Felons Losing Citizenship
What makes the difference between a citizen and non-citizen of the United States? A laundry list of items can be made to cite what makes a these differences, but the core of this list can be found in the U.S. Constitution.
The Bill of Rights1 contains the first ten amendments to the Constitution, and enumerates what the Declaration of Independence calls “Inalienable Rights”2of all men. Specifically, those who are residents and citizens of this country. The Amendments that follow the Bill of Rights expand these rights further.
What happens when a citizen of the U.S. becomes a felon? Answer: many of those inalienable rights become alienated to them. Lets take a closer look at some of these.
The Fourth Amendment5 protects citizens of the U.S. from unlawful search and seizure. Yet, a felon on or off of probation, parole, or supervision loses the standard of the Fourth Amendment where law enforcement needs only
reasonable suspicion to invade their privacy.
The Fifth Amendment6 protects citizens against self-incrimination. Yet, a felon on probation, parole, or supervision must adhere to rules that require honest answers to their supervising officer or risk violating their supervision. Even if
answering that question would mean incriminating themselves. That is placing a felon between a rock and a hard place: between their Fifth Amendment protections and their rules of supervision.
The Sixth Amendment7 ensures a speedy and public trial by impartial jury. Is this even possible for somebody with a pre-existing felony record?
This is a short list and a short article. However, the point is to highlight what makes a man or woman a citizen of the United States. Above are six Amendments to the U.S. Constitution which guarantee rights to citizens of its borders.
These six Amendments do not apply to felons, so the title of this article stands: Felons in America are no Longer Citizens.
- Text of the Bill of Rights [↩]
- Text of the Declaration of Independance [↩]
- The Second Amendment to the US Constitution [↩]
- Congressional panel on the construed nature and consequences of violating arms control law [↩]
- The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution [↩]
- The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution [↩]
- The Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution [↩]
- The Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution [↩]
- The Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution [↩]