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The Arizona Rights Restoration Foundation

 

I ran for office in 2012, as a Republican in Arizona’s third most liberal county. While I lost, I got the highest vote percentage of any Republican in my county.

One thing that shocked me was the huge number of people who had lost their right to vote due to the conviction of felonies, especially on the Reservation. These people were usually covered in shame when I asked them to vote for me and they told me that they couldn’t vote as a felon. Most of them had been drinking when they were arrested, and many of them had pretty healthy periods of sobriety.

I asked them why they hadn’t had their convictions set aside and their rights restored. They would respond that they didn’t have the $1,500.00 to hire an attorney. That didn’t make sense to me, what is involved is writing up a quick petition and filing it with the Court.

After the election, I created the Arizona Rights Restoration Foundation, and I have filed dozens of petitions in the last five years. We only seek to have convictions be set aside and for rights to be restored, but not for the restoration of gun rights. (Note: Even if convictions have been set aside, those convictions can be used by the state in future criminal prosecutions.) We don’t file for the restoration of a defendant’s gun rights, as my co-founder is a progressive Democrat who is now Flagstaff’s mayor.

The Arizona Rights Restoration Foundation does not charge for my attorney’s fees. This is a public service that I do. I have been greatly blessed in my life. To those who have received much, much is required.

The cost of criminal prosecution and probation is high. Incarceration is very expensive. If someone can get clean and sober, then that saves the public a huge amount of money.

I just saw another client today. With her permission I am repeating the redacted allegations of her petition.

COMES NOW the Defendant ___, by and through her attorney undersigned, who requests the Court to enter an order restoring her civil rights, other than the right to bear arms, pursuant to A.R.S. §13-909 and §13-911, and to set aside his/her conviction.

  1. The Defendant’s mailing address is: ___.
  2. The Defendant was convicted on or about ___.
  3. The crime for which the Defendant was convicted was Attempted Aggravated Assault Domestic Violence.
  4. The sentencing for this crime was or about ___.
  5. The Defendant was convicted of this crime in the Coconino County Superior Court.
  6. The Judge who sentenced the Defendant was the Honorable ___.
  7. There is other information I would like the Court to know.
  8. I began drinking when I was thirteen years old. I now have over one year of sobriety. My sobriety date is July 12, 2016.
  9. The incident in this case occurred when I was under the influence of alcohol. All of the criminal charges that I have been convicted of have been when I was under the influence of alcohol.
  10. I have successfully completed the nine month “Matrix” program at The Guidance Center.
  11. I have been placed on medication for PTSD and anxiety, which I have been fully compliant with. I realize now that when I was drinking, I was self-medicating.
  12. I lost my left eye in 2015 when I was assaulted by my ten-year paramour. This was another example of the consequences I have suffered due to the use of alcohol.
  13. I have successfully completed Intensive Probation in this case and then Probation. Once I became clean and sober, I have been fully compliant with the requirements of Intensive Probation and Probation. I met with Attorney Gary E. Robbins back on November 29, 2016 and he indicated that as long as I was on probation, I couldn’t apply to have my conviction be set aside. I have worked hard in the last 17 months to be fully compliant so that I could make my application to have my conviction be set aside.
  14. My criminal convictions have made it very difficult for me to obtain employment. I was referred to Mr. Robbins by Vocational Rehabilitation.
  15. I am asking that the Court set aside this conviction, and restore my civil rights. I have another felony conviction in CR ___ and I am filing a petition in that case. I realize that I have a long way to go, but as long as I stay sober, I believe that I will be able to live a successful and productive life.
  16. I realize that even if my conviction is set aside, if I am convicted of a crime in the future, this conviction can be considered by the Court.

I believe that the Holy Spirit sends people to us, and that we meet by divine appointment. It was a pleasure to help my client today.

A few of these people will register to vote. They will likely vote Democratic. Such is life. However, more important to our community is that they be welcomed fully back into the community so that they can also be called to jury duty and be recognized as full citizens. They are our brothers and sisters, and we have a duty towards them.

