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  • Most people know that when you get a felony  charge, you can no longer vote, but what other  

  • things are felons banned from doing? 7. Travel 

  • A felon in the US can get a passport no  problem, but as to where they can go with  

  • it is up to the country they want to visitSome places have laxer rules than others

  • Many countries, including Thailand, allow  you in without having to get a visa first.  

  • Some countries will require you have a visaand they may also ask about a criminal record,  

  • such as Japan and Australia. If they see  you have a record, you might well be denied  

  • entry. Then you have the countries of Brazil  and India, which do ask you to get a visa,  

  • but they don't ask about a criminal record. But in the case of a felon who moved to Thailand  

  • and then murdered his pregnant Thai wife, he was  awaiting charges for serious offenses when he  

  • entered the country. Surely some kind of alarm  should have been triggered when he was leaving  

  • the US or entering Thailand. Under Thailand's  1979 Immigration Act, the country can turn you  

  • away if immigration sees you have serious offenses  and deems you some kind of threat to the country,  

  • but that didn't happen in this guy's caseHe slipped through the net...a few nets

  • The fact an American fugitive was allowed in and  then committed a heinous crime just months after  

  • understandably made a lot of  Thais very upset and angry

  • It wouldn't be the case in other countries. A felon won't get into Canada.  

  • Even a person who has been convicted ofDUI might not, although it seems after a  

  • period of five years after release the Canadian  Minister of Immigration can overturn the ban

  • You won't be allowed into the UK if you've  committed a crime and have been sentenced to  

  • more than 30 months, but again, there  is a rehabilitation period and things  

  • could change in the years after your sentence. If you've ever been convicted of drug offenses,  

  • you can kiss goodbye to getting into JapanIn fact, this country is said to have the  

  • strictest immigration laws of all countries, so  even if you've been convicted of a misdemeanor,  

  • you likely won't be allowed to enter. So, all countries are different, but it goes  

  • without saying if you're a convicted felon you're  going to have to do your homework on where you can  

  • travel. Your number of options will be seriously  shortened because of your criminal record

  • Traveling might be the last thing a newly released  felon wants to do or can do, but now you'll see  

  • that just getting by is incredibly difficult. 6. Get a job 

  • Maybe the felon doesn't want to kick back on  a beach in a foreign country and just wants to  

  • leave his criminal ways behind and earn a livingThat's not easy...In fact, it's far from easy

  • Let's imagine he was convicted of  selling Big Pharma's golden goose,  

  • opioids? Do you think he could getjob in a pharmacy after being released

  • The answer is a resounding NO, because states have  laws which mean employers can turn you down for  

  • a job if your offense was related to it in any  way. The background check will mean that former  

  • opioid seller will never work in a pharmacy. If you were convicted of a firearms offense,  

  • you likely won't ever become a cop or a person  that sells guns. Still, you may be able to join  

  • the police force if you were once convicted of  theft, or possibly even a small drug offense.  

  • We say 'may' because most police forces will  put that application to the back of the pile

  • Still, don't despair, a felon could become  a firefighter, although it will likely come  

  • down to when the crime was committed and what  the crime involved. It's possible to get a job,  

  • but it will be more complicated than if you  weren't a felon. At least you can get a foot  

  • in the door and then prove you are reliable and  fit for the job. It's the same with the military,  

  • you might be able to get in, but that  will depend on the nature of the crime

  • Jobs that will be very hard to get never mind what  the conviction was or how much time has passed  

  • is work in the field of education or healthcareOk, so what jobs can you get without many hassles

  • We visited a website dedicated to finding  jobs for convicted felons and found quite  

  • a few types of industries that are known to  hire felons. One of the first jobs on the  

  • list was stocking products and bagging food in  grocery stores. Not so great, but it's a start

  • The hotel industry was also listed, but rather  than general manager positions the website said  

  • cleaning and maintenance services and helping  customers with baggagewas more in demand, which  

  • might be a turn-off for the very many educatedhardworking, trustworthy former felons out there

  • Then there's delivery work, flipping burgersmeat processing, truck driving, picking fruit,  

  • and warehouse work, all of which are  pretty much open to hiring felons

  • Still, it all depends on the state and factors  like how long ago you committed your crime

  • Some states, and there are too many to  mention, even report a person when they  

  • have been found not guilty. That verdict, however  innocent a person is, could still tarnish them.  

  • According to that website we mentioned, if you're  a felon you might find it easier getting hired if  

  • you live in California, Colorado, KansasMaryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada,  

  • New Hampshire, New York, Texas, or Washington. Even so, unfortunately for the most rehabilitated  

  • felons who once made a mistake, life can be toughThis is what one felon said about her experience

  • “I can testify being a convicted  felon more than 35 years ago  

  • I have had my share of jobs terminating me  and not hiring me due to my background.” 

