Showing posts with label Civil and political rights. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Civil and political rights. Show all posts

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Governor McAuliffe Announces Restoration of Rights for Over 10,000 People

RICHMOND – Today, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that his administration restored the voting and civil rights of 10,009 individuals. The McAuliffe administration has restored the rights of more Virginians than any other Governor in a four year term.

“I am so proud of the work my team has done processing more than 10,000 of these important requests, and also making key changes to the process to make it more fair and accessible to Virginians,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Restoring the rights of Virginians who have made a mistake and paid the price is one of my Administration’s top priorities and I look forward to continuing to make history on this critical issue.”

Since the beginning of Governor McAuliffe’s term, he has implemented key changes to the restoration of rights process. First, he removed the requirement to pay court fees before submitting a restoration of rights application. Although individuals still have to pay the fees at a later time, it is no longer a barrier in the application process. Second, serious offenders are now required to wait three years instead of five years to apply. Third, the application is now one page long - down from 13 pages. Fourth, criminal records will have a restoration of rights notation once an individual has been restored. Fifth, all drug convictions are now classified as non-violent offenses.

“It is an honor to work with Governor McAuliffe and our talented team to help more Virginians who have made a mistake get a second chance at meaningful and productive lives,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney. “Going forward we will continue to process as many applications as we can and  encourage the Virginians whose rights we restore to use them to the fullest by registering to vote and participating in the democratic process.” (Here is where we have issues with the information coming out of Richmond: Democratic process?  Sorry, we are a republic, not a socialist democracy but that is what the folks in Richmond are driving in here.  Full blown socialist and communist ideologies.)

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a felony and served their time, restoration of rights might be available. For more information, call 804-692-0104 or visit

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Johnny Liberty: The Real State of The Union Address

If you think this video is long, wait til you try and read the book that goes along with this.  If you want to truly understand the real state of the Union as it presently stands, you have a lot of work ahead of you.  The good news is that most of the work has already been done for you.  You do not have to do all the footwork research, but you are free to verify all of it.  What you need to do is spend the time reading and watching the above video.

  The video above is not even starting to touch on what the book contains.  The book is a long read, fascinating, infuriating and inspiring all under one cover.  It not only explains the issues, it also explains the solutions.  We are not left high and dry like most everyone else likes to leave you with just complaints.

  Solutions to the issues are given throughout the book but do not start until you have a very strong understanding of the issues.  Why should you care?  Because you have already been a victim to massive abuses and may not even be aware of just how badly you have been victimized.  There is not one person in the United States that has not been victimized by very serious abuses put forth by the system.

The Global Sovereigns Handbook from Chuck Thompson

It's all here.  The question is do you have the guts to learn the real deal?  Can you stomach how bad it all really is?  Are you willing to do something to reclaim your rights?  If you are not willing to do anything to protect and or reclaim you true rights, then don't even bother with any area of this post.  It is not for wimps.

  If you would rather watch TV and live in your own little world of bliss, by all means, that is fine.  The world is demanding slaves just like you and you fit that bill to a tee.  If on the other hand, you have the guts to stand up and say no, you are not going to take the abuses anymore, then you have found the right place to start your journey to self governance and true freedom.  It is just a matter of reclaiming it, but you better know all the angles worked out against you designed to defeat you even when you do reclaim your natural rights.

  You need to be prepared to defend your new found freedom and how to properly use that freedom and for the benefit of not only yourself, but for others as well.  We wish you either a happy journey or a happy sleep.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

McAuliffe Administration Has Restored Voting Rights to More than 2,500 Virginians

McAuliffe 307
McAuliffe 307 (Photo credit: mdfriendofhillary)
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that his administration has restored the voting rights of more than 2,500 Virginians who were convicted of a felony, served their time and paid their debts to society. 

“Virginians who have served their time deserve a second chance to become productive members of society again,” said Governor McAuliffe. “I am proud of the reforms my administration has undertaken to expand and expedite the rights restoration process and the work my team has done restoring Virginians’ voting rights so former offenders can lead successful, productive lives here in the Commonwealth.”

In April Governor McAuliffe announced changes to the Commonwealth’s restoration of rights policies that made the process more transparent and reduced the waiting period for offenders with more serious offenses to have their rights automatically restored.

“Restoration of voting rights is a key step for people who have paid their debt to society and want to build new lives for themselves here in the Virginia,” said Secretary of the Commonwealth Levar Stoney. “Governor McAuliffe instructed my team and me to make this a top priority, and we are working every day to process applications quickly and transparently so that these Virginians can contribute to their communities through the restoration of their civil rights.”

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Are Police Becoming The Enemy of The People?

