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Should prisoners have the right to vote?

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The One Show Team | 10:18 UK time, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

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Prison reform groups are saying this year's general election will be illegal unless prisoners are allowed to vote

It's been a subject of debate for five years, since the European Court of Human Rights declared that inmates in the UK should be given the right to vote in elections.

For The One Show, Anita Rani asked, 'Should democracy extend to those behind bars?'

Anita met June Gillbanks. June's daughter was murdered. The killer, June's brother, now campaigns for prisoners' rights from his gaol cell. But June believes prisoners should lose their right to vote. She said "to me, he lost that right when he strangled my daughter."

Anita also spoke to John Hirst, a former prisoner who campaigns for prisoners' rights. He made the case for allowing prisoners to vote, saying: "Does the vote have anything to do with the offence, no it doesn't. Will it make that person a better person and therefore help society? Yes."

Should prisoners have the right to vote? Share your views and stories.

Comments

  • 1. At 6:07pm on 17 Feb 2010, Anthony wrote:

    Err no they should not be allowed to vote. And further more I resent my tax money being spent buying them fancy stuff to play with like games consoles... all they need is a hard bed and a bucket. Let the people who stay within the law choose the people who make the law.

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  • 2. At 6:54pm on 17 Feb 2010, Danedweller wrote:

    Coming from the hanging and flogging point of view - in a word NO.

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  • 3. At 7:05pm on 17 Feb 2010, maggiemay04 wrote:

    Absolutely not. They gave up their rights when they took their victims rights away.

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  • 4. At 7:06pm on 17 Feb 2010, David Ferrington wrote:

    If you commit a crime and are imprisoned because of it, you forfeit all rights normally granted to a responcible law-abiding member of society - in my mind that means -
    NO: right to vote, to raise a petition, Internet access, no email, no representation - if you don't like that - don't break the law.
    This is supposed to be an deterrent and a punishment - not a holiday hotel, paid for by law abiding tax payers.

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  • 5. At 7:08pm on 17 Feb 2010, Mangonuts wrote:

    I think you will find that in China and Iraq they have a death sentence for murdering your land lady with an axe, so the fact that they allow prisoners to vote is not much of a bonus!

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  • 6. At 7:08pm on 17 Feb 2010, Chelley wrote:

    HUMAN RIGHTS???????? Convicted criminals lose any rights human or otherwise once they commit a crime! ANY crime. Therefore they should NOT be allowed to vote.

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  • 7. At 7:08pm on 17 Feb 2010, Trev wrote:

    A person in prison is out of normal society. Only people IN society should be allowed to vote.

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  • 8. At 7:09pm on 17 Feb 2010, Michael Wright wrote:

    Are you kidding me? I'm sure that those in prison didn't give a rat's behind bits about the rights of those they committed the crimes against. I watched the Shawshank Redemption recently. Bring back those prisons I say.

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  • 9. At 7:09pm on 17 Feb 2010, hevsk wrote:

    What next......prisoners on jury service??

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  • 10. At 7:09pm on 17 Feb 2010, Simon McGaun wrote:

    I cannot believe this is actually even a talking point. Of course they shouldn't. Regardless of what crime you commit you are in prison, you are a criminal. Don't give me all this rubbish about human rights, in my opinion when you commit a crime against another person you give up any rights you had.

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  • 11. At 7:09pm on 17 Feb 2010, Sheryll Smith wrote:

    As far as I'm concerned, every human right should be forfeited when a crime is committed. These people are the scum of the earth and should be treated as such. It's time victims, their families and law abiding citizens were given the number one place, instead of these lowlives.

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  • 12. At 7:09pm on 17 Feb 2010, essexboy wrote:

    In the old days the expression "outlaw" meant those people who placed themselves outside the law. If people don't want to abide by societies rules then they should not have the right to expect those rules to operate in their favour until they have paid for their crimes.

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  • 13. At 7:10pm on 17 Feb 2010, clay wrote:

    Why should people who have no respect for the law have a say in who runs the country ?

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  • 14. At 7:11pm on 17 Feb 2010, Norbet wrote:

    There is no question at all, prison is a punishment and nothing else.
    All prisoners lose all rights. Murderers should be dead anyway, so should be wholly unable to vote. There is no justice for victims these days, only the guilty seem to be given any consideration by the law.

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  • 15. At 7:11pm on 17 Feb 2010, Ian Hemmings wrote:

    Prisons should be places of misery where only minimum "human rights" are afforded the inmates. Of course they should not have the right to vote.

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  • 16. At 7:11pm on 17 Feb 2010, Queenbee47 wrote:

    Anyone who chooses to ignore the law should be deprived of the right to determine who makes the law.

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  • 17. At 7:11pm on 17 Feb 2010, tamsin wrote:

    My gut reaction is no, prisoners should not be allowed to vote. But i think for 'lesser' (ie. non violent crimes) crimes people could gain back their right to vote whilst in prison as part of their reform/rehab.

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  • 18. At 7:11pm on 17 Feb 2010, Tricia S Nicklin wrote:

    That man we just saw on the show showed no remorse for what he did what so ever! Yet he thought he deserved the vote! The criminals seem to have more rights than the victims and general public. It's about time the so called 'do-gooders' spend their time supporting us rather than people who gave up the right to live in civilised society.

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  • 19. At 7:12pm on 17 Feb 2010, kelly dell wrote:

    No, quite frankly they gave up there right to have a say in this country when they committed there crimes!! I think it's ridiculous that this is even being debated.

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  • 20. At 7:12pm on 17 Feb 2010, karen wrote:

    you give up your right when you break the law, what about the victims, wheres their right

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  • 21. At 7:12pm on 17 Feb 2010, AH wrote:

    All prisoners, by definition, are anti-establishment. Whether purposefully or not, they have broken the rules of society. So how can it be argued that they should be able to comment on, or influence, those rules?

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  • 22. At 7:12pm on 17 Feb 2010, Nick wrote:

    Who on earth are the unelected and undemocratic European Union to dictate to the Democracy in the United Kingdom as to what we can and can not do anymore!!

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  • 23. At 7:12pm on 17 Feb 2010, Silver_Lady wrote:

    A resounding NO. Serving prisoners should not be allowed to vote. If sufficient prisoners organised themselves, they could muster an enormous amount of votes and sway the results to a political party that favoured prisoner rights. It's bad enough that a lot of prisoners live better than pensioners now, to give them a political voice would be catastophic.

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  • 24. At 7:12pm on 17 Feb 2010, wendy wrote:

    NO WAY, THEY SHOULD HAVE NO RIGHTS WHAT SO EVER, PUNISHMENT IS PUNISHMENT AND THEY DONT DESERVE TO BE COUNTED.

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  • 25. At 7:13pm on 17 Feb 2010, Donnygaz wrote:

    British prisons are too much like holiday camps already. If someone is convicted of an offence which deserves a custodial sentence then ALL their human rights should be restricted until release. This is includes access to internet, chatrooms etc and of course the right to have an opinion on who should governs this country as they arent actually a part of it whilst locked up.

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  • 26. At 7:13pm on 17 Feb 2010, Chris wrote:

    A murderer took away their victim's right to vote when they murdered them. I think it is fair to take away theirs, eye for an eye.

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  • 27. At 7:13pm on 17 Feb 2010, Shirley Hawke wrote:

    I think that if a crime is of a serious nature that the perpetrator should lose their 'Citizen's Rights' in which case it could be said that they would not be eligible to vote anyway.
    I don't think prisons are tough enough anyway, it seems to me that prisoners have a better lifestyle than most senior citizens!

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  • 28. At 7:13pm on 17 Feb 2010, jenny wrote:

    Why should prisoners get the vote. those of us who have lived abroad for more than 15 years cannot vote any where we can't vote in the UK and we can't vote here in Spain as only Spanish nationals can vote, surley it is against our human right not to have a vote any where, we are still UK citizens.

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  • 29. At 7:13pm on 17 Feb 2010, k riddle wrote:

    Was this feature deliberately drenched in irony on purpose. I noticed how the BBC refused to acknowledge the fact that this law is being imposed on the uk government by the EU, a power that no one in the uk was ever given a vote on. Let us run our own nation, because with more and more powers being handed to the EU voting will almost become pointless for both law abiding citizens and prisoners alike. And why was that axe murderer (yes, he was just that) even allowed to breath free air. Because in a true democracy he would never be seeing the light of day again.

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  • 30. At 7:13pm on 17 Feb 2010, nineloleleven wrote:

    lol, it totally effects us all, they'll all vote for the murder and rape party and then murder and rape will be legalised! ZOMG! As if it makes a difference to us or the prisoners if they can vote

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  • 31. At 7:14pm on 17 Feb 2010, Bob Langley wrote:

    Evil people seeking publicity.
    If having a vote is soooo important to them perhaps they shouldn't have commited their crime. In any case they only have to wait until are released (which should never happen to some, for example the child kller featured in the programme). Court of Human Rights is a JOKE.

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  • 32. At 7:14pm on 17 Feb 2010, chrislllll wrote:

    No - voting is principle of citizenship. This a privilage not a right, not to be afforded to someone convicted of a crime against society.

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  • 33. At 7:14pm on 17 Feb 2010, Patrick Steer wrote:

    It's simple. Rights come with responsibilities. Let it be clearly known in advance - if you can't handle the responsibilities, don't expect the rights.

    And I will vote at the next election for ANY party that will tell the European Court of Human Rights to get a life.

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  • 34. At 7:14pm on 17 Feb 2010, Dave wrote:

    Whilst in prison, no they shouldn't be allowed to vote. But once released then I see no reason why their right to vote can be restored.

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  • 35. At 7:15pm on 17 Feb 2010, Robert wrote:

    When you commit a crime you break the rules of society and you should therefore loose the privelledges offered to members of that society. the only rights you should have are the most basic of rights, to be safe, health care, fed and be free from torture and pain.
    What about the human rights of the victim and their family.

