a study that estimated that 5.85 million people would be ineligible to vote in the U.S. Presidential election that year because they had been convicted of a felony. In 22 states, felons lose their voting rights during incarceration, and for a set period of time thereafter. Usually, this includes while the individual is on parole and/or probation.

Eleven states in the U.S. are more harsh. They deny voting rights to ex felons who have served their time in prison and have successfully completed parole and probation.

If you’re a citizen of the United States and commit a felony, it’s a big deal. If you’re a Wall Street bank and commit a felony, it’s business as usual.

In January 2014, JPMorgan Chase was charged with two felony counts by the U.S. Department of Justice for its involvement with Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme but given a deferred prosecution agreement, meaning if it kept out of trouble for two years, the government would dismiss the charges. The bank also agreed to pay $1.7 billion into a restitution fund for the victims of Madoff’s fraud.

After reading the documents released by the Justice Department in connection with the settlement, the Los Angeles Times asked in a photo caption: “Bernie Madoff: Was he part of the JPMorgan ring, or was JPMorgan part of his ring?”

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