On July 1st, a CHP officer was caught on camera beating a woman off the 10 freeway. The officer had already pinned the woman to the ground, and then proceeded to viciouly punch her more than 11 times in the head.
The violence was unjustified. If this had beeen an incident between civilians, the assailant would have been charged with assault. Peace officers should be held to higher standards, not less, so the officer should be held criminally accountable.
The CHP claims to be conducting an internal investigation. However, from the get go, their official stance is "the video doesn't show everything". Nothing the video didn't show could justfiy the officer's violence, and the fact that CHP wants to find extenuating circumstances is worrisome. Moreover, the victim of this assault is locked up in psychiatric hold, while the perpetrator is only on paid leave, not suspended.
The police should put protecting public above protecting one of their own. But the citizens have reason to doubt whether CHP is truly committed to doing the right thing. We request the district attorney to step in because:
1. The public deserve a fair investigation.
2. Regardless of the CHP investigation's outcome, the officer still committed a crime.
3. When police inspire fear instead of trust, then the system no longer works. The community needs to see proof that the law officers are not above the law.

Update: I spoke with the woman's attorney Caree Harper on twitter. She said they also want to file a complaint to the DOJ because the victim's civil rights were also violated.

Our Notes:  The stories of police brutality have always been out there, but it seems like the issue is growing and not shrinking.  If you watch this second video, you are told exactly how to avoid becoming the next victim.  Simply Comply with what you are told.  You may be told that your rights are about to be highly violated, but as long as you comply, you will not get beaten?  That statement to simply comply was not at all sound advice based on the number of people who are having their rights violated by police throughout the country.  Those sworn to serve and protect are earning a very bad reputation throughout the nation these days thanks to post 9/11 fear mongering which seems to stem from the Fed's.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Governor McDonnell Announces Civil Rights of Over 6,800 Virginians Restored During Administration

English: Governor of Virginia at CPAC in .
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Tuesday was Last Day to Register to Vote for 2013 Gubernatorial Election; Administration Has Restored 1,577 Rights Since Governor Announced New Automatic, Individualized Process in July
McDonnell to Include Additional Funding in Upcoming Biennial Budget to Help Improve and Speed up Restoration Process

RICHMOND - Governor McDonnell announced today that the civil rights of 6,874 Virginians have been restored during the McDonnell administration, another new all-time high for a Virginia gubernatorial administration.  Of those, 1,577 were granted since the Governor announced Virginia’s new automatic, individualized system of rights restoration for non-violent felons on July 15, 2013. Governor McDonnell granted 1,114 in 2010,1,293 in 2011, and 1,879 rights in 2012. 

While this number is representative of progress, the governor announced new resources for the restoration of rights process, noting, “I strongly believe in second chances and redemption. It is a fundamental part of the American way.  Our efforts on prisoner re-entry and the restoration of rights are working.  When an individual has done their time, and paid their fines, costs, and other obligations, they deserve the opportunity to rejoin our democracy in full. That is why we moved 90 days ago to put in place Virginia’s first-ever automatic, individualized, restoration of rights process. I want every individual who is qualified to participate in this process, and gain back one of their most sacred rights: the right to vote. I am pleased that we have made progress, and continue to restore more rights than any Virginia gubernatorial administration. But we can do better still. In the past few months we’ve added staff and resources to handle an increase in demand for rights restoration. We will work tirelessly during the next three months to restore more people fully back to citizenship, and I remain fully supportive of passage of a constitutional amendment to provide for the automatic restoration of rights for non-violent felons. Additionally, we will be putting new funding into this process in the next biennial budget that we will put forward in December. We will continue to take every step possible to help more Virginians get back one of their most treasured rights: the right to have an equal voice in our democracy through the ballot box.”

“We are pleased with the number of rights that were granted. However, there is more work to be done,” stated Secretary of the Commonwealth Janet Kelly.  “Ninety days into the new system, with new procedures and new staff, we have a better idea of where to focus our resources so that non-violent felons who have paid their obligations and completed their time can have their civil rights restored. We thank the numerous stakeholder groups who helped us arrive at good procedures, and the feedback we have received from people utilizing the new process.”

“We are glad that Governor McDonnell’s administration has hired more staff and worked hard to restore the civil rights of Virginians at a faster pace than ever before,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Judith Browne Dianis. “We also commend the tremendous efforts of our community-based partners – including Holla Back & Restore Project, S.O.B.E.R. House, Bridging the Gap in Virginia, and Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged, among many others – who have been reaching out to people all across Virginia, helping them regain their voting rights in time for next month’s election. While the outreach work of the past three months is paying off, we hope the administration will seek ways to further streamline the process to quickly approve more of the individuals who are still waiting to have their rights restored. The governor has shown great commitment to moving this issue forward, and we are confident that he will build on his progress so that even more citizens can participate in our democracy.”

The restoration of rights division now employs six staffers, four of whom were just hired in July to implement the new system. The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office has worked diligently with the Clerks of Court, the Supreme Court, the State Police, the State Board of Elections, the Department of Corrections, and many other stakeholder groups to streamline and automate the system. 

