Ex-Felons to Wait 5 Years for Rights

Four years ago, Florida's clemency board voted to make it easier for ex-felons to regain their civil rights, but Wednesday new leaders decided to overturn that reform.

In a unanimous vote, the board led by Gov. Rick Scott, passed a mandate that ex-cons wait at least five years after their sentence ends before they can apply for their rights.

That means they can't register to vote or get an occupational license until the end of the waiting period and the clemency board grants approval.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist spearheaded a drive to automatically restore felon rights, but Attorney General Pam Bondi says it was a mistake.

The ACLU and NAACP object to the move, saying it will make it more difficult for ex-felons to re-enter society. Other critics say it could be politically motivated because tens-of-thousands will be denied the right to vote.


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