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There are 47 comments.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Moderator

    How often are the petitions granted, and what factors would lead to a petition being turned down?

    • #1
    • May 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm
    • 2 likes
  2. Member

    It has long puzzled me that Democrat administrations permit this scarlet letter to brand people as permanent outcasts when those people would mostly vote Democrat. 

    Either we believe a criminal can rejoin society or we don’t. Good work.

    • #2
    • May 15, 2018 at 3:03 pm
    • 6 likes
  3. Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    How often are the petitions granted, and what factors would lead to a petition being turned down?

    Our county is quite liberal. They are almost always granted. Some petitions in other counties have been turned down. 

    In one case the Judge said that she wanted to see a longer period of non-involvement with law enforcement and the defendant was invited to reapply after January 1 in two and a half years. He stayed out of trouble, and the Court granted the petition after that.

    I think that the view of the Court is that if people go through the trouble of filing the petition, the Court is likely to grant it. Democrat County Attorneys rarely object. Republican County Attorneys sometimes object.

    • #3
    • May 15, 2018 at 3:04 pm
    • 6 likes
  4. Member

    First, I want to make clear that nothing I say from here on in is intended to detract from your efforts or the worthiness of the enterprise.

    Is this all (mostly) concerned with Native Americans who were intoxicated at the time of their offenses?

    If so, would you be willing to extend it to crimes committed under the influence of other substances or even “addiction-related” crimes?

    Or (and I’m not clear on this) are you supporting through the Foundation the return of rights to any felon with some history of rehabilitation?

    • #4
    • May 15, 2018 at 3:18 pm
    • 3 likes
  5. Moderator

    I really enjoy your posts centered around your job, Gary. Very interesting and I think this foundation is a wonderful thing!

    • #5
    • May 15, 2018 at 3:21 pm
    • 5 likes
  6. Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    First, I want to make clear that nothing I say from here on in is intended to detract from your efforts or the worthiness of the enterprise.

    Is this all (mostly) concerned with Native Americans who were intoxicated at the time of their offenses?

    About half Natives. About 2/3 alcohol. Some Natives without alcohol. Some non-Natives with alcohol. It breaks my heart to come across someone who started drinking at 13.

    If so, would you be willing to extend it to crimes committed under the influence of other substances or even “addiction-related” crimes?

    Sure. Any felony.

    Or (and I’m not clear on this) are you supporting through the Foundation the return of rights to any felon with some history of rehabilitation?

    I want to see someone have a full year of sobriety. I had one person who came in who had 100 arrests! I asked how long he had had sobriety. Two days. I told him to come back in a year. But I was moved by two factors. First he started drinking when he was 8. Second, he had served in our Armed Forces. I wanted to give him an incentive. So I wrote the following:

    COMES NOW the Defendant, ___, by and through his attorney undersigned, who files his Memorandum of Points and Authorities.

    1. The Defendant’s first drink of alcohol was when he was eight years old.
    2. When the Defendant served in the United States Army, he rose to the rank of ___, only to be busted down to ___ due to use of alcohol.
    3. The Defendant has a long history of trouble with the law, however the consistent theme is that he has gotten into trouble with the law only when he has been drinking. On the positive side, the Defendant has been convicted of only two DUI’s, one in ___ in ___ and one in ___ in ___.
    4. From ___ to ___ the Defendant worked for ___ as a peer support specialist. When the Defendant had a relapse, he resigned his position as it would be hypocritical for him to counsel others given that he had relapsed. He was told that if he were to successfully complete a substance abuse program, he would be eligible for rehire.
    5. The Defendant met with undersigned counsel on May 28, 2013. The Defendant and undersigned counsel set a goal that if the Defendant would stay sober for twelve months, and not have any further arrests, undersigned counsel would assist the Defendant in seeking to have all of his Arizona convictions set aside.
    6. The Defendant’s last drink was on May 27, 2013, over one year ago. Since that time, he has attended AA meetings, gotten himself a sponsor and has been working the Twelve Steps. He voluntarily participated in Outpatient Treatment with the Guidance Center. He has returned to his position with ___. The Defendant has not been arrested during the last twelve months.
    7. The Defendant realizes that even if the Court sets aside his convictions, those convictions can still be considered by the Court for the purpose of enhancing his sentencing.
    8. The Defendant respectfully requests that the Court set aside his convictions.