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  • 36. At 7:15pm on 17 Feb 2010, Aimee wrote:

    No i think they shouldn't. HM prisons hold people that have Murdered Stolen and Raped. people like that should not be influencing who runs the country or even represents our country. I feel that as soon as those people have commited these crimes they should loose all but their basic Human Rights such as the right to shelter and the right to food and water.

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  • 37. At 7:15pm on 17 Feb 2010, emma wrote:

    the prisoners took any right away from there victims . so why should they have any rights all i say is bring back the death penalty . but these days you comit a crime then you go to prison where you get a room, food, jobs, game stations phones etc etc so it not a punishment any more its a holiday camp IF THEY TAKE A LIFE THEN THERE LIFE SHOULD END

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  • 38. At 7:15pm on 17 Feb 2010, Bill Morgan wrote:

    Yet again the human rights legislation and the European Courts are used to overturn long standing British Law. You commit a crime and are found guilty, you are then punished re-habilitation is part of the punishment process not the right to vote. ALL prisoners irespective of the crime should forfeit their'Human Rights' they, by committing the crime, have steeped out of the realm of society where human rights should be the norm.

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  • 39. At 7:15pm on 17 Feb 2010, hopeyg wrote:

    stop wasting money and time on a
    pointless exercise. nobody has removed
    their right to vote ,but because of their own actions
    they cant get to polling station

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  • 40. At 7:15pm on 17 Feb 2010, charles ross wrote:

    If a person has taken someones life then they have denied that person of the right to vote, therefore this should also deny the offender of the right to vote permanently.
    Other than murderers, the right to vote should be considered on its individual merit.

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  • 41. At 7:15pm on 17 Feb 2010, toxicfree wrote:

    I listened with an open mind to the chap who had served 25 years for murder, but when he said that it was the prisoner who had to deal with the effects long after the victim had had their day in court said to me that his rehabilitation had achieved nothing.

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  • 42. At 7:15pm on 17 Feb 2010, Ian wrote:

    I think if a prisoner has 4 or less years to serve then he/she should be given a vote. The government in office at the time of their release will effectively be having a say in how their life is run, so I feel the person has a right to decide who will be given that say.

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  • 43. At 7:16pm on 17 Feb 2010, Priam78 wrote:

    If a prisoner has transgressed the rules of society, sure they give up the right to be a member of that society and the privileges associated with that membership.

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  • 44. At 7:16pm on 17 Feb 2010, Gemma Cooke wrote:

    No. People go to prison because they have done wrong. They have gone against society and the rules we live by yet prisoners want the right to determine how its governed? Absolute joke. What we need is a goverment with a back bone! Prison is becoming as appealing as a holiday, I may check in and get away from it all for a while, it sounds great!

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  • 45. At 7:16pm on 17 Feb 2010, Tina wrote:

    I totally agree with Anthony, prisoners have it far too easy in prisons these days. They should not be allowed to vote, they give up all rights to anything once they've committed their crime, they should be locked up for 23hrs a day and just let let out for 1hr a day, better still bring back capital punishment.

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  • 46. At 7:16pm on 17 Feb 2010, Sophies Mate wrote:

    No no and no, prison seems to be an easy option these days most prisoners have more than the average honest person in Britain. They lost their right to vote when they committed the crime and why should murderers have the right to vote their victims cannot vote now. Another stab in the back for the law abiding person.

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  • 47. At 7:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, James wrote:

    It seems that a lot of people involved in this discussion have an instinctive reaction to the fact that these people in prison are not allowed to vote purely because they have broken the law and deserve nothing but being locked up. It is difficult to say yes or no in simple terms, no because they have broken the law so why should they have a say in our choice of government when they do not respect any system of rule. Or yes because we should involve them in the way of life that many of them will eventually return to and we should give them the chance to a decent balance of society. Difficult choice, and I'm still undecided.

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  • 48. At 7:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, Bob wrote:

    No, you forfiet human rights the minute you stop being human.

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  • 49. At 7:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, John Bendle wrote:

    Certainly not! Voting is a matter of judgement, and of Civil Rights. In the first instance, their judgement is impaired, and in the second, they have sacrificed their civil rights, by abusing and not respecting the civil rights of others! So how can we, law abiding people, trust our civil well-being to people like this.

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  • 50. At 7:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, HD wrote:

    Absolutely not!! Prisoners have commited a crime against society and therefore do not have the right to consider themselves a member of that society, and in a democracy it's society who decide who governs them.
    Also, why should a prisoner be allowed to vote when a 16 or 17 year old cannot, even if they are paying tax (unlike prisoner)

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  • 51. At 7:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, tina wrote:

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  • 52. At 7:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, julie morton wrote:

    the victims of these prisoners nlonger have a life never mind rights so why should they

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  • 53. At 7:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, Ted wrote:

    Convicted criminals who have transgressed the rights of others are no longer entitled to their own!

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  • 54. At 7:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, Bob Langley wrote:

    Did the presenter of the 'votes for cons' piece actually compare us with those great democracies of China and Iraq. If we are going to follow China's example most of these prisoners won't be getting a vote anyway because they will have been executed. As for Iraq ... you have got to be kidding.

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  • 55. At 7:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, Gary wrote:

    Why should prisoners get the same rights as law abiding citizens. If you commit crime and are sentenced you should lose all your rights to pretection under the human rights law. dont commit crime and you can vote commit crime and you lose your right.

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  • 56. At 7:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, Richard Bolton wrote:

    The bottom line is that this country signed up for this bill of human rights, the right to vote as part of democracy of which is an absolute right.

    The nature of this legislation is intended to ensure that the whole of the country has the right to vote and does not discriminate against individuals or groups.

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  • 57. At 7:18pm on 17 Feb 2010, catherine ward wrote:

    Prisoners gave up their right to vote once they broke the law. The law of the land. Why do they feel they have a right against the 'common' people who abide by the law of the land. In ages gone by, when capital punishment was a deterrent, we didn't have the problem of people 'rights' after release.....'cos they were dead!!

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  • 58. At 7:18pm on 17 Feb 2010, PhilipE15 wrote:

    All prisoners should have their right to vote and to a passport revoked permanetly.

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  • 59. At 7:18pm on 17 Feb 2010, flo2 wrote:

    I have worked in prison for very many years and the majority of adult male prisoners have never voted and have no interest in politics. Many believe the government are a bunch of 'rich gits' who give us their money!

    Please don't forget that all prisoners are somebody's sons and daughters and there, but for the grace of whomsoever you believe in, go members of my/your family.

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  • 60. At 7:18pm on 17 Feb 2010, Alantheboy wrote:

    Sorry this subject has made me so angry, if someone does a crime and they are jailed for the crime I believe they have no right to vote on anything at all, you should only have the right to vote if you are a law aibiding citizen or whats the point of following the laws of the this land if little by little they give more and more rights to prisoners, its starting to sound more like a holiday camp and not a correctional facility

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  • 61. At 7:18pm on 17 Feb 2010, Jamie wrote:

    Prisoners did not thing of any rights before committing offences, what makes them think they have any entitlement to vote etc when they had no interest in what society wanted in the first place, rapists and murderers should be locked away, forgotten about and have no rights at all about any justice, they threw that away when they committed their offences, once a murderer/rapist always a murderer/rapist. British Justice System has gone too lenient in recent months, ARE WE ACTUALLY SAFE!!!!

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  • 62. At 7:18pm on 17 Feb 2010, maxh wrote:

    I think it's absolutely ESSENTIAL that the should be aowed to vote, in fact I think that vting should be mandatory.

    Incarceration has 3 main goals: To punish the the criminal, to provide justice to the victim and/or their family, and to act as a deterrent to others and to the criminal once/if he leaves jail.

    Now the best way to deter future crimes committed by the same person is to get them involved within society and therefore prevent anti-social behaviour (which is effectively what crimes are). Now by allowing or making prisoners vote, they become active members of society and not dead weight living off the taxpayer. Allowing someone to vote gives them a sense of purpose and validation and gives them an interest in the wider world.

    I may be talking out of my @ss here, but I reckon that the majority of criminals (whether in jail or not) do not exercise their right to vote anyway (though this may not be true of those committing 'white collar' crimes).

    All those who say string 'em up and let them hang are ignoring why people commit crimes in the first place and clearly have no interest in crime prevention.

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  • 63. At 7:18pm on 17 Feb 2010, Sharon wrote:

    I've tried to be fair about this but I keep coming back to the same answer- no. When you have a right you also have a responsibility. When you commit a crime you have failed your responsibility to society and thereore forefit your rights. What about the victims rights? And those of their families and friends?

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  • 64. At 7:19pm on 17 Feb 2010, Jen wrote:

    They don't even deserve the most basic of human rights, such as toilet paper and clean water to drink, nevermind a vote!

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  • 65. At 7:19pm on 17 Feb 2010, Wolfie2010 wrote:

    It seems to me that by choosing to commit a crime, the individual also chooses to live outside of the law and, by association society. Having made that choice - and please remember that it IS their choice - I fail to see how they can argue that they should have a say in how the society they have opted out of, is run. Imprisonment is about both punishment AND rehabilitation, whilst serving the sentence they should be considering the crime and working towards re-entering society.

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  • 66. At 7:19pm on 17 Feb 2010, alison wrote:

    I am disgusted at the comments made by the ex prisoner. He obviously harbours resentment over his victim by saying that they fight and spit so as not to allow him a vote. Yes, educate inmates, but yes they have given up their rights where voting is concerned!
    We must always put the victim first.

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  • 67. At 7:19pm on 17 Feb 2010, Jo Letts wrote:

    We live our lives within the law and we pay taxes to keep criminals living a life that is totally provided for, they lost the right to everything when they decided to commit an offence, to be honest if you kill someone you have no rights, break the law you have no rights, what has this country come too??