As the administration has studied this issue and moved forward under the governor’s new automatic, individualized system, it has become evident that the category of non-violent felons released in past years, for which the Commonwealth does not keep full records, represents the largest number of people who would benefit from the new automatic, individualized system. These individuals are also the hardest to identify and locate. Therefore, in order to expedite the process of bringing these individuals back onto the voter rolls, the governor has made the decision to seek additional funding for this process in his upcoming biennial budget.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, July 15, 2013

Governor McDonnell Announces Process for Automatic Restoration of Voting and Civil Rights for Non-Violent Felons

English: Governor of Virginia at CPAC in .
English: Governor of Virginia at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Governor McDonnell: “Starting today, those who have served their time, paid all fines, costs, and restitution and met other court-ordered conditions, will be able to regain their voting and civil rights as quickly as possible through a process that is automatic and individualized.”

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell today announced the procedures for automatically restoring, on an individualized basis, civil rights to non-violent felons.  The process was established with the help of multiple recommendations by stakeholder groups and affected agencies. 

On May 29th Governor McDonnell announced that he would implement an automatic restoration process, within the confines of Virginia law, to those who meet the following conditions: 1) completion of their sentence, probation or parole; 2) payment of all court costs, fines, restitution, and completion of other court-ordered conditions, and 3) have no pending felony charges.

Speaking about restoration of rights, Governor McDonnell commented, “As a former prosecutor and attorney general, I strongly believe that the foremost priority of government is the safety and protection of our citizens.  When people commit crimes, they must be punished in accordance with the law.  But once they have served their time and fully paid for their crimes, they should be given an opportunity to return to their lives as full participants in our society.  That is why we have implemented an effective statewide prisoner re-entry program to help prepare offenders to return to their communities as productive law-abiding citizens.  A critical component of ensuring the security and protection of our citizens is reducing recidivism.  Over 90% of inmates will be released from prison back into society.  By making sure we have an effective system in place to give past offenders the opportunity to resume their lives as productive citizens, we can better keep them from committing another crime and returning to prison.  This reduces victimization and prison expansion and is smart government.”

Governor McDonnell continued, “These new procedures announced today govern the logistical and technical processes by which the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office will administer the automatic restoration of rights system.”

Governor McDonnell concluded, “Starting today, those who have served their time, paid all fines, costs, and restitution and met other court-ordered conditions, will be able to regain their voting and civil rights as quickly as possible through a process that is automatic and individualized.  I want to applaud the great work of the stakeholder working group whose ideas helped us develop this new process, as well as the affected state and local agencies who have worked hard over the last 45 days to implement the new system.  Through this system, those presently being released from incarceration or probation, who qualify, will have their civil rights automatically restored.  For past offenders, our goal is to grant civil rights back to as many as possible through the end of this administration.  This is the right thing to do for all Virginians to help make the Commonwealth a safer and better place.”

At the May announcement, in addition to announcing the general criteria, the governor tasked the Secretary of the Commonwealth to work with stakeholders, affected state agencies and other appropriate organizations to develop a smooth transition from an application system to an automatic system, with an announcement of the administrative processes to be made July 15th

Secretary of the Commonwealth Janet Kelly added, “Having stakeholder and state agency collaboration was invaluable in solving the complex challenges of transitioning to an automatic restoration of rights system.  The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office had been working internally on the transition for several months, but there were several significant obstacles for which we needed creative solutions. The biggest challenge involved locating felons who had been out of the legal system for years or even decades.  We could easily find the felons who were currently in the system or who had previously expressed an interest in getting their rights back.  However, there is no accurate comprehensive database of felons who are not currently in the legal or corrections system and have been released from probation, and the stakeholder group helped us to find creative solutions to meet that challenge.”

            “Governor McDonnell’s plan creates a path for many people, who have paid their debt to society, to fully participate in society and stand alongside their neighbors at the voting booth,” said Advancement Project Co-Director Penda D. Hair. “As we continue outreach work with our partners throughout Virginia, informing eligible individuals about the new rights restoration process and connecting them with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office, the new policy will go a long way in helping people finally get back their most fundamental of rights. We are pleased to hear the Governor has committed sufficient resources to automatically restore rights to the 500 to 700 eligible people completing their sentences every month. This will help stem the tide of disenfranchisement, while the additional resources he has added chip away at the hundreds of thousands of Virginians who have previously lost their rights.”  Advancement Project was part of the working group who made recommendations to the new system.

Criteria for Automatic Restoration of Rights
(Announced May 29th)

·         Have been convicted of a non-violent felony in a Virginia court, or in a U.S. District Court, military court or a court of another state or territory;
·         Have completed serving the prison sentence and been released from probation or parole, and;
·         And, have paid all court costs, fines to the Commonwealth and restitution to the victims, satisfied other court-ordered conditions, and have no pending felony charges.