    He never returned. But maybe I planted a seed. Probably not. But maybe.

     

    • #6
    • May 15, 2018 at 3:28 pm
    • 8 likes
  7. Member

    I think that this is a difficult issue for those of us who are generally in the “personal responsibility” camp. I know, for example, that I certainly do not favor the restoration of voting rights for all felons, so, as with many things, it becomes a question of line drawing.

    Here, there’s generally a focus on intoxication, and intoxication derived from one’s “roots.” However, many felons are arguably “culturally deprived” in different ways, and those who have committed crimes while drug addicted are, in a similar sense, not in “control” of their actions at the moment. So the line drawing is, indeed, difficult.

    My leanings are to permit some voting in order to give certain former felons a vested interest in society, but to immediately exclude anyone from consideration who was convicted of a class of violent felony, no matter the mitigation. I’m still working out the rest, but would prefer to see those eligible somehow categorized by degree of harm caused and culpability. So, yes to some, no to others.

    • #7
    • May 15, 2018 at 3:57 pm
    • 4 likes
  8. Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    I think that this is a difficult issue for those of us who are generally in the “personal responsibility” camp. I know, for example, that I certainly do not favor the restoration of voting rights for all felons, so, as with many things, it becomes a question of line drawing.

    Here, there’s generally a focus on intoxication, and intoxication derived from one’s “roots.” However, many felons are arguably “culturally deprived” in different ways, and those who have committed crimes while drug addicted are, in a similar sense, not in “control” of their actions at the moment. So the line drawing is, indeed, difficult.

    My leanings are to permit some voting in order to give certain former felons a vested interest in society, but to immediately exclude anyone from consideration who was convicted of a class of violent felony, no matter the mitigation. I’m still working out the rest, but would prefer to see those eligible somehow categorized by degree of harm caused and culpability. So, yes to some, no to others.

    I hear you. The County Attorney is much, much more inclined to object to setting aside a conviction which involves violence. 

    As for chemically dependent people, the County Attorney and Court just want the defendant to get and stay clean and sober and are pretty forgiving.

    • #8
    • May 15, 2018 at 4:12 pm
    • 3 likes
  9. Member

    This a serious topic, but allow me a brief digression that is tangentially related.

    Many (many) years ago I was involved in the defense of a man who had broken into a bar/restaurant in the wee hours. While present (and based on a subsequent blood alcohol test) it appears that he consumed a rather significant quantity of alcohol from the “top shelf.” But the bar didn’t keep adequate records of the bottles’ contents to determine how much. Since felony larceny required a minimum of $250 in theft, the young prosecutor became creative.

    This person had also digested a significant quantity of good food before passing out in the bar, the containers and wrappers of which he left lying around (all over the place), in addition to food that he simply left out to spoil. I should add that another charge–breaking and entering in the night–has “with intent to commit a felony” as an element of the crime. So proof of a “felony” became a big deal and, although no one was thinking about it at the time, would have affected this person’s voting rights.

    Bags full of old food wrappers, spoiled eats, and containers (I seem to remember a large bone even) and numerous bottles of alcohol were to be introduced into evidence, but the judge wanted none of it. A misdemeanor guilty plea was “suggested” and implemented.

    • #9
    • May 15, 2018 at 4:43 pm
    • 6 likes
  10. Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    This a serious topic, but allow me a brief digression that is tangentially related.