    We are a soft touch and I vote to bring back the death penalty!

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  • 68. At 7:19pm on 17 Feb 2010, scaifey wrote:

    People who commit a crime and have been imprisoned should lose all of their Human Rights, they have no consideration for the Human Rights of their victims. They have been removed from society as a punishment and that should include the right to vote. The European Court's ruling is only a recommedation and is not enforcable in the UK.

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  • 69. At 7:20pm on 17 Feb 2010, mark48 wrote:

    they can have the vote but have to go to a polling station like most poeple

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  • 70. At 7:20pm on 17 Feb 2010, Stephen Bennett wrote:

    How can prisoners have any rights, does being sent to prison mean nothing anymore, what's the point of any convictions if the convicted gets to retain his rights.

    Britain has gone to the dogs, especially when we are compared with our supposed European cousins

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  • 71. At 7:20pm on 17 Feb 2010, Kali wrote:

    I'm glad to see everyone thinks they shouldn't be given the vote... obviously this doesn't mean a thing and they will go ahead and give them it anyway. Prisoners have more say than the public it appears.

    As soon as you commit a crime you forfeit your rights. Prison is supposed to be a deterrent but when you give them playstations, tv's computers and many other luxuries I can't help but think prison is just a glorified hotel.

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  • 72. At 7:20pm on 17 Feb 2010, Ken Lynch wrote:

    When prisoners commit the crimes, they commit them against society, and when they are subsequently convicted and sentenced, surely they have rescinded all rights to society treating them as equals.
    They cannot ignore society's rules and laws and when caught cite society's rules and laws to gain privileges.

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  • 73. At 7:20pm on 17 Feb 2010, tina wrote:

    absolutely not. the right to vote is unthinkable. if you just sit down for just a second and re-live what that poor child went through with that monster. these low life scum should have no rights what so-ever. the thought of this ever becoming law makes me so angry. what is this country coming to????

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  • 74. At 7:20pm on 17 Feb 2010, Tonia wrote:

    I would say definately no. They do not deserve it

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  • 75. At 7:21pm on 17 Feb 2010, john davis wrote:

    as soon as you commit a crime in this country you lose the right to vote, to hell with europe and there meddling in our lives. why should you continue to have that right, no way, dont commit the crime in the first place simple.

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  • 76. At 7:21pm on 17 Feb 2010, Dave Richmond wrote:

    What you have got to ask yourself is, why so close to a General Election is the government taking an interest in giving the prison population a vote.

    What you have also got to ask yourself is, to which party in general the prison population would cast their vote, to the government, soft on crime, soft on the causes of crime or the opposition.

    What you have also got to ask yourself is why this is a topic on The One Show, and why we have only left wing metrosexuals on the sofa giving tacit approval.

    Bit more subtle peak time lightweight propaganda, or it is from where I am sitting.

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  • 77. At 7:21pm on 17 Feb 2010, Duncan wrote:

    My only comment is that to compare our democracy to Iraq and China seemed pretty daft. After all, in both those countries, we know who is going to win the election before they have it, irrespective of whether prisoners get to vote or not. Iraq proved this very recently and the way they treat dissidents has to be seen to be believed. Personally as someone who comes across criminals every day I rather think that most of them firstly won't mind not voting and probably they wouldn't even if they were not inside. Secondly I do think that it is a privilege and if you break the law, maybe it is one you should not enjoy.

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  • 78. At 7:21pm on 17 Feb 2010, David Crosby wrote:

    No Prisoners should not have the right to vote. If they have commited the crime they should lose all human rights. IF they commit a crime they show they cannot live the by the laws and think about other people they should have no human rights.

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  • 79. At 7:22pm on 17 Feb 2010, Roger from Barking wrote:

    Prisoners give up their human rights the minute they commit their crime - the one they are inside for. This should also include their 'right' to vote.
    We in 'Great' Britain should not be dictated to by the unelected bureaucrats from Brussels.

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  • 80. At 7:22pm on 17 Feb 2010, L Coleby wrote:

    In a household aged 22yrs to 52 years we are agreed that if you commit a crime where your peers have decided that you should be incarserated as a punishment you are no longer eligible to the human rights of the general public and therefore should not be entitled to vote. As a convicted criminal you gave up your human rights.

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  • 81. At 7:22pm on 17 Feb 2010, mary wrote:

    should prisoners be allowed to vote? NO. prisons are where people are supposed to repay their debt to their victim and society. how can they do that when they are living in holiday camps provided by us, the tax payers. they are allowed tv's computers etc. when do they have the time to reflect on the harm they have caused. they should not be allowed any right to vote, or take pleaure from tv, internet or other activities. let them serve their time thinking about how they can repair the damage and join in activities that help the community. mary. Exmouth

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  • 82. At 7:22pm on 17 Feb 2010, Kali wrote:

    The Guys on the show said "I don't know... it's a hard one to decide"
    No it's not, it's easy. The answer is unequivocally NO!

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  • 83. At 7:22pm on 17 Feb 2010, Andy wrote:

    I think i will go and rob a bank ... i can't afford a holiday this year !!! Prison is no deterant ! It is a hoilday camp for crooks !!! Why not let them run the country too !! I GIVE UP !!

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  • 84. At 7:22pm on 17 Feb 2010, Steve wrote:

    There is too much of this "Human Rights" issues for those who break the law these days and the victims are never considered with regards to their "Human Rights"!! Those who decide to break the law should automatically lose all rights and should they be injured whilst in the process of breaking the law then they should be banned from making a claim for their injuries. Once convicted and sent to Prison they are there for a punishment and again should not have any rights including not being permitted to vote as they are then "outside of society" until their punishment is completed. They should also not be permitted all of these luxeries they have these days such as colour tv's, pool tables etc. All of this should be removed but Prisons are now like Hotels and prisoners are getting much more than many OAP's have and many pensioners can't afford one hot meal a day let alone 3 like the prisoners have. NO VOTES FOR PRISONERS and lets make prisons less appealing to the criminals and maybe that way we will reduce some of the crime in this Country!!!

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  • 85. At 7:23pm on 17 Feb 2010, lily wrote:

    i have never posted any thing on a blog before,but feel very strongly about this subject.I always thought that prison was a punishment,not a holiday.It seems to me that you go to prison and are given EVERYTHING.from colour tv,computers,etc.Whatever happened to the victims 'human rights'.Some of these prisioners rape and kill and think nothing of it.Someone on your programme mentioned reform.How can you reform people like that.

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  • 86. At 7:23pm on 17 Feb 2010, harro wrote:

    Has the world gone mad !! Thae poor woman has to live every day knowing that evil killed her daughter. Know that same evil wants the right to vote. If you are sent to prison you are there because you have committed a crime hence you have gone against the rules we live by. It therefore makes sense that you will have lost your right to vote.

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  • 87. At 7:23pm on 17 Feb 2010, John Bustard wrote:

    I am generally a fan of the One Show. It has a light and positive feel and I recognise that the articles presented will tend to have a slightly superficial and conservative perspective, but I felt this segment went beyond this, showing a very strong "hangings too good for them" attitude. Clearly if most of europe concider the votes of prisoners to be important the issue is worth concidering and it would be valuable to hear their perspective. Solely focusing on convicted murderers and their victims and describing their crimes rather than examining the wider issue of the role of prison goes from superficial and naive to incitement of aggression. Aggression I feel the other posts demonstrate. Not really the BBCs remit.

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  • 88. At 7:24pm on 17 Feb 2010, ANONYMOUS STANMORE wrote:

    NO OUR RIGHT TO VOTE IS OUR FREEDOM OF CHOICE, PRISONERS DO NOT HAVE FREEDOM NOR UNFORTUNATELY DO THEIR VICTIMS,SO DEFINATELY NOT

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  • 89. At 7:24pm on 17 Feb 2010, Seb Craig wrote:

    Prisoner's Human Rights should be They are fed and watered, kept at an appropriate temperature, kept clean, and sufficient exercise. They should have access to books, very limited TV, paper & pencils and
    nothing else.

    Seb Craig.

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  • 90. At 7:24pm on 17 Feb 2010, margaret123 wrote:

    I am tired of the eu interfering in our justice system, prisoners should lose all their rights regarding their activities on the outside. eu wont help pensioners get a living pension,so best they keep out of it.

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  • 91. At 7:25pm on 17 Feb 2010, Michael wrote:

    My God, give them the vote! where will this madness end....? I am sick to death of do gooders treating prisoners like pets, there to be pampered and given every home comfort possible. When will common sense prevail and prisoners will be given a punishment that befits their crime. No more ensuites, televisions, ipods, ensuite bathrooms, dietary requests and art lessons! Prison is a punishment not an opportunity to gain an arts degree. I am frankly appalled as to how soft we have become not only to the over 18s but also to ferile children who blight our inner cities. Military or civilian service should be punishment to be feared and prisons should be the ultimate punishment that should do exactly that, punish, not pamper.

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  • 92. At 7:25pm on 17 Feb 2010, mike hurley wrote:

    all prisoners lose all there rights once the enter prison they are then being kept by the tax payers and and there family as well in a lot of cases .child killers should be put to sleep like animals .if a dog bit a child it would be put to sleep

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  • 93. At 7:25pm on 17 Feb 2010, Terry Sullivan wrote:

    If prisoners are given the vote they would be able to club togther and carry more weight in parliament than law abiding citizens. We would then have politicians pandering to their wants.

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  • 94. At 7:25pm on 17 Feb 2010, r tomlin wrote:

    TAke a life and u denie all that persons future existance including thier right to vote so that person who committed the crime at least forfiets thier right to vote for ever as part of the punishment. they get of lightly allready by not being executed in the first place.