General Process for Automatic Restoration of Rights effective July 15th

·         Over the past 45 days, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office (SOC) has met with stakeholder groups to get their input and recommendations.  Many of their recommendations were implemented through this new process including:
1.      Ways to connect with past felons who have been out of the legal system for years or decades.
·         A contact form is currently on the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website.  The form can be mailed to:
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
Restoration of Rights Division
P.O. Box 2454
Richmond, VA 23218
or faxed to (804) 786-9549.   Forms will be made available at probation and parole offices as well.
·         A web-based form that will allow for direct submission online will be available by August 1st.   It will be available at:
·         A toll free number (1-855-575-9177) is also available for people who do not have access to a computer or would prefer to call and provide the information necessary to ensure the criteria is met.
2.      Keeping the majority of statutory burglary and breaking and entering offenses as non-violent crimes eligible for automatic restoration of rights.  More serious types of statutory burglary and breaking and entering such as those with the intent to commit serious bodily harm or entering with a deadly weapon will be moved to the violent offenses list.
3.      Redirecting resources targeted at state agencies who conduct criminal background checks, and other suggestions for reducing bottlenecks in the process.
4.      Upgrading technology at the State Board of Elections to prevent manual data entry and allow for electronic updates each week (to be funded and completed soon).
5.      Implementing an advertising and outreach component that will be conducted with the assistance of the stakeholders.
6.      Working with clerks of court to ensure that any information needed from them is produced in a timely manner.
·         Due to the increase in requests that the SOC is anticipating, staff will be processing requests just as quickly as possible. SOC has added 4 additional staff and has worked to streamline business processes in preparation for the increased volume of requests. Some limited additional resources have been designated to other state agencies who assist with the ROR process.
·         Individuals must receive their rights restoration order from the Governor before they submit a voter registration application. Individuals who have their rights restored should still register to vote, as non-felon citizens are required to do.
·         SOC will be sending names of those who have had their rights restored on a weekly basis to State Board of Elections. 
·         Additional Information, including the Contact Form and  FAQ’s on the new process can be found at:

Pending/Present Offenders:
·         For those non-violent offenders who submitted an application prior to or right after the May 29th announcement, the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Office is working on processing these requests as quickly as possible. 
·         For those non-violent offenders whose prior application had been denied or deemed ineligible during the McDonnell Administration, Restoration of Rights staff has completed their inventory of those files, and for those who are now eligible, they are working to process those request as quickly as possible.
·         These felons do not need to provide the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office any additional information unless they are contacted by the office for clarification.

Past Non-Violent Offenders Whose Rights Have Not Been Restored:
·         Virginia does not have an accurate, comprehensive list of all the non-violent felons who are no longer in the legal or corrections system and where they are located – therefore, we have established a mechanism by which individuals can contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.
·         For those who have had non-violent felony convictions in the past, they can contact the Secretary’s Office by one of three ways:
o   Contact Form (available online): An individual can fill out this form and mail it in to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.  The contact form has basic information that staff needs to move forward with their request
o   Hotline (1-855-575-9177): Restoration of Rights staff will be able to take down the information needed to move forward with their request
o   Web Portal ( The web portal will be active by August 1st.  Individuals can submit online the information needed to move forward with their request.

Process for Future Individuals Released from Incarceration:
·         These are individuals who are either being released from incarceration under Department of Corrections or being released from supervised probation under Department of Corrections. 
·         Beginning with May 2013, the Department of Corrections will identify offenders who are to be released that month as indicated above and who may qualify for automatic rights restoration based on the Governor’s criteria. 
·         After ensuring the criteria have been met, SOC will process individual grant orders to either the last known address or the home plan address.

History of Restoration of Rights under Governor McDonnell

·         As a candidate for Governor in 2009, Governor McDonnell pledged to implement the fastest and fairest system for the restoration of civil rights in modern Virginia history, with a self-imposed deadline to have decisions made within 90 days. 
·         In 2010, after reviewing the process, he rolled out a voluntary deadline to have decisions within 60 days of receipt of completed applications and reduce the waiting time from three years to two years. 
·         Governor McDonnell has already granted rights to 5,235 people.  Governor Tim Kaine granted right to 4,402 people; Governor Mark Warner granted rights to 3,486 people. 
·         Since the May 29th announcement of automatic restoration of rights, 423 rights were granted for felons who had previously applied with the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.
·         Because of the constitutional issues, the new procedures are as automatic as possible within his authority as governor and within existing Virginia law. 
·         Governor McDonnell also instituted, in the Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice, with assistance from several other state agencies, local partners, and private as well as non-profit and faith based organizations, a national model program for prisoner re-entry that centers on preparing offenders for release back into their communities as productive members of society.  
Enhanced by Zemanta