    Many (many) years ago I was involved in the defense of a man who had broken into a bar/restaurant in the wee hours. While present (and based on a subsequent blood alcohol test) it appears that he consumed a rather significant quantity of alcohol from the “top shelf.” But the bar didn’t keep adequate records of the bottles’ contents to determine how much. Since felony larceny required a minimum of $250 in theft, the young prosecutor became creative.

    This person had also digested a significant quantity of good food before passing out in the bar, the containers and wrappers of which he left lying around (all over the place), in addition to food that he simply left out to spoil. I should add that another charge–breaking and entering in the night–has “with intent to commit a felony” as an element of the crime. So proof of a “felony” became a big deal and, although no one was thinking about it at the time, would have affected this person’s voting rights.

    Bags full of food wrappers and containers (I seem to remember a large bone even) and numerous bottles of alcohol were to be introduced into evidence, but the judge wanted none of it. A misdemeanor guilty plea was “suggested” and implemented.

    That is a great story! 

    The point of view of the Court is usually that people who misbehave will likely do it again in the future. At the same time, prosecutors can get carried away with trying to score points not unlike trying to get a high pinball score.

    • #10
    • May 15, 2018 at 4:47 pm
    • 3 likes
  11. Member

    I think the restoration of voting rights is a worthwhile endeavor. The gun possession, or gun rights restoration is a bit different. State courts have a great deal of jurisdiction over voting rights. A felon in possession of a firearm is a Federal crime, regardless of whether the person was convicted at the state level. It would take a Federal court, or judge to make that decision. Even then there might be a possibility that unless a state felony, or a misdemeanor domestic conviction receives a full pardon, or is vacated by a Federal court a state court may not allow a felon, or someone convicted of domestic violence to possess a firearm.

    • #11
    • May 15, 2018 at 5:41 pm
    • 2 likes
  12. Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    My leanings are to permit some voting in order to give certain former felons a vested interest in society, but to immediately exclude anyone from consideration who was convicted of a class of violent felony, no matter the mitigation.

    Like you, I’m sure I don’t have all the answers. And I prefer judicial discretion to regulatory micromanagement for addressing uncommon or complicated scenarios. 

    But I would draw the line more with regard to malice than to violence. Predatory behavior or anything exhibiting callous disregard of others relates to personality, which is unlikely to change greatly over a lifetime. A voter should be able to consider interests other than his own. 

    But then I’m old-fashioned enough to disapprove of universal suffrage. Civic freedom and political representation are not equivalent. 

    I just hate the pretense that someone has fully rejoined society and yet is legally denied full participation. 

    • #12
    • May 15, 2018 at 7:06 pm
    • 2 likes
  13. Coolidge

    If an ex-Felon doesn’t deserve to have their gun rights reinstated, then they don’t deserve to have their eligibility to vote reinstated. Reinstate both or neither, based on the nature of the crime for which they are convicted. 

    I also don’t consider alcohol a mitigating factor for serious crimes; its a drug that impairs judgement, and my heart goes out to those who become addicted, but its not a magical substance that takes away one’s capacity to make the most basic moral choices. What kind of crimes are we talking about here?

     

     

    • #13
    • May 15, 2018 at 10:58 pm
    • 4 likes
  14. Moderator

    How much is recidivism an issue with people who do get their convictions set aside? Seems you are pretty rigorous on the front end, but how much contact do you have afterwards? How much follow up is appropriate?

    • #14
    • May 16, 2018 at 7:20 am
    • 1 like
  15. Coolidge

    I’m not sure I admire this.

    1.  Your solution is of limited scope because it relies on a kind person with legal experience and knowledge. Your dedication to a cause is certainly noted as a huge sacrifice of your time.
    2. If someone has been sober for ten years and hasn’t committed any other crime since, I can get behind the cause. But I’m not so sanguine that someone who has been sober for only one year really merits a conviction being set aside. I’m perfectly willing to be with you if you want to claim that too many people are convicted of crimes. I’m perfectly willing to agree that post conviction availability of jobs is far too restrictive. But I don’t think that wiping out a conviction is the answer, absent a prolonged period of good behavior. Ten years seems more appropriate than one year.
    3.  Your motivation is to increase the voter rolls? Forgive me, but the rate of recidivism for convicts is quite high and I don’t think that is the part of society that a politician should focus on for votes.
    • #15
    • May 16, 2018 at 7:23 am
    • 2 likes
  16. Lincoln

    Everyone who votes gets a say in the representation and therefore policies of this country. For better or worse, those policies will have an impact on me and how I live my life.