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  • 95. At 7:26pm on 17 Feb 2010, caroline wrote:

    Not everyone who is in prison has killed or hurt someone. Some are in for mis dememeners. Why should they not vote

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  • 96. At 7:26pm on 17 Feb 2010, k riddle wrote:

    I see a massive majority of people have common sense and acknowledge this whole issue as nonsense but the government stopped representing its people a long time ago. But 'should prisoners have a vote' is a secondary issue.'Should the people of the British isles be given a vote on the EU' is at the root of this.

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  • 97. At 7:27pm on 17 Feb 2010, diamonds101 wrote:

    The One Show


    i am emailing to put my opinion on the rights for the prisoners to vote

    I strongly disagree with the criminals having the right to vote, there
    seems to be more human rights for prisoners and less help to the victims,
    who endlessly suffer from mental and phyiscal scaring.

    They are in jail for their crime why should they have rights like a
    innocent victim.


    Joe Diamond

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  • 98. At 7:27pm on 17 Feb 2010, melvin wrote:

    love the show, but could Adrian please speak up, no problem with Christine.

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  • 99. At 7:27pm on 17 Feb 2010, Lynn Gray wrote:

    If someone can commit such a crime then all rights should be stripped.. I can't believe how that guy said that it didn't have anything to do with the families left behind. He took a life and that will affect other people for the rest of their lives. I strongly believe that people like that should be wiped out of society altogether!
    I do agree that maybe we should take into consideration the people who have been imprisoned for trivial crimes though.

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  • 100. At 7:27pm on 17 Feb 2010, Pete wrote:

    Interesting that again the BBC decide to give airtime to someone who took away someone elses right to Life! I am certain that mudering your Landlady with an axe would have resulted in the death penalty in Iraq and China - A life for a life. Why should anyone convicted of a crime sufficient to warratn a Prison Term be given the right to contribute to the decision making in this country? It is utter nonsense. This man et al should not be given airtime, do prisoners pay taxes? do prisoners pay tv licences? in fact do people who depend on benefits (not those who use the welfare state as it was meant to be used in times of need) the ones who think the state should raise their children etc have a vote? Probably not but "this is England..."

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  • 101. At 7:27pm on 17 Feb 2010, clark592 wrote:

    Absolutely not. Why should any prisoner, especially one who has committed serious crimes think that he/she can continue to participate in activities that normal law abiding citizens treasure as a means of expressing their lawful right to decie who will run the country.

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  • 102. At 7:28pm on 17 Feb 2010, englishlokfuehrer wrote:

    No, prisoners should definately not be given the vote. Prisons today are more like a holiday camp with the amount of relative freedom and luxuries inmates get today. If they want the vote then don't do the crime in the first place, all the reformers are living in cloud cuckoo land !

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  • 103. At 7:28pm on 17 Feb 2010, diamonds101 wrote:

    The One Show


    i am emailing to put my opinion on the rights for the prisoners to vote

    I strongly disagree with the criminals having the right to vote, there
    seems to be more human rights for prisoners and less help to the victims,
    who endlessly suffer from mental and phyiscal scaring.

    They are in jail for their crime why should they have rights like a
    innocent victim.


    Joe
    from devon

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  • 104. At 7:28pm on 17 Feb 2010, JGPaisley wrote:

    This is getting rediculous! They have no rights. They forfeited them when they took a life. Solve the prison space problem by buying a couple of remote islands and put them on it. No TV's, playstations or other recreational extras. Yes they should have to slop out and nothing wrong with chain gangs. Make them work for their keep in some way. There is no insentive not to re-offend. Life should mean life, and not in comfort that they probably wouldn't have had on the outside. WEe've totally lost the plot with this !!!!

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  • 105. At 7:29pm on 17 Feb 2010, Judy Keith wrote:

    Once you take away the life of someone, you give up the right to have rights. No one has the right to take away a life so don't expect anything back.

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  • 106. At 7:30pm on 17 Feb 2010, Mac wrote:

    I am so fed up with hearing these comments from so "do gooders".
    If anyone commits a crime which results in being imprisoned then yes they do lose their normal rights.
    Their "rights" are and should be "Feeding, warmth, water.
    Why should good law abiding people in the UK be FORCED by stupid European dictats to oblge these criminals.
    As for these criminals having a say via the voting system....NO.....they lost that right when they committed their crimes !

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  • 107. At 7:30pm on 17 Feb 2010, type49 wrote:

    Unfortunatly are prisons are no longer a deterrent, I am shocked that you allowed one of your reporters to interview an AXE MURDERER. Why are we so soft in this country and why are the politicians so weak.

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  • 108. At 7:30pm on 17 Feb 2010, John Barnes wrote:

    Those that have compromised another's human rights (and have been convicted of such) should not be able to take advantage of the full human rights accorded to the law-abiding. There should be a basic set of human rights defined for those in prison. It should protect their right to have reasonable living conditions, nothing more.

    The right to vote is a civilised privilege and not for the law breakers.

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  • 109. At 7:31pm on 17 Feb 2010, David wrote:

    Absolutely not!The question was raised 'What is the purpose of prison?'It is for punishment...the removal of dangerous people from society in order that they cannot commit another offence.The removal from society should mean the removal of their rights.They are given a soft time in prison nowadays;with time off for good behavior,TVs etc and even payment for working.They never gave their victims any rights....in some cases they are dead!!

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  • 110. At 7:32pm on 17 Feb 2010, Laviathon wrote:

    Prison means prison. It does not mean that those who have committed serious or otherwise crimes should have any rights. They are there to serve out a sentence. Europe should keep out of our business and judges in this country need to wake up and "smell the coffee" and give longer sentences or the right sentences for the crimes committed. SOFT BRITAIN NEEDS TO WAKE UP. Answer is "NO VOTES FOR LAGS."

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  • 111. At 7:32pm on 17 Feb 2010, dave parrish wrote:

    Tell you what, when a murder victim votes then the murderer can vote!

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  • 112. At 7:32pm on 17 Feb 2010, June wrote:

    I was outraged at the axe murderer's view that the victims have their day in court!!!! did he actually think that his dead landlady really got her day in court??? Why is he even out of jail??
    In my view, you loose your Human Right when you make the decision to carryout the unhumane act of taking another person's life or raping a child or even breaking into someones home.
    Here's something to vote on nationally....should we allow prisoners to vote?! In fact, don't bother wasting the money, I think we already know the answer to that

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  • 113. At 7:33pm on 17 Feb 2010, Yve wrote:

    NO WAY should a prisoner have the right to vote , they should have no rights , the victims and their families have no rights, they suffer for the rest of their lives and try to carry on with life as best they can.This country and many others are to intersted in the rights of the criminals,. surely it is time we put the rights on the side of good not bad.

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  • 114. At 7:34pm on 17 Feb 2010, The Silent Majority wrote:

    I cannot believe that the One Show has had the cheek to even broadcast this! When people infringe on others "human rights", they cease to have any such rights themselves and that includes voting. All I can assume is that the One Show (and the present government) are so desperate for votes, that they will take anyones! Message to the One Show Producers, Adrian and Christine, we switched off the One Show tonight immediately after this item even Adrian sat on the fence. You have descended in to the deepest depths with this one.

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  • 115. At 7:35pm on 17 Feb 2010, camo wrote:

    Dose a murderer ,theaf or other criminal think about the rights of there victim when comitting there crime.
    No! so the only answer we can give is No. they dont have the right to anything exept what we the people decide after all we are the ones paying for there holiday resorts ups i mean prison.

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  • 116. At 7:35pm on 17 Feb 2010, Daniel wrote:

    NO!, they lost the right as soon as they commited their crime. it sickens me to know that a rapist, killer or any other criminal has the same rights as a free man. if we give them the right to vote then they will want the right to have home compforts. The day they commited a crime they lost their rights to anything outside the prison walls.

    the law NEED'S the death sentance back as this is the only fit punnishment. prison is not going to bring justice to a murder vitim's family. if a person commit's murder (not in self defence) then they are no longer fit to live. if a person killed a member of my family i would want blood in return, I would want it to be a public execution and make an example to other's.

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  • 117. At 7:35pm on 17 Feb 2010, Tony Wellard wrote:

    That murderer you interveiwed lost all his rights including voting when he commited his crime. Did he think about the right to life of his victim, - No - He should have been executed, that way he would not be making these ridiculous claims now, and causing even more anguish to his victims family. Stop pandering to this dross and bring back the death penalty.

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  • 118. At 7:36pm on 17 Feb 2010, Lynn Gray wrote:

    I think it is so easy for us all to sit back and ask how someone can assist in the suicide of a loved one. As far as assisted suicide goes, i can totally sympathise with both parties. How difficult must it be for someone to ask another person to end their life and how difficult must it be for the other person to perform the act knowing that they have to live with their actions?! I don't think that it should even have to come to this. We as individuals should be able to decide our fate and therefore maybe in extreme circumstances be granted permission to take some kind of medication to put the missery to rest. I do think that there should be a process put into place whereby a person is monitored before their wishes granted.
    If my pet was suffering as some individuals do then i wouldn't hesitate in taking him to the vets!
    We need to put ourselves in their possition.

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  • 119. At 7:37pm on 17 Feb 2010, Terry Sullivan wrote:


    Just another quick thought, why are prisoners so interested in who makes laws, if they ignore them?

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  • 120. At 7:37pm on 17 Feb 2010, Nick McGranahan wrote:

    Criminals are in prison because they broke the Law by which Society lives. Therefore they forfeit any rights of Society, especially that of voting on how our Society is run. Any MP voting in favour of this issue should be named....and shamed.

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  • 121. At 7:37pm on 17 Feb 2010, MGFIN wrote:

    It seems that the vast majority of contributors feel the same way, no way on earth should they. But then why do we bother commenting as the politicians are so far out of touch with the views of the voters they wll take no notice anyway, they have their eye on the next game European politics and the continueing gravy train.
    Prison is a forfeiture of the right to freedom and only when the sentence is served fully, should the offender have the opportunity to rejoin the civilised world.

