For all Virginians

8 Times Ralph Northam Supported the Automatic Restoration of Rights for Violent Criminals

“It’s one of our greatest feats”

“And the answer to your question, would we continue that? Absolutely.”

Lieutenant Governor Northam has repeatedly taken credit for his role in restoring rights to violent felons who have completed their sentences. As The Washington Post noted, he “has made restoring felon voting rights a centerpiece of his campaign, and said he would continue McAuliffe’s aggressive approach.” (The Washington Post, 9/6/17)

Below is a timeline of Northam, in his own words, attempting to defend his dangerous policy while on the trail.

 

 

  1. “I’m proud of our administration’s efforts to reform our criminal justice system”

“I’m proud of our administration’s efforts to reform our criminal justice system. Forty states in America have made the restoration of rights automatic. It was past time for Virginia to become a progressive leader on this issue. That’s why Governor Terry McAuliffe took bold action and restored the rights of more than 130,000 men and women who’d paid their debts to society…Some have characterized this in political terms. However, they don’t describe the origins of how this constitutional amendment came to be. At the time, Senator Carter Glass said the provisions were meant to ‘eliminate the darky as a political factor in this state.’ This makes it clear: The restoration of rights is not about politics. This is about the American ideal of providing second chances. Oftentimes, individuals who receive restitution are already making positive contributions to their communities. They are coaches, mentors, and businesspeople. They pay their taxes, and Governor McAuliffe’s actions meant they were no longer second-class citizens at the ballot box.” (Ralph Northam blog post, “A More Fair And Just Virginia,” Medium, 2/13/17)

 

  1. “I was so proud of what Governor McAuliffe and Levar Stoney had done in restoring the voting rights”


RALPH NORTHAM: “I stood up and I told them that I was so proud of what Governor McAuliffe and Levar Stoney had done in restoring the voting rights to over 130,000 individuals in the Commonwealth of Virginia. That’s the American way. And the point that I want to make and what I said to the church – I don’t know about you but we are all human and we all make mistakes. And so when we have paid our time that was given to us by either a judge or a jury, the best thing that can happen to us to get back into society is to restore our rights.” (Youtube, Meet and Greet  Happy Hour, Richmond 2/21/17)

 

  1. “That is one of our greatest accomplishments in our administration.”

RALPH NORTHAM: “That is one of our greatest accomplishments in our administration. And I think all of us, if you can, I know you are not supposed to applaud, but we need to give Governor Terry McAuliffe a hand. I don’t know about you, but we are all human and we all make mistakes. And when we have paid back our time and given our time for the time that was given to us by either a judge or a jury, the best thing that we can do, the fairest thing that we can do to return the self esteem to individuals is to return their voting rights. There is nothing more important – You know, 40 other states have automatic return of voting rights. It’s like, what are we waiting for? So Terry actually, he fought a lot of resistance to do that, but it was the right thing to do. And the answer to your question, would we continue that? Absolutely. We still have, as you said, there are over 156,000 that we restored the rights to, we still have about another 44,000, around 200,000 individuals that haven’t had their rights restored. So we are going to continue to work on that. And then what will happen after that is each month a list is released of people that are eligible to have their rights restored. And so we will continue to do it on a monthly basis. Again, there is no turning back on that. We think it’s the right thing to do and we’re very proud of having done that. (Youtube, Democratic Candidates Forum, Arlington, 5/2/17)

 

  1. “It’s one of our greatest feats, I think, during the last four years”

RALPH NORTHAM: “I’ve worked very closely with Governor McAuliffe. It’s one of our greatest feats, I think, during the last four years in restoring the rights of over 156,000 Virginians. And I’ve had so many people come up to me and just say, thank you, thank you for letting me get back to society, thank you for letting me have my self esteem back.” (Youtube, IBEW Virginia Gov. Candidates Debate, Richmond, 5/9/17)

 

  1. “We will continue that…[for] all felons.”

RALPH NORTHAM: “I’ll speak on behalf of Governor McAuliffe as we sit here tonight, one of the most proudest moments of his governorship was when he restored the voting rights of over 156,000 Virginians. It’s the most that have ever been in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I don’t know about you, but we are human, we all make mistakes. And when we have paid back our time that was given to us by either a judge or a jury, one of the best things that we can do to help someone get back into society, get back into the workforce, regain their self esteem, is to give them their voting rights back. And so we will continue that. We still have about 44,000 individuals that we are working on getting their paperwork for. But then after that – after that, each month they will release a list of individuals that are coming out of our jails and penitentiaries, and we will work very hard to give them their rights back. So again, it’s very important. We are all human, we all make mistakes, and once we pay back our time we should be allowed to get back into society with our families and make a living, etcetera.

MODERATOR: Do you think that should be limited to non-violent felons or to all felons?

RALPH NORTHAM: All felons. Once someone has paid back their time.  (Youtube, Richmond Young Professionals Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Forum, Richmond, 5/25/17)

 

  1. “I have been proud to work with Governor McAuliffe on that.”

RALPH NORTHAM: “We’re very proud of what we have done in Richmond. As far as that pipeline, we have restored, as you all know, the rights of over 162,000 Virginians, more than any other administration in the past has done. I don’t know about you, but we are all human. And when someone has paid back their time that was given to them by a judge or a jury, the best thing that we can do to help them get back into society, get back into the workforce is restore their rights. So I have been proud to work with Governor McAuliffe on that. (Youtube, NAACP Gubernatorial Forum at Virginia Union University, Richmond, 9/7/17)

 

  1. “we are very proud of that.”


RALPH NORTHAM: “Clovia, I would also like to thank you for all the work that you’ve done advocating for our community here in Richmond and also for restoring rights of our criminals that have served their time. We have restored the rights of over 156,000 Virginians, more than any other administration has. I don’t know about you, but we are all human and when we make a mistake and then pay our time that was given us by a judge or jury the best thing that we can do to help people re-enter society to get back in the workforce is to give them their voting rights back. So we are very proud of that.” (Youtube, Miss Community Clovia Gubernatorial Forum, Richmond, 9/28/17)

 

 

  1. “I will continue to do that”

RALPH NORTHAM: “We’ve been very proud – we’ve reinstated the rights of over 156,000 Virginians and I am of the belief that we are all human and once someone pays back their time that has been given them by a judge or a jury the best thing that we can do for them to help them get back into society, back into the workforce is to reinstate their rights and I will continue to do that.” (Youtube, Interview with Kojo Nnamdi, 10/6/17)

 

BONUS: “Ralph will continue Governor McAuliffe’s leadership on voting rights restoration”



“Ralph will continue Governor McAuliffe’s leadership on voting rights restoration because he knows that Virginians who have paid their debts to society and served their sentences should have the right to vote — period.” (ralphnortham.com, Retrieved 10/24/17)