Since Governor McAuliffe restored the voting and civil rights of more than 200,000 felons, Virginia Republicans have been quick to demonize them and use hateful rhetoric to purport two ill-conceived and incorrect notions:
- Violent felons make up the majority of those receiving restoration.
- People who have served their time, have been deemed free by our criminal justice system, and have re-entered their communities should be relegated to life without rights based on the severity of the crimes they committed.
Newly released data shows that nearly 80 percent of those who had their rights restored are non-violent offenders - Do Virginia Republicans stand by their rhetoric?
Here's a sampling:
"They’re giving 200,000 people that have been convicted of heinous crimes, horrible crimes, the worst crimes, the right to vote” - Donald Trump
“A murder victim won’t get to vote, but the man that killed them will." - Del. Robert B. Bell
"Mercy requires that we as Virginians be a Commonwealth of second chances. But there are limits." - RPV Chairman John Whitbeck
“The Governor’s policy applies to criminals who have committed even the most heinous violent crimes including murder, rape, child rape, and kidnapping. Under this Governor’s policy, violent criminals will be treated the same as lifelong law-abiding citizens." - Speaker Howell