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  • 122. At 7:39pm on 17 Feb 2010, SANDY wrote:

    It's time we all woke up, anyone who brakes the law should lose all rights and should have to earn even the most basic rights. The do gooders who push the human rights card want be on the receiving end,we as a family have. I am not impressed by what the rest of the EU or the world think on this, it should remain as is, in fact I would go further and say it's time we looked at how we can get some return from those in prison.As the lady said what about our human rights.

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  • 123. At 7:39pm on 17 Feb 2010, r tomlin wrote:

    hope those in power note the general fellings of the comments, and i expect 99.9% off the population agree.and have the bottle to stand up for our view (we who elected you ) to goven us

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  • 124. At 7:40pm on 17 Feb 2010, Maureen wrote:

    Absolutely not! Individuals who choose to break the law also choose to operate outside of co-operative, functional, considerate society. So why should they be afforded the same priviledges as those of us who live decent honourable trustworthy lives.

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  • 125. At 7:40pm on 17 Feb 2010, john wrote:

    I have a better idea. We should let all the murderers out of prison and not only give them the vote, but put them in government, giving them jobs as Minister for Education, or Health minister....
    Oh, that's right, in one part of the UK we already did.
    Those of you who are against giving prisoners the vote may have some idea of disgust many of us in Northern Ireland feel at being governed by those who in the past did everything in their power to break down our society, murdering our friends and families, forcing us out of our homes and burning down our businesses.

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  • 126. At 7:41pm on 17 Feb 2010, sharon wrote:

    YES YES YES! prisoners should have the right to vote! they might of broke the law but the crimes should have nothing to do with their right to vote! surly they should still be allowed to vote! they broke the law and are locked up for that,and this should have nothing to do with their right to vote! this is a separate right! and they should not lose the right to vote! and they might have playstations! but they still have lost so much more! and am sure a playstation does not make jail a great place to be! We should move forward and not backwards in socity! Remember They stopped hanging, thank god! because the was so many miscarridge of justices!lets move forward we are in 2010! and let prisoners have the right to vote! it should have nothing to do with them being locked up for crimes!

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  • 127. At 7:41pm on 17 Feb 2010, dug ringsell wrote:

    I'M TOTALLY SHOCKED AT WHAT I'VE JUST WITNESSED ON THE ONE SHOW.I FOUND BOTH LORD DAVID RAMSBOTHAM (FORMER PRISON CHIEF INSPECTOR) AND FORMER AXE MURDER'S JOHN HIRST'S COMMENT'S DISTURBING.LORD RAMSBOTHAM STATED PRISONERS SHOULD HAVE A RIGHT TO VOTE, WHILE JOHN HIRST STATED "WHAT HAS IT GOT TO DO WITH THE VICTIMS RELATIVES".NO PRISONER SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO VOTE, THERE IN PRISON FOR A REASON. ONCE THEY STEP INTO A PRISON, ALL LEGAL RIGHTS SHOULD BE REMOVED. NO MURDERER,RAPIST,DRUG DEALER ETC, SHOULD HAVE A SAY IN HOW LAW ABIDDING CITIZENS SHOULD LIVE.
    LOOK AT BEING LOCKED UP FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE. A LAW ABIDDING PERSON UNFORTUNATLEY BECOMES UNWELL AND SUFFERS FROM DEPRESSION ETC. THIS PERSON WHO BECOMES ILL COULD BE LOCKED UP BY BEING SECTIONED UNDER THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT. UNDER THE MENTAL HEALTH ACT, THIS LAW ABIDDING PERSON'S LEGAL RIGHTS ARE REMOVED FROM THEM.
    TELL ME WHO SHOULD HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO VOTE, A MURDERER OR AN UNFORTUNATE PERSON DOWN ON THIER LUCK? IT'S A NO BRAINER.

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  • 128. At 7:42pm on 17 Feb 2010, Maxibaby wrote:

    You have to be a lawbreaker these days to have anybody campaigning on your behalf. Who cares about the thousands of long-term ex-pats who cannot vote either in their country of origin, or their new country (except in local elections). There are thousands of disenfranchised British citizens, and nobody gives a damn.

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  • 129. At 7:43pm on 17 Feb 2010, Tom Jones wrote:

    I was given to understand that when people were sent to jail they forfeited their civil rights. People who have been murdered by criminals have lost theirs. I can not understand why prisoners are given all the facilities they may have had at home, such as TV,computers etc. For a crime there is punishment and that to me means criminals should be deprived of every thing except basic needs. There is a saying "do the crime , serve the time". Criminals are well aware of this saying, yet they still offend. when a criminal is sentenced to life, normally for killing somebody, he or she should serve the whole of their life in prison as a contrition not 15 years or 25 years because of good behaviour. Look at the facts about how many re-offend. I think a lot of reduced sentences are based upon how much money it costs the authorities to keep them in prison. If I was snetenced for drink driving I would have to pay a fine immediately, not negotiable and I would be banned banned from driving for an exact period of time dependant on the gravity of the offence. No reduction if I promised not to do it again and no opportunity for me to prove to the powers that be, that I would not commit the offence again. In other words because I was caught I now believe I am a better and more responsible person. most criminals are devious and selfish people

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  • 130. At 7:43pm on 17 Feb 2010, webspider wrote:

    Human rights need to be earned, once you commit a crime you lose them. the ECOHR seems to always fall on the side of criminals, the UK sould ignore the use of this court and create a UK COURT OF VICTIMS RIGHTS.
    this might get more support, Brown of cause will say its nothing to do with him. but then nothing is.
    remove all access for prisoners to the out side world, phones, internet and tv, it should not be a holiday, they should pay the price for their crime othewise they will never learn.

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  • 131. At 7:44pm on 17 Feb 2010, JGPaisley wrote:

    Forgot to add - the death penalty should be brought back for child murderers. No debate on votes then!

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  • 132. At 7:45pm on 17 Feb 2010, David Wilson wrote:

    Never mind claiming it's 'the victim's feelings,' the same feelings are felt by the majority of the British Public. If those who commit rape and murder could still be executed, again as probably the majority feel, that would solve the problem of their human rights.

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  • 133. At 7:47pm on 17 Feb 2010, Danedweller wrote:

    Criminals want the vote so they can vote for the party that is soft on crime, otherwise why should they want to vote?

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  • 134. At 7:47pm on 17 Feb 2010, Wolfie2010 wrote:

    WRT Flo2's comment; yes they are all someone's son/daughter - that is a biological necessity! But it adds nothing to the argument. I spent more than a few years working in the Crown Court and found that most defendants viewed Court appearances and prison terms as merely an occupational hazard and at worse (from my point of view) as a holiday away from having to work and deal with their family. To me this clearly indicates that the 'deterrent' element of prisons should be questioned and with it the 'punishment' How can it be either if the criminal view is that prison is preferable to life outside? Once there is some actual evidence that the whole justice system is working (crime actually going down) then I would accept discussion about making life on the inside more like life outside.

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  • 135. At 7:47pm on 17 Feb 2010, Steve W - Hull wrote:

    Regarding prisoners’ right to vote, in my opinion this is yet another example of the rights and feelings of the criminal being given priority over the rights and feelings of the victim and the innocent.

    Then again who cares what I think? I’m just a middle aged, law abiding, hard working, tax paying husband and father.

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  • 136. At 7:49pm on 17 Feb 2010, Neil R wrote:

    I agree, as I believe most people do, that prisoners should be reformed to stop thier affending & to be a positive member of society. However I believe STRONGLY that if they want the right to things like 'voting', then they shouldn't offend in the first place!! This country is going to far in opposite direction from where THE MAJORITY of society believes it should be going in!! I believe, (& EVERONE I talk to believe), that people who choose to live here, that includes imigrants & 'home grown', should live as british citezens do & live by OUR LAWS which SHOULD DENY prisoners certain rights, (other wise, WHAT'S THE POINT OF HAVING PRISONS)!! This country is getting too soft on the troublesome types & FORGETTING the rights of GENUINE, LAW ABBIDING, BRITISH PEOPLE who just want to get on with life!!
    MAYBE WE SHOULD HAVE A 'SHOOT A DO GOODER' WEEK???? Let's face it prisoners these days seem to have more rights & access to, more things than a lot of genuine, working people do, YOU REMEMBER, THE PEOPLE WHO DO GIVE A DAMM ABOUT THIS COUNTRY!?!?! NOT DO GOODERS OR POLITICIANS??? HA, HA.
    What do you think, ask for oppinions on that then!
    Regards, Neil.

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  • 137. At 7:50pm on 17 Feb 2010, Bill Raison wrote:

    Absolutely NOT. They have offended against society, therefore they should not be allowed to affect society with the franchise. Also, privelleges and conditions should be progressively withdrawn from re-offenders.

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  • 138. At 7:50pm on 17 Feb 2010, saltcoats_postie wrote:

    Totally agree with earlier comment. Give them the right to vote but only at a Polling Station, if they can get to it. NO postal votes should be afforded prisoners.

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  • 139. At 7:50pm on 17 Feb 2010, Steve W - Hull wrote:

    Regarding prisoners’ right to vote, in my opinion this is yet another example of the rights and feelings of the criminal being given priority over the rights and feelings of the victim and the innocent.

    Then again who cares what I think? I’m just a middle aged, law abiding, hard working, tax paying husband and father.

    Steve W - Hull

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  • 140. At 7:51pm on 17 Feb 2010, Danedweller wrote:

    Whether you kill someone with an axe or suffocate them with a pillow, it would appear that there is no embargo on giving them airtime on the BBC.

