More than 115,000 former felons who completed their sentences have had their civil rights restored since a new state rule went into effect 14 months ago, Gov. Charlie Crist said.
The rule by the Board of Executive Clemency, which Crist chairs, restored rights almost automatically, ending a policy of requiring the panel to act individually on every restoration of rights request. The rights include voting and the ability to get state and local licenses for certain types of jobs.
“Once somebody has truly paid their debt to society, we should recognize it,” Crist said Tuesday. “We should welcome them back into society and give them that second chance. Who doesn’t deserve a second chance?”