Amendment 4: Restores felons’ rights
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Amendment 4: Restores felons’ rights


>>WE’RE ALL HUMAN, AND WE ALL
MAKE MISTAKES. PEOPLE DO CHANGE AND I’M A PRIME
EXAMPLE. SUMMER: 28-YEAR-OLD DEMARCUS
WOMACK, CONVICTED OF ASSAULT FOR
A SHOOTING IN PARRAMORE IN 2010.>>I HAVE A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE
ABOUT THE LAW. LIKE THEY TOLD ME THE MURDER
CHARGES WOULD DISAPPEAR, AND I
WANTED TO GO HOME, SO I SIGNED
THEM, NOT KNOWING IT WOULD
AFFECT ME IN THE LONG RUN. SUMMER: DURING HIS 30 MONTH STAY
IN THE ORANGE COUNTY JAIL,
HE LOST HIS GRANDMOTHER WHO
RAISED HIM. THAT IS WHEN HE VOWED TO SPEND
THE REST OF HIS LIFE TRYING TO
BE SOMEONE THEY COULD LOOK DOWN
ON AND BE PROUD OF. HIS WAY TO GET THERE? FOOTBALL.>>I JUST FELT LIKE MY ATHLETIC
ABILITY COULD HELP ME MATTER TO
SOCIETY AGAIN. SUMMER: AND IT WORKED. AFTER HE GOT OUT, HE LANDED A
SPOT ON BETHUNE COOKMAN’S
FOOTBALL TEAM.>>WE ARE ABOUT BUILDING MEN
HERE AND ABOUT GIVING SECOND
CHANCES. SUMMER: AFTER FINISHING HIS
PLAYING CAREER, HE EARNED A JOB
WITH THE TEAM.>>MY OFFICIAL TITLE IS
ASSISTANT OF FOOTBALL
OPERATIONS. SUMMER: HE IS ALSO WORKING
TOWARD A GRAD DEGREE IN CRIMINAL
JUSTICE. BUT HE IS STILL ONE OF MORE THAN
ONE MILLION FLORIDIANS CONVICTED
OF A FELONY WHO IS INELIGIBLE TO
VOTE.>>IT’S LIKE SOCIETY KIND OF
WRITES YOU OFF.>>I HAD TO CHECK THE BOX ASKING
IF YOU ARE A FELON, AND I
COULDN’T GET A JOB FOR WEEKS AND
WEEKS. SUMMER: NEIL VOLZ GREW UP IN
OHIO BUT MOVED TO FLORIDA TO
START OVER AFTER BEING CONVICTED
OF FRAUD YEARS AGO.>>I REALLY BLEW UP MY LIFE. I LOST MY HOUSE, LOST MY JOB,
I GOT DIVORCE. SUMMER: HERE, HE WORKED HIS WAY
FROM VOLUNTEER TO PROGRAM
DIRECTOR AT A HOMELESS SHELTER. NOW, HE WORKS WITH THE GROWING
CHANCE MOVEMENT TO RESTORE CIVIL
SECOND RIGHTS TO CONVICTED
FELONS, FIGHTING FOR AMENDMENT
FOUR ON NEXT WEEK’S BALLOT. CURRENTLY IN FLORIDA SOME
CONVICTED FELONS CAN APPLY TO
HAVE THEIR RIGHTS RESTORED WIT
THE STATE’S CLEMENCY BOARD, THE
FLORIDA COMMISSION ON OFFENDER
REVIEW. BUT IT’S A LONG SHO
IN 2011, OF THE MORE THAN 13,000
PEOPLE WHO APPLIED FOR CLEMENCY,
ONLY 78 WERE GRANTED IT. THEN ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
GOT A LOT MORE STRINGENT WHEN
GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT TOOK OFFICE,
AND LAST YEAR ONLY 2500 PEOP
EVEN APPLIED OF WHICH 518 WERE
GRANTED.>>I APPLIED IN 2012. I HAVEN’T HEARD ANYTHING BACK.>>I SUPPORT STREAMLINING THE
PROCESS. SUMMER: ASHLEY MOODY IS
CURRENTLY RUNNING TO BE
FLORIDA’S ATTORNEY GENERAL.>>I DON’T NECESSARILY SUPPORT
THE AMENDMENT. I THINK IT WAS TOO BROAD IN
SCOPE. SUMMER: AND SHE’S NOT ALONE. REPUBLICAN GUBNATORIAL
CANDIDATE RON DESANTIS ALSO
OPPOSES AMENDMENT 4.>>MANY FELONS REOFFEND, AND I
THINK IT IS WRONG TO
AUTOMATICALLY GIVE THEM A FREE
PASS TO BE ABLE TO VOTE WITHOUT
THEM SHOWING THAT THEY CAN BE
BACK IN OUR COMMUNITY. SUMMER: IF ELECTED, BOTH MOODY
AND DESANTIS WOULD BE ON THE
STATE CLEMENCY BOARD THAT
DECIDES WHO GETS THEIR RIGHTS
RESTORED. BUT WHETHER AMENDMENT FOUR
PASSES OR NOT, HE SAYS HIS NEW
FOCUS ON HIS ROAD OF REDEMPTION? FATHERHOOD. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TELL HIM
ABOUT YOUR PAST WHEN HE IS OF
AGE? I WILL JUST TELL HIM, LIKE,
YOUR DADDY MADE SOME DECISIONS
BUT BRO, I GOT IT RIGHT FOR YOU. LIKE, YOU ALL THAT MATTERS NOW. SUMMER: UNDER THE CURRENT
SYSTEM, FELONS MUST NOT ONLY
COMPLETE THEIR SENTENCE, PAROLE
AND PROBATION, BUT THEY MU
THEN WAIT FIVE TO SEVEN YEARS
BEFORE THEY CAN EVEN APPLY TO HAVE THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS
RESTORED. BUT IF AMENDMENT 4 PASSES, AS
LONG AS YOU WEREN’T CONVICTED OF
MU

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