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  • 141. At 7:51pm on 17 Feb 2010, Gilly wrote:

    Half the prison population if not more are high on drugs so would not know what day of the week it is so why would they vote. They have to be on the electoral role to vote they use bogus names and addresses and have countless aliases. They come to jail, they loose there liberty WHY should they get a vote, they should loose all human rights not get more and free legal advice why the public have to pay for legal advice why should they get it for nothing what do they contribute to society apart from keeping prison staff employed??

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  • 142. At 7:54pm on 17 Feb 2010, JGPaisley wrote:

    There should be a vote on whether or not to reinstate the death penalty for certain crimes. Forget discussing their right to vote! Solve the overcrowing problem with any remanded for serious crimes by building prisons on remote island with basic services. No luxuries. They are there to be punished for their crimes and if it's uncomfortable enough for them, they won't want to come back when released. Forget this namby pamby rehabilitation rubbish which costs us millions. Sorry - I'm on a rant, but something HAS to be done to bring us back to reality.

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  • 143. At 7:57pm on 17 Feb 2010, prinny888 wrote:

    Absolutely No, they should not be allowed to vote. And further more I resent my tax money being spent providing them any kind of entertainment ( games consoles..) all they need is a hard bed and a bucket. They (the criminals)say allowing them to vote will make them better people ,will help society. what a lot of rubbish! All it will do is give them an other bargaining chip. I think prisoners should be trained and used to do manual labour, get them out filling the holes in the roads, now that would be putting something back into society. How many criminals consider their victims human rights? Let the people who stay within the law choose the people who make the law. If receiving the right to vote was a reward /goal prisoners had to work towards, completing workshops, manual labour, etc. (I wonder how many of them would bother)

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  • 144. At 8:04pm on 17 Feb 2010, Suzie wrote:

    Any individual, who committed a pre-meditated Hanus crime should loose all their Human rights and this should include their rights to vote. Those individuals have shown their lack of regard, compassion, empathy and love which is what we consider major factors of being human. They are scum and dont deserve to breath the same good air that we do.
    As a society in whole we are forced to swallow the bile which the P.C (Politically Correct) Brigade thrust apon us. Self rightous do gooders with nothing better to occupy their minds and time with, spouting off about Human rights - what a crock!!
    Why should monsters have a say in how this country is run?? Lets face it, the government is a joke, each party bark to the same knock at the door, all following the same agenda just hidden under piles of deceipt and lies. Is this just a new angle to get votes, after all there are thousands and thousands of non human beings in prison, enough of them to swing the voting tables in different directions.?
    Topics and ideas of this nature make me SO cross, there are hundreds of islands of the UK, Alcatraz springs to mind, ship them off and make them do hard labour till they DIE.... After all a life sentence should mean life, not out due to good behaviour! And they certainly should NEVER be allowed to vote ever again.



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  • 145. At 8:04pm on 17 Feb 2010, Al1949 wrote:

    No,I'm of the school of, prison is for punishment, I don't care about reforming the prisoners, I believe when they commit a crime they lose their rights, after all what about the rights of their victims.

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  • 146. At 8:04pm on 17 Feb 2010, Peter wrote:

    Absolutely Not!! Inmates who are sent to Prison give up their rights.

    There is NO Deterrent as it is now.

    The Perpetrator of a crime has more rights than the Victims of a Crime.
    We should not follow every Dik-tat Directive from Brussels.



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  • 147. At 8:05pm on 17 Feb 2010, kerry wrote:

    to all the do gooders out there who support killers rights in prison to vote,etc YOU MAKE ME SICK.Im in the same position as that lady(had a daughter murdered)Ideally killers should have the electric chair,if not be put in the stocks so the victims families can take revenge.Of course these wont happen cos of do gooders interfering about human rights.So how about making killers work in prison with no pay,be fed bread and water,have no pc games or tv and staying in jail until they come out in a box beacause they are dead.They dont deserve an ounce of compassion

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  • 148. At 8:05pm on 17 Feb 2010, Wolfie2010 wrote:

    There are a lot of comments about bringing back the death penalty. I can't help thinking that if the prison conditions for those convicted of murder (or manslaughter, reckless driving etc) where far more harsh, would we still be calling for its reintroduction? I mean, if they suffered for the term of the sentence, even for the rest of their life, would we not prefer that? Put aside the cost to the taxpayer for the moment.

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  • 149. At 8:07pm on 17 Feb 2010, John wrote:

    Whilst I agree with most comments and would point out have to remember that prisoners are sent to prison as punishment and not to be punished. This goes back to a man named Patterson about 1908 saying that prison is not a punishment but is to deprive them of their liberty.
    This has never changed and until it does we have to accept them having all things that socialty have i.e. television, games, etc.
    I would also point out why should we give airtime to a subject we have no control over because it will never change!

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  • 150. At 8:11pm on 17 Feb 2010, maxh wrote:

    Dear dog, I see it was totally pointless commenting on this subject. Clearly everyone here doesn not give a rats derriere about having a rational discussion about prison reform and human rights. I can barely hear myself above all the shrieking Daily (hate)Mail readers that seem to have aggregated here.

    FYI only a minority of prisoners are violent/sex offendors. MOST are in for non-violent crimes. And all those parrotting the good ol' 'holiday camp' line, why don't YOU go and spend 10 years in jail, or 10 months... or even 10 days. Go on, I dare you.

    Oh and the BBC totally needs to get html enabled on these comments. It's very difficult to get a point across without italics or bold. And CAPS make me seem like a demented troll.

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  • 151. At 8:14pm on 17 Feb 2010, maxh wrote:

    Oh and I assume that everyone here that is so insistent that prisoners shouldn't vote do regularly exercise their own right to vote? Heaven forbid this thread is full of hypocrites.....
    /snark

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  • 152. At 8:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, Rinty wrote:

    Criminals tend to have a conservative view of life and would no doubt vote that way with a capital 'C'.

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  • 153. At 8:25pm on 17 Feb 2010, Aileen wrote:

    Asolutely not,at the time they TOOK away their victims rights they GAVE away their own. They made their own choice and their victims and their victims families had NO choice. They think so little of another human being's life, and yet so much of themselves, that they have the cheek to make demands like this. Although not all prisoners are murderers they have all broken the law and should not be rewarded with the benifits that go with being a law abiding citizen.

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  • 154. At 8:29pm on 17 Feb 2010, Peter wrote:

    whatI wrote at 20:04pm however I will rephrase:

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Criminals who go to Prison surrender their right to Vote.


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  • 155. At 8:35pm on 17 Feb 2010, lillepwss wrote:

    Democracy is a privilege , and also has responsibilities. We who take our duties and responsibilities seriously are given the right to vote. Those who break our laws must forfeit their rights to take part in our democracy for the term of their sentence.

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  • 156. At 8:43pm on 17 Feb 2010, STEVE J P wrote:

    Time and time again we here about human rights ,well as far as i am concerned any person who sets out to break the laws of the land then once they cross the line then they willingly and knowingly for go any rights ,because what the law and courts should always up hold to are the rights of the victim and nothing else.so if you knowingly break the law , then you lose your rights, END OF.

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  • 157. At 8:49pm on 17 Feb 2010, Sulians wrote:

    Yes, prisoners should have the right to vote but as extra punishment they should have to sit through at least 4 hours of party political broadcasts,

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  • 158. At 8:51pm on 17 Feb 2010, Bob Langley wrote:

    Re 150. I've never read the Mail, never voted Tory - do you think the other 153 (and counting) who have contributed to this are all right wing nutters - if so you are wrong.

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  • 159. At 8:51pm on 17 Feb 2010, CET wrote:

    Prisoners should absolutely not have the right to vote. I am so tired of the law in this country being on the criminals' side - victims and their families who are left to live with the memory of whatever horror these 'people' have brought on them are totally forgotten. Potential law breakers are not afraid of going to prison because they know they will get a fairly easy ride anyway. It's outrageous that they are able to use computers etc and if the latest news is true, be able to use mobile phones to harass their victims' families with text messages. These people should have no rights - full stop

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  • 160. At 9:27pm on 17 Feb 2010, englishlokfuehrer wrote:

    Open note to Sharon, (message no 126.) You obviously don't get it do you, it's people like you who cannot see beyond the end of your noses and your rose tinted glasses, that are a problem in this country today.

    Law abiding citizen, taxpayer, etc get the vote.

    Prison inmates shoudn't. As they are no longer taxpayers or law abiding citizens

    Wake up and live in planet England not cloud cuckoo land, or perhaps we should take away your right to vote as well for being a sympathiser.

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  • 161. At 11:10pm on 17 Feb 2010, dave parrish wrote:

    Here we go again, it's the Daily Mail readers who are at fault again. Wake up Maxh, the people of this country aren't stupid, we know not all inmates are killers, doesn't alter the fact that if you do the crime you should accept the consequences. There are more arguments against giving prisoners the vote than for. Oh, and for the record, I've voted in every election since 1968, served my country, and never been in prison. In your eyes that probably means I'm not qualified to have an opinion. Up Yours.

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  • 162. At 11:12pm on 17 Feb 2010, Kali wrote:

    Ah democracy, where everyone has a say and no-one agrees. Though I'm glad to see most people say No on this issue. The british people need to be given back more power. Power to the people cause lord knows the government isn't doing it's job.

    How incredibly 'safe' the one show was being. Political correctness has gone to far. It's just another form of dictatorship telling us what we can and can not say.

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  • 163. At 11:40pm on 17 Feb 2010, grace wrote:

    The below scenario is likened to you cannot have car tax without car insurance, both are necessary to park or drive your vehicle on a public road.
    Everyone on the electoral register has the right to vote, and as a result of being on the electoral register has to sit on a jury and do jury service if called. No excuse allowed as there used to be, ie if you are a police officer.

    Does this mean that prisoners will be allowed to do jury service? the two go hand in hand and if someone wants to be exempt from jury service they in effect withdraw their right to vote.