  • Another person, who said he was  wrongly convicted of committing  

  • a property damage crime as a teenager, wrote,  

  • It is an absolute nightmare. Just try your  best to get it expunged, sealed, or pardoned.” 

  • Lastly, if you were licensed to dojob and then got convicted of a felony  

  • you will likely lose that license. So, if you  were an optometrist, an elevator installation guy,  

  • a masseur, a beautician, an architect, a  paramedic, an embalmer, or even a hairdresser,  

  • you might struggle to get the same job again. If you think that's crazy, in Texas a “master  

  • stylistdid time for drugs and when he got out  he could not work with people's hair again. He  

  • told the media, “I had a job coming outeverything was set, but the state said no.  

  • Because I had a felony record, I couldn't  get nothing. So, I can't get steady work.” 

  • This guy was a master, but even if you were  merely a “shampooerand that's all you did,  

  • you likely would be banned from doing that again  in some states after you got out of prison

  • Well, at least you have the right to vote  for politicians that might change those  

  • laws...Err...maybe not. 5. Vote 

  • So, let's just accept that the person who said he  was wrongly convicted of a property crimethe  

  • keying of a carreally didn't do it. He said  his girlfriend did, actually, but he took the  

  • wrap. Anyway, should he really not have the chance  ever again to cast a vote? If not, why? How would  

  • that make sense? If a felon has been released  and so in the state's mind he's rehabilitated,  

  • why should he not be able to cast a vote? These  are the kinds of questions people are asking

  • Historically many convicted felons  have indeed lost their right to vote.  

  • But, they can apply to have that right  reinstated. Then you've got Columbia,  

  • Maine, and Vermont, where felons never lose that  right, even while behind bars. In 19 other states,  

  • they can vote but only when they're released. In 18 other states, they lose the right but  

  • will get it back over time, while in 11 states  felons will likely never vote again, or at least  

  • if they can't persuade the governor to give them  a pardon, or by some other method have their right  

  • to vote restored. How quickly that right is given  back may depend on the severity of the crime

  • Ok, so no travel, no job, no right  to vote...at least you might have  

  • a chance to ensure justice is applied fairlybecause maybe it wasn't for you...Think again

  • 4. Serve on a jury Typically, if you are a convicted  

  • felon you won't be able to serve on a jury and  decide if someone else is guilty of a crime

  • Things seem to be changing, though. Recently  in California, the rules were changed so  

  • that most felons could become a juror if  they weren't on probation or parole. The  

  • only people who won't get this right back are  those who have committed felony sex offenses

  • Still, of the 19 million-plus Americans with  felony convictions, most will not be allowed  

  • to serve on a jury in 49 states. In 28 statesthat can never be reversed but in the others,  

  • they should get the right restored. This  law actually goes back hundreds of years  

  • and was put in place because criminals were  deemed people who were not of sufficiently  

  • good character to make such important decisions. The other reason is the fear that felons might  

  • feel some amount of sympathy for the person who's  been charged, and therefore skew the decision.  

  • Nonetheless, people have argued that felons might  not be biased at all, and some will have a better  

  • understanding of the criminal justice system than  people who've never had any dealings with the law

  • Some studies have also found that law  enforcement personnel, who can serve on juries,  

  • are pro-prosecution most of the time and so have  their own bias. Also, research of felons in Maine,  

  • where they can serve on a jury, found that  they made as good a juror as anyone else

  • It's also been argued that by banning felons as  jurors people may not get a fair trial. Remember,  

  • eight percent of Americans are convicted felonsbut you should also know that a third of them  

  • are black. This is what one lawyer said  about that and what happens in court

  • “I can't tell you how often I've sat at the  defense table with a young African American client  

  • who was excited to prove his innocenceonly to see his enthusiasm replaced with  

  • hopelessness and dread once he saw the jury.” The same lawyer would argue that if you live in  

  • a country with a system in which the public can  decide your guilt, then surely those who serve  

  • as jurors should look like you or perhaps  have a similar background to you. He would  

  • probably say diversity is key to a fair jury. If a felon doesn't like the way this is, maybe  

  • they should become President? As you'll see, while  not impossible, the chance of a former small-town  

  • weed dealer becoming POTUS is slim. 3. Become a politician 

  • When you are a felon, you won't be able  to hold any kind of political position,  

  • although after you've completed all of your  sentence, you could get that right restored

  • Once that's happened, you could even become  President one day, but of course your history  

  • will be known to everyone. The question was asked  on one website if a convicted felon once released  

  • can run for any kind of elected  office and this was the answer

  • The Constitution allows a convicted  felon to be a member of Congress,  

  • even if in prison. It's up to the Senate or House  to decide who may serve. As for state offices,  

  • different laws apply in different places.” In fact, we found quite a few convicted felons  

  • who'd once fallen foul of the law but have  rebuilt their life and become politicians.  

