Brian Benjamin (238201)

State Sen. Brian Benjamin’s bill to restore the rights of New Yorkers with felony convictions to serve on juries recently passed the state Senate.

If the bill is signed into law, after an individual with a felony conviction has served their time (including any probation or parole) that individual will be able to serve on a jury again.

“When people have made mistakes and served their time, they’ve been rehabilitated. When they re-enter society they should be able to participate fully in our democracy. Serving on juries and being able to vote are both part of being equal, full citizens in a free democracy,” said Benjamin.

Reports indicate that the bill is being opposed by several Republicans who call it the “Criminal Bill of Rights.” Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan reportedly said that allowing convicted felons to serve on juries “is justice denied to all law abiding citizens.”