Breaking and associated brands will be offline for scheduled maintenance Saturday May 8 3 AM US EST to 12 PM EST. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

We have just finished an immensely successful, if somewhat complicated, criminal justice improvement through our constitutionally, statutorily, and judicially administered reform of the cash bail system. As we have noted, this is a nationally significant reform of the early part of the criminal justice process that has and will avoid the unnecessary damage to livelihoods and families through the unfair cash bail system. (“One Year In, Bail System Not Perfect, But Much Better,” NJLJ, Jan. 15, 2018.)

Last month Gov. Christie signed three important pieces of legislation dealing with expungement, thereby implementing needed reforms at the end of the criminal justice process. These bills expand the number of people and types of offenses that are eligible for expungement, shorten the time people must wait to apply for expungement, permit several offenses occurring within a brief period to be expunged together, and move still further in the direction of shielding people from employer questions about their criminal records (“ban the box”). These reforms, of course, provide important further steps toward reintegrating those who have offended into our society for the benefit of not only them, but all of us.

Now it is time for at least one more step in the right direction. Under the authority of article II, paragraph 7 of our state constitution (“The Legislature may pass laws to deprive persons of the right of suffrage who shall be convicted of such crimes as it may designate”) the Legislature banned from voting anyone “(8) Who is serving a sentence or is on parole or probation as the result of a conviction of any indictable offense under the laws of this or another state or of the United States.” This legislative decision is now out of step with the current criminal justice reform philosophy in both our state and the nation. (“Let Them Vote,” NJLJ, Feb. 9, 2004). The ban on voting has significant negative ripple effects in minority communities, where one former offender not being permitted to vote has wide influence on the failure to vote by extended family and friends. This effect has been demonstrated by serious social science research and continues to erode the status of those who have paid their debt to society.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice: A Practical GuideBook

NJ Code of Criminal Justice deciphers explains the criminal statutes to law enforcement personnel, lawyers, lay people, making the code more accessible with fact patter...

Get More Information

The British Legal Awards 2021Event

Celebrating achievement, excellence, and innovation in the legal profession in the UK.

Get More Information

The American Lawyer Industry Awards 2021Event

Honoring outstanding legal achievements focused at the national level, largely around Big Law and in-house departments.

Get More Information

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.