    I’d prefer people who vote to have their own lives together before they get a say on how I live my life. If you can’t scrape together $1,500, have a history of chemical dependence and felony lawbreaking, maybe I don’t want you to make those decisions for me.

    I am sympathetic to your situation. I can still love you as a fellow human and countryman without wanting to give you power over my future.

    • #16
    • May 16, 2018 at 7:37 am
    • 6 likes
  17. Thatcher

    Gary Robbins: The crime for which the Defendant was convicted was Attempted Aggravated Assault Domestic Violence.

    Well one can imagine the actual crime which was bargained down to this.

    Sorry but I’m not buying this Gary. Why does the attempt to rescue someone’s soul have to be politicized? Who really imagines that voting is or should be so central for people who have harmed, often gravely, harmed society.

    When we make race-based and booze-based excuses for behavior that is destroying our families and communities we are not restoring anyone’s rights. AA has never made voting an aspect of recovery.

    This is a sad arena for families, friends, rehab volunteers, priests, ministers and social workers, not activist lawyers looking to harvest more votes for further left-wing assaults on the constitutional and natural rights of those of us who don’t horribly maim others with our drunken or drugged driving or rob, assault, abuse, and rape our fellow citizens.

    Many people richly deserve their shame.

    • #17
    • May 16, 2018 at 7:38 am
    • 1 like
  18. Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    If an ex-Felon doesn’t deserve to have their gun rights reinstated, then they don’t deserve to have their eligibility to vote reinstated. Reinstate both or neither, based on the nature of the crime for which they are convicted.

    I also don’t consider alcohol a mitigating factor for serious crimes; its a drug that impairs judgement, and my heart goes out to those who become addicted, but its not a magical substance that takes away one’s capacity to make the most basic moral choices. What kind of crimes are we talking about here?

    There are three things that a convicted felon can ask for. The easiest is to have their civil rights to vote, serve on juries and run for office. You’ve done your time, and want to participate in society again. Welcome home.

    The middle thing is to have their conviction be set aside. For pretty good reason, the courts are leery to set aside any sexual offense. On the other hand, one case that got my attention was a lady in her 50’s who had gone on to become a college administrator and receive various awards but had this old shoplifting conviction from when she attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

    The hardest thing is to be restored to your gun rights. If there is any violence, the courts and prosecutors are afraid that if a new crime is committed with a gun, the press will rightfully come back to them. On the other hand, vets who grew up as hunters, once they are clean and sober and are attending AA really should be considered to get their gun rights back, and I have represented a couple of them pro bono, as a private attorney, but not as part of the Arizona Rights Restoration Foundation.

    • #18
    • May 16, 2018 at 7:40 am
    • 5 likes
  19. Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    How much is recidivism an issue with people who do get their convictions set aside? Seems you are pretty rigorous on the front end, but how much contact do you have afterwards? How much follow up is appropriate?

    My sense of it is that while there is some recidivism, it is lower than others who don’t go through the process of asking to be restored to their rights.

    I don’t have formal contact with anyone, but sometimes run into these folks in the community. They will proudly tell me that they are staying sober and/or that they are going to school, or have a job. I tell them that I am proud of them.

    • #19
    • May 16, 2018 at 7:47 am
    • 4 likes
  20. Coolidge

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    This a serious topic, but allow me a brief digression that is tangentially related.

    Many (many) years ago I was involved in the defense of a man who had broken into a bar/restaurant in the wee hours. While present (and based on a subsequent blood alcohol test) it appears that he consumed a rather significant quantity of alcohol from the “top shelf.” But the bar didn’t keep adequate records of the bottles’ contents to determine how much. Since felony larceny required a minimum of $250 in theft, the young prosecutor became creative.