    A person who has broken the law has shown they have no respect for the law or person/persons they hurt so have signed away their right to vote. indeed they seem to have more than law abiding citizens, which is very wrong. many i know cant afford to heat their homes or feed themselves and are suffering as they wait for health care. Many die as a result. Prisoners get luxuries such as heat, healthcare, even sky, 99.9% of people i know cant afford sky tv. Prisoners have it easy in comparison to many in britian and i know people who try to get back in custody for the meals and bed for the night which is very sad.

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  • 164. At 00:47am on 18 Feb 2010, Riggas wrote:

    I am not surprised to see 100% of the comments here are against giving the vote to prisoners. To me, that just underlines the depressing degree to which people are prepared to shriek their opinions at full volume without taking the time to understand the intricacies of a difficult and complex issue.

    If you think the law in this country works, you have not spent even 5 minutes in contact with it. If you think every (or even a majority) of prisoners are inside because they are evil people who committed their offense from a wish to do others harm, you have no understanding of society. If you think prison is a valid deterrent, you haven't looked at the statistics. And if you think victims should have a say in the criminal justice process, you have no respect for fairness.

    I have all the sympathy in the world for victims and their families, but they should not be involved in this sort of debate because they are, quite understandably, exceedingly biased. Giving prisoners the vote is very likely to reduce rates of reoffense and so create fewer future victims. There is no down side to that. The only reason to refuse is that it offends the need for revenge. By giving in to that feeling we are directly responsible for the future victims that did not need to be created.

    The same goes for every aspect of prison reform. The problem is, the reforms that work best at really rehabilitating people and, so, reducing crime rates are usually the most apparently cushy. They never get given the chance to work because they are always so unpopular.

    Our prison service serves one purpose at the moment: revenge. If you think otherwise, you haven't taken the time to find out what really goes on in this forgotten part of our society. We are cutting off our noses to spite our own faces. Treating prisoners with compassion is actually the selfish option.

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  • 165. At 04:11am on 18 Feb 2010, Peter Craggs wrote:

    I am not allowed to vote, and the only "crime" I committed was to move to Germany. I can vote neither in the UK, nor in Germany. I am "allowed" to pay taxes in Germany, but have no say in how the money is spent. I can only vote in local (tiny, meaningless) elections, and for the European parliament. I do not see why people in prison, who gave no thought to other people's rights, should have more rights in this matter than I do.

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  • 166. At 08:33am on 18 Feb 2010, stevan wrote:

    Should prisoners have the right to vote? you don't know how mad i am now VOTE ,VOTE, GOD PLEASE GIVE ME STRENGTH WHAT NEXT.

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  • 167. At 09:51am on 18 Feb 2010, Rinty wrote:

    Re #95, The answer to your question Caroline is because they are in prison for committing a misdemeanour.

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  • 168. At 10:04am on 18 Feb 2010, Rinty wrote:

    Re #150: maxh, I should be grateful to see evidence to substantiate your assertion that all those who disagree with you are automatically Daily Mail readers. I find your stance curious.

    I do not understand your point about daring us to go to prison. This is risible in the extreme. Do you have experience of the prison system?

    You say that find it difficult to get your point across with the use of bold type and italics. Why is that?

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  • 169. At 10:09am on 18 Feb 2010, Rinty wrote:

    Re #164: Riggas, What you say is interesting. Please explain how you arrive at the conclusion that the re offending rate will be decreased by allowing prisoners to vote? Do you have evidence to support your claim?

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  • 170. At 11:34am on 18 Feb 2010, bill smith wrote:

    "Campaigners have stepped up their efforts to give sentenced prisoners the right to vote in this year's general election.

    The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) and Unlock, the national association of reformed offenders, believe the ban on prisoners being allowed to vote is incompatible with modern democracy.

    It may even breach the European Convention on Human Rights, they argue, as the government drags its feet on eventually allowing some sentenced prisoners to vote".

    "People are sent to prison to lose their liberty not their identity," PRT director Juliet Lyon said".



    It would appear that the above quote from an article on the politics.co.uk website give a clue of why Anita went to Blackpool

    (...Blackpool? why Blackpool, I wonder? ....probably a better measure of the national temperature on this issue than, say Cleethorpes or Middle Wallop, I suppose...or maybe its just where her Mum lives)

    to research this matter.

    All you can do is swallow your rage, and accept that the proponents of the hero-worship of Adolf Hitler in the 1930's have decendents in their woolly, misguided and ludicrous liberality, who are still with us in the current age. If a certain group of people are able to dream up issues likely to inflame and antagonise their peers, then there is always a group somewhere who will do it.

    It would seem a challenge for anyone to dream up a more pointedly anti-social and foolish cause, than to set a red-herring swimming on an issue of such unbounded irrelevance, on the back of some perceived 'breach' of Human Rights!

    Take heart, dear blogger! There are, and always will be, people among us who will espouse the daftest of causes, and which fly in the face of common sense and reason. However, to the saner of us, once a person has been convicted and imprisoned, then they have by definition forfeited their privilege to any further participation in society for the duration.

    To argue to the contrary is both offensive and spurious, and an insult to those of us on the outside who remain law-abiding.

    Lets hope that we hear no more of this foolishness, but I am sure that we will if the "Human Rights" industry have any say in it.......

    I expect they will ally themselves with the race lobby who will doubtless find an instance of some moslem inmate-bomber with a perceived axe to grind about his disenfranchisement, .........ignoring the liklihood that his only real aim is actually the violent overthrow of the society he wants to participate in by voting!!


    Now THAT is what is "incompatible with modern democracy".

    Nice bit of irony there, methinks.

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  • 171. At 12:11pm on 18 Feb 2010, bill smith wrote:

    "152. At 8:17pm on 17 Feb 2010, John Holyer wrote:

    Criminals tend to have a conservative view of life and would no doubt vote that way with a capital 'C'.

    John Holyer"


    Cor! Stone me!!!

    I've seen some comments on this blog, but THIS one really IS a first!

    (I wince at the logic-thought process that dreamed THAT one up)

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  • 172. At 1:29pm on 18 Feb 2010, John Hirst wrote:

    It is rather unfortunate that the pointless question 'Should prisoners have the right to vote?'is asked. The highest court in Europe has already deliberated this question and decided that the should. The question not being asked is 'Why has the government failed to comply with its obligations under the Convention?'. One human right is freedom of expression, and the vast majority of comments on here shows a high level of ignorance of the subject. This is sad. I don't think it is bliss to be ignorant, it's a badge of shame and may as well read 'Call me stupid!'.

    The Prisoners Votes Case is about the prisoners being the victims of abuse by the State. Prisoners, because they have no voice in Parliament, are the moct vulnerable group in society and therefore are deserving of the ECtHR's protection.

    As I took the case Hirst v UK(No2) to Strasbourg, I am aware that it has put the MPs in an indefensible position trying to maintain the status quo. Change is inevitable. Whilst it would cost relatively little to implement the Court decision, a failure to do so could mean that the taxpayers will have to foot a £70,000,000 compensation bill for denying prisoners their human right to vote at the next general election. The last time prisoners had their rights ignored they rioted and it cost the taxpayers £112,000,000 to repair and refurbish the riot-torn prison.

    It pays to give prisoners their entitlements.

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  • 173. At 1:48pm on 18 Feb 2010, Paul wrote:


    Human Rights or Civil Rights… Get it right!

    No! No! offenders undergoing civil punishment do have their human rights… they are fed, exercised, entertained, kept warm, cared for… all the necessary requirements of a human being enjoying human rights! What they should have taken away is their social standing. Their social rights.
    I mean… how can retaining a right to vote in a society against which you have transgressed be a ‘human right’? Its clearly and obviously a social right... a civil right.

    I fully agree with the need for human rights… to ‘protect’ the rights of all humans in society… the right to the necessities of life… but…
    It is not a human right to vote but a civil right granted by the civil law of the land in which you have socially settled… and in this case, have offended.

    When a person breaks the law of their land and is punished by being removed from the society that they have offended for a specific length of time they should lose all their civil rights for that length of time… but never lose their human rights. It is a ‘civil’ right that would include the right to live in a society and the right to vote in that society… not a human right.

    The argument that the punishment for the crime is imprisonment is not actually true. The punishment of most offences against society is not imprisonment but the removal of the offender from that society (exile) together with a removal of all its social enjoyments… until the punishment is seen to have been completed. As we do not have an ‘individual’ place of exile to send social offenders they have to be allowed to go to a central holding bay… a place of exile. Most call this a prison but it is just a common place (a communal place) of exile… temporary exile from the society they offended and from all the civil rights pertaining to that society. Their human rights remain unaffected.

    Stop squawking and face up to the wrongs committed… oh and Nanny… sorry, Europe… wise up before its too late!

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  • 174. At 1:58pm on 18 Feb 2010, crunchyfrogs wrote:

    My mothers neighbour, an elderly gentleman of of over 75 years of age withheld his council tax some years ago in protest against the steeply rising council tax which many could not afford and was all over the media. There was public outrage at the time as he was given a prison sentence for his "crime" against society. What a wicked man! Shame on him! I am glad that monsters like him are denied the right to vote by the kind and caring Mr Straw, who is indeed a god-like figure where it comes to impartiality and fairness.

    When any of you "holier than thou" people can claim that you are all decent law abiding people and have never committed a transgression, maybe then would you have the right to decide who has any say in our community. Just remember, the way things are going with the hundreds of new laws that have been brought in to suppress the people, it could very well easily be YOU behind bars soon, just like my mother's elderly neighbour.

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  • 175. At 3:22pm on 18 Feb 2010, Rinty wrote:

    re #171: Well there you are, Bill, you learn something everyday.

    I could have done without the snide remark about though processes, if you were referring to me.

