Last updated on: 9/2/2015 | Author: ProCon.org

Jonathan Aitken, JD Biography

Title:
Former Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom
Position:
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should Felons Who Have Completed Their Sentence (Incarceration, Probation, and Parole) Be Allowed to Vote?"
Reasoning:

“I can offer some well-informed guesses about how my old cellmates in HMP Belmarsh might react to the news that their Christmas present from Brussels is to be a new right to put their crosses on ballot papers from behind bars. Indifference, incomprehension or dismissive expletives would be their likely responses…

The main point of a prison sentence is to show the offender and society as a whole that criminal behaviour results in loss of freedom and most of the rights that freedom offers.

Different societies may wish to argue about precisely which rights should be suspended along with liberty as the cost to the individual of criminal wrongdoing. But the place for this argument to be held is in national legislatures who even in today’s EU still have control over criminal laws and penalties.

To pretend that voting is something as ‘basic’ as the right of access to a lawyer is at best special pleading and at worst judicial meddling in the right of EU member states to decide how they will punish their criminal offenders.”

“Prisoners Don’t Care About Their Right to Vote,” U.K. Guardian, Dec. 15, 2006

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with PhD's, JD's, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to felon voting issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to felon voting issues.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Jailed for 18 months, served seven, convicted of perjury and perverting the course of justice regarding an arms deals with Iran in breach of government embargo, 1999
  • Chief Secretary to the Treasury, 1994-1995
  • Minister of State for Defence Procurement (under P.M. John Major), 1992-1995
  • Non-Executive Board Member, British Manufacture and Research Company (BMARC), a UK-based firm designing and producing defence products, 1988-1990
  • Member of Parliament (M.P.), South Thanet, 1983-1997
  • Member of Parliament (M.P.), Thanet East, 1974-1983
  • Accused of “offences under the Official Secrets Act for passing on classified information to the Sunday Telegraph about the Biafran war in Nigeria. He was acquitted of all charges having pleaded that it was his ‘duty in the interests of the state’ to have done so,” 1971
Education:
  • JD, Christ Church, Oxford, U.K.
  • BA, Eton College, U.K.
Other:
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should Felons Be Permitted to Vote while in Prison?