    This person had also digested a significant quantity of good food before passing out in the bar, the containers and wrappers of which he left lying around (all over the place), in addition to food that he simply left out to spoil. I should add that another charge–breaking and entering in the night–has “with intent to commit a felony” as an element of the crime. So proof of a “felony” became a big deal and, although no one was thinking about it at the time, would have affected this person’s voting rights.

    Bags full of old food wrappers, spoiled eats, and containers (I seem to remember a large bone even) and numerous bottles of alcohol were to be introduced into evidence, but the judge wanted none of it. A misdemeanor guilty plea was “suggested” and implemented.

    Seems felonious to me. Why are we cheering for criminals? 

    I always ask, would you break into a bar at night and steal significant quantities of alcohol and food? Then why do you tolerate such behavior from others? I don’t have a lot of pity for that. I agree that perhaps he should be allowed to vote again in a decade or two if he never breaks the law again, but I’ve no problem at all with this man not choosing who makes the laws in our country.

    • #20
    • May 16, 2018 at 7:51 am
    • Like
  21. Coolidge

    lowtech redneck (View Comment):

    If an ex-Felon doesn’t deserve to have their gun rights reinstated, then they don’t deserve to have their eligibility to vote reinstated. Reinstate both or neither, based on the nature of the crime for which they are convicted.

    I also don’t consider alcohol a mitigating factor for serious crimes; its a drug that impairs judgement, and my heart goes out to those who become addicted, but its not a magical substance that takes away one’s capacity to make the most basic moral choices. What kind of crimes are we talking about here?

    I’m more inclined to restore gun rights before I would restore voting rights. Self defense is needed by all people and it affects no one if they use their guns legally. If their crime was non-violent, I have no problem with them carrying a gun.

    • #21
    • May 16, 2018 at 7:57 am
    • Like
  22. Reagan
    Gary Robbins Post author

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I’m not sure I admire this.

    1. Your solution is of limited scope because it relies on a kind person with legal experience and knowledge. Your dedication to a cause is certainly noted as a huge sacrifice of your time.
    2. If someone has been sober for ten years and hasn’t committed any other crime since, I can get behind the cause. But I’m not so sanguine that someone who has been sober for only one year really merits a conviction being set aside. I’m perfectly willing to be with you if you want to claim that too many people are convicted of crimes. I’m perfectly willing to agree that post conviction availability of jobs is far too restrictive. But I don’t think that wiping out a conviction is the answer, absent a prolonged period of good behavior. Ten years seems more appropriate than one year.
    3. Your motivation is to increase the voter rolls? Forgive me, but the rate of recidivism for convicts is quite high and I don’t think that is the part of society that a politician should focus on for votes.

    Let me address point 2. One year is an important milestone. The now sober alcoholic can say, as holidays and events come around, last Kentucky Derby, last St. Patrick’s Day, last Fourth of July, last Thanksgiving, last New Years Eve, I was sober! If I did it then, I can do it again!

    Believe me, my goal is not to increase the voter rolls. (I don’t hand out voter registration materials!) But knowing that you could vote tells someone that as a prodigal child, you are welcomed back to the community.

    • #22
    • May 16, 2018 at 8:03 am
    • 3 likes
  23. Member

    I guess I’m pretty radical on this subject. After time is served, fines paid and restitution is made, if applicable,I’m for full restoration of voting rights, except for murder.

    I have a couple of quibbles ( of course!) “to those to whom much is given, much is required..”

    Hogwash! You aren’t required to do anything. However, your generosity is admirable. 

    • #23
    • May 16, 2018 at 8:31 am
    • Like
  24. Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Here, there’s generally a focus on intoxication, and intoxication derived from one’s “roots.” However, many felons are arguably “culturally deprived” in different ways, and those who have committed crimes while drug addicted are, in a similar sense, not in “control” of their actions at the moment. So the line drawing is, indeed, difficult.