    It was in fact dreamed up, as you call it, by an eminent criminologist, G Newman and substantiated by another criminologist, Colin Wilson. You also saw a taste of it in Bob Hoskins speech on the boat in the film 'The Long Good Friday. It makes sense if you stop to think about it.

    So let the crows stone you.

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  • 176. At 3:42pm on 18 Feb 2010, Rinty wrote:

    Some say that prisoners should be allowed to vote because it is their human right to do so. The insane are not allowed to vote. Are you saying that they should also be allowed to vote for the sake of their human rights. Do we really want to extend the vote to the criminally insane?

    What do you think, Bill smith?

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  • 177. At 4:20pm on 18 Feb 2010, John Hirst wrote:

    Paul @173: Try reading the European Convention Article 3 of the First Protocol, which guarantees the human right to vote. Then I suggest that you actually read the judgment in my case. There is nothing like making an informed comment. Any fool can press the keys on a keyboard and press send. There is a difference between somebody thinking WWII was 1935-1940, and somebody knowing it was 1939-1945.

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  • 178. At 4:25pm on 18 Feb 2010, bill smith wrote:

    Dear Mr Holyer, your point is interesting, even if a little bizzare.

    I am willing to accept that the criminal fraternity have roots in all and no "political" persuasions. However, to collectively broad-brush them with your (presumably) right of centre political colouring, seems most questionable.

    I am sufficiently cynical of these so-called survey/statistics/call-them-what-you-will opinions/conclusions that most jailbirds will respond to surveys of this kind with an answer that is all/any of the following:

    . self-serving;
    . self interest;
    . what the questioner wants to hear;
    . tell 'em anything to make them go away;
    . first thing that enters their head;
    . don't understand the question in the first place;

    I expect that it also much depends on the nature of the offender's offence. Some may try to portray the burgular as an 'entrepreneur' who is displaying business instincts in the Thatcherite tradition. The DHSS fraudster, on the other hand, believes that the state should support them in all aspects of life in the socialist mould.

    It is therefore quite reasonable to wince at those who put forward such patently pointless and futile notions as 'crooks are mostly Tory' school of thought, and the mentality of those that produce such tosh.

    Myself? Fundamentally it's all bo**ocks. They are criminals who have been put inside, and are worthy of nothing more than humane treatment and the basics of adequate food, shelter & a rehabilitation programme.

    The rest of us should be given ear-plugs to blot out the whining of do-gooders who seem to take their side against society in general and their victims in particular, and who espouse the criminals interests in the face of reasonable public opinion to the contrary.

    Therefore, you can treat the "eminent criminologists" conclusions with healthy scepticism. In the final analysis, who cares about the political inclinations of the person who has beaten you about the head/stolen your identity/cleaned out your bank account/abducted a child/killed their spouse etc?

    Once convicted, they go to jail and have no entitlement to participate in selection of governments/sitting on a jury/drawing dole or anything else associated with the 'mainstream way of life', until released.

    The trouble is that our political ruling class are too weak to stand up to so-called "expert opinion" when in the court of public opinion such notions as the topic under exmination here, are absurd. Politicians are meant to represent the 'people' but too often they give us everything we do not want, and nothing that we do.

    But as with many things in life, it all depends on who you talk to, doesn't it?

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  • 179. At 4:26pm on 18 Feb 2010, Elizaj wrote:

    Those prisoners who forfeited the Right of Life of another human being forfeited all their own Rights of every kind and likewise, those prisoners who infringed the Rights of society by breaching the law should also forfeit their Rights whilst paying their debt to society, whatever those Rights might be.

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  • 180. At 4:33pm on 18 Feb 2010, bill smith wrote:

    And a final comment to #173 Paul;

    I agree.

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  • 181. At 4:58pm on 18 Feb 2010, sugarpie10 wrote:

    They should not be allowed to vote...It is the same principle...Once they enter a home to rob they leave their human rights outside that door...so too with prison...We are getting tooooo soft with criminals!

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  • 182. At 5:00pm on 18 Feb 2010, sugarpie10 wrote:

    No!

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  • 183. At 5:00pm on 18 Feb 2010, Elizaj wrote:

    172. Society also has the Freedom of Speech. If democracy really prevails and if the majority vote is against the proposal then a referendum should be held on the subject. The altenative is for one or all parties include the arguent as part of their Manifesto. The result of any election is that the public vote for the party which holds their values, principles and ideals. The decision,like the election then be honoured nationally. If Strasburgh overrules the majority decision of any country, can we then really claim we have democracy?

    I give the prisoners their Freedom of Speech. Let them protest loudy and clearly and let it end there. Your argument suggests that society is being blackmailed. If prisoners want to cause damage to the food and accommodation provided by the state, free of charge, then my suggestion would be to let them live with the consequences, but qute apart from that repair which is necessary in order for the prison guards being able to perform their duties and securing societies.

    I respect those who protest against war by marching. I respected the miners protect. I do not respect rioting carried out by prisoners who are in prison because they are already paying one debt, that to society and should not be allowed to cost more than that already chalked up ie. the cost of policing, bringing criminals to justice, and the cost of keeping them.

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  • 184. At 6:30pm on 18 Feb 2010, Rinty wrote:

    Re #178 Bill Smith,

    You say, "It is therefore quite reasonable to wince at those who put forward such patently pointless and futile notions as 'crooks are mostly Tory' school of thought, and the mentality of those that produce such tosh."

    Sorry, I did not realise that you were being reasonable. I thought that you were being gratuitously rude. Wince away Bill if that is what you want to do. It is of no moment to me.

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  • 185. At 6:36pm on 18 Feb 2010, Rinty wrote:

    Bill Smith re your #178,

    You dismiss the criminologists Wilson and Newman. Have you read their books? Or maybe you assume that you do not need to do so having already made up your mind?

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  • 186. At 6:39pm on 18 Feb 2010, Rinty wrote:

    Bill Smith,

    I see that you have misinterpreted my comments. I was not making a party political point as you seem to think.

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  • 187. At 6:45pm on 18 Feb 2010, Paul wrote:

    John Hirst@177:

    A trifle tetchy I think.

    I dont think many are interested in the Protocol... they're just using sound common sense and showing their feelings about such a bad misjudgment.

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  • 188. At 7:29pm on 18 Feb 2010, Shazza59 wrote:

    I do not think that prisoners should have the vote. They are sent to prison for punishment and should have No rights what so ever. Life should be harsh for them and they should be made to work. Not given privileges such as voting.

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  • 189. At 8:16pm on 18 Feb 2010, davies wrote:

    absolutely not...they have committed a crime the scale of the crime should not be taken into consideration they lost their freedom for what ever term wether it is a month or a life so they have lost the chance to vote.
    why should they have this privilege if they wanted a vote then they should have not done time in prison

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  • 190. At 8:56pm on 18 Feb 2010, BRIAN FISHER wrote:

    Prisoners are in a more fortunate position than the many Brits who live abroad. In practical terms it is made very diificult for the postal system to work (i.e we are never sent renewals needed each year) and after 15 years the right to vote is lost. For example it is common for a British Citizen to still pay taxes in the UK but live in Spain and have no right to vote nationally in either country. Meanwhile their taxes are used for many schemes such as providing democracy for Afghanistan and indeed prisoners. As we have done nothing wrong apart from living in the EEC in our retirement you would have thought we should have priority in voting over prisoners.
    Not so!

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  • 191. At 9:46pm on 18 Feb 2010, bill smith wrote:

    #186 Mr Holyer:

    No, I realised that was the case.

    It is these absurd, sweeping, generalities produced by so called 'Experts' who make these daft statements re the alleged probability of the voting intentions of prisoners being 'conservative with a capital C' that I object to;

    And no, I have not had the pleasure of either Mr Wilson or Mr Newman. Nor, bluntly, do I feel the need to dwell on, what I assume to be, some moralising, high-blown, arcane thesis on the rights of criminals to vote.

    Sorry, sport. I just want to live life free of the affects of criminal activity (so far as is possible in this day and age), as, I daresay, do most of us, without having to tolerate this drivel about their "right to vote".

    The end.

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  • 192. At 9:41pm on 19 Feb 2010, watchingone wrote:

    I'm coming late to this - while my brain was struggling with the moral and ethical dilemma, the first thought that popped out was - blimey that would be an administrative nightmare! Im intrigued as to how other countries manage it - in this country the first hurdle would be to get Local Government (who maintain the electoral roll) to talk to the Civil Service (who run the Prison service).
    The second thought which popped out was how many of the prison population would actually be interested if it was offered them - I wonder how many are diligent voters when they are on the outside. I have no evidence and its just a gut feeling, but I suspect the answer is not many to both questions. An ex colleague of mine used to have a saying for such situations - "Im not making porridge for one!". It seems to me that the government has more pressing issues to resolve with the prison and justice system than whether the prison population should be allowed to vote.
    The third thought which dribbled out was that if someone has transgressed the laws of society to such an extent that that society has deemed that they should be removed from it, then in my view they have forfeited the right to decide how that society is run, for the duration of their prison time. So no, they shouldnt have the right to vote.
    In general Im all for the teaching of citizenship and stressing the importance of the right to vote, too many people have died for our right to vote in the past for us to ignore it as so many do these days.

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  • 193. At 9:51pm on 19 Feb 2010, John Hirst wrote:

    Paul @ 187: The misjudgement was made by the UK government. Art 3 of the 1st Protocol is international and European law and superior to English law in this case, so in my view, common sense should realise this.

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  • 194. At 12:12pm on 22 Feb 2010, Mike wrote:

    This is a "No Brainer". The issue seems to be less about those already in prison but more about those who may go to prison. What message does it give potential criminals, that if I risk going to prison, well, at least I won't lose the right to vote. The thought of going to prison for a crime should be enough to deter anyone from breaking the law let alone the losing of certain rights like the right to vote. Therefore, no, I am not in favour of this ludicrously liberal idea of allowing prisoners to vote.

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