  • Some of them thought they were in a good  position to understand how some people dealt  

  • bad cards early in life can fall into crime and  sometimes get lost forever in the justice system

  • So yes, you can get into politics, but you'll have  to jump through many hoops. As for the next one,  

  • it's something everybody deserves the  right to do but felons often don't get it

  • 2. Rent houses If life wasn't  

  • hard enough for a convicted felon, gettingroof to live under can make it much harder

  • On one law-based web forum, one  convicted felon posted this question

  • “I recently applied for an apartment and  was rejected. The reason they gave me was  

  • stated in one word: criminal. I have  a felony conviction almost 10 years  

  • old. Is this a form of discrimination?” The expert replied and yes, he said that's  

  • definitely a form of discriminationbut he  added, it doesn't matter, because no one  

  • will be held accountable for it. A person has  a case if they are turned down for a house or  

  • an apartment because they are, say, Ethiopianor Buddhist, or homosexual, or use a wheelchair,  

  • but in most states, a landlord has the legal  right under the Fair Housing Act to discriminate  

  • in the case of renting a place to a felon. NPR did a story on this back in 2016,  

  • stating that one in four Americans has a criminal  record, and it's really hard to find a place to  

  • live for those many people. One guy interviewed  committed a burglary when he was in his 20s,  

  • and even though he hadn't committed  another crime, at 51 he was living with  

  • his mom because he said finding a place to  live with his criminal record was too hard

  • He tried once to rent a place in a trailer parkand he got hold of the keys, only for the landlord  

  • to take them back after doing a background check. Even if you do stay in the US and get that job  

  • you always wanted, you may be turned down  by landlords when you find a place you  

  • like. This is not even rare, it's common. Ok, so no place to stay, no job, no money.  

  • What about legally getting a gun, to perhaps rob  someone's place to get some money? The answer to  

  • this is going to shock you. 1. Own a gun 

  • It would be understandable if a felon released  from prison convicted of shooting someone was  

  • rejected when he applied for a firearms licenseActually, it doesn't really matter what offense  

  • you committed, getting such a license will  be hard in some states, but not others

  • For instance, under Texas law, if five years  have passed since the person was released from  

  • their probation or parole, they can legally  have a firearm but they can only keep it in  

  • their house for protection. Taking it outside  is not allowed. That's a crime in itself

  • In some cases, a felon might be able to get  their right to own a firearm reinstated,  

  • but it should take some time. Even  though it is said to be hard to do this,  

  • we found an article in the New York Times that  seems to suggest it's not at all, in some parts  

  • of the US at least. The newspaper told a story: A man catches his girlfriend half-naked with his  

  • friend. The man shoots and kills that friend. The  man is arrested. He was also a convicted felon

  • He'd been banned from legally owning a firearm  and was even known to be violent and dangerous.  

  • Still, when he applied to Washington  state to have that right restored,  

  • he got what he wanted. The guy then went out  and bought not one gun but a cache of guns

  • This is what the Times wrote to  summarize this kind of thing

  • Every year, thousands of felons across  the country have those rights reinstated,  

  • often with little or no review. In several statesthey include people convicted of violent crimes,  

  • including first-degree murder, and manslaughter.” In one such case, a guy in Minnesota served three  

  • years in prison after firing a shotgun into  a house where a woman and her young son were  

  • sitting. He was annoyed she'd broken up with  him. Prior to that, he'd gotten out of prison,  

  • and later his gun rights were restored. All in all, it's thought that about half  

  • of US states will never restore those  rights but the others will, even in some  

  • cases if the felon had previously shot someone. It might seem strange to some people outside  

  • of the US when you tell them that felonseven ones who've served time for murder,  

  • can regain their right to have a gun but people  convicted of non-violent crimes don't have a leg  

  • to stand on when they are turned down for a house. Now you need to watch, “Degrees of Murder - What  

  • Do They Mean?” Or, have a look  at, “When is it Legal to Kill?”

Most people know that when you get a felony  charge, you can no longer vote, but what other  

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Things You Can't Do If You're a Felon

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    Summer posted on 2021/06/19
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