Florida Shifts Stance on Ex-Convicts’ Civil Rights (2011)

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2011

This news release was written by the Attorney General Office:

Attorney General Pam Bondi today joined Governor Rick Scott, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, and Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam in approving new rules on the process to restore civil rights for convicted felons. The new rules will be effective immediately by a unanimous vote which took place in the Clemency Board meeting Wednesday morning.

“The rules we adopted today are fair and restore a proper respect for the rights of law-abiding citizens,” said Attorney General Bondi. “I believe that it’s only appropriate for the Clemency Board to restore those rights after they have demonstrated a commitment to living a crime-free life. A reasonable waiting period gives us the opportunity to determine whether, in fact, the person has made that commitment.”

According to the new process outlined in Wednesday’s meeting, every felon is now required to submit an application to the Clemency Board before the restoration of civil rights can occur. There will also be a waiting period of five years before felons are eligible for civil rights restoration.

Legislation has been filed for the 2011 session that would eliminate the link between civil rights restoration and licensing, and Attorney General Bondi is in support of that legislation.

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