    It isn’t just the “roots,” exactly. It’s also the parents’ drinking, particularly but not only the mother, and particularly but not limited to when she drinks during pregnancy. That tends to be combined with the effects of appallingly bad nutrition.

    Michael Dorris’ heartbreaking book The Broken Cord was a big part of bringing awareness to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect (bad stuff that doesn’t fit the syndrome picture.) When Dorris was a young rising professor, he adopted a Native American boy who turned out to be badly damaged by his birth mother’s drinking. Brain damage, bad impulse control. Among other things.

    Being born is like entering one of those sporting events where you start with 100 points and the judges deduct points for various mistakes – except that to realize your full genetic potential, it depends on not just your parents but your grandparents. Their life experience (severe calorie restriction, exposure to toxins, other factors outside of toxins and deficiencies which create a suboptimal prenatal milieu interieur.) I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the effects can repercuss as far as the seventh generation.

    The big deductions are:

    Folate The incidence of folate deficiency neural tube defects has gone down a lot with the addition of folic acid to flour; there need to be adequate folate levels before conception to prevent neural tube defects.

    Iron Frank prenatal anemia on average lowers the child’s IQ by several points but even low ferritin isn’t good. Continued deficiency in early childhood makes it even worse, but there is a persistent effect of prenatal deficiency. Iron deficiency is a problem worldwide, and it is surprisingly common in the US. All too many practitioners (really, one is too many) still fail to test ferritin in preconception and prenatal screenings.

    Vitamin D Deficiency (also of vitamins A, E, and K2; yes, I’m aware of the issues surrounding A but all the fat soluble vitamins need to be there in proportion for optimum health.) Optimum prenatal (probably preconception) D levels appear to lower the child’s risk of allergic and autoimmune disease.

    Choline is an essential prenatal and early childhood nutrient for proper brain and cognitive development. The best dietary sources by far are egg yolk and liver. Start bugging your vegetarian and vegan friends.

    All the above are really cheap to fix.

    Essential fatty acid deficiency (that’s Ω3 and Ω6 fat deficiencies) and imbalances also mess up brain and immune development. That’s best fixed by fish oil, which is not as cheap.

    Heavy drinking often goes with B vitamin deficiency or suboptimal intake; ditto maternal diabetes/prediabetes.

    • #24
    • May 16, 2018 at 8:57 am
    • 2 likes
  25. Thatcher

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    There are three things that a convicted felon can ask for. The easiest is to have their civil rights to vote, serve on juries and run for office. You’ve done your time, and want to participate in society again. Welcome home.

    This. Either we believe in rehabilitation or we don’t. Either we belive in time limited punishment or we don’t.

    • #25
    • May 16, 2018 at 9:55 am
    • 2 likes
  26. Member

    @garyrobbins – I agree with most of your post and am glad to see the up front documentation and judicial review of our results. 

    My governor (Virginia) tried before the last election to grant a blanket ‘pardon’ (probably the wrong word) to grant felons the vote. He managed to get some done ( without keeping track of who they were) until a Judge stopped him. He was forced to treat each person individually. He did, but I believe it was using an auto-pen. His entire goal was to generate more Democrat voters.

    What are the chances of formalizing your approach and spreading it to other states.

    Great post

     

    • #26
    • May 16, 2018 at 10:41 am
    • 1 like
  27. Coolidge

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    This. Either we believe in rehabilitation or we don’t. Either we belive in time limited punishment or we don’t.

    That’s not very “nuanced.” In fact, I would call it facile.

    Rehabilitation doesn’t happen entirely while in jail. It’s easy to stay off drugs while in jail. It’s easy to not rob a gas station while you’re in jail. It’s easy not to beat up your girlfriend while you’re in jail. Lots of people in jail even find Jesus. I’m sure you’re not surprised that their love for Jesus most often ends as soon as they get out of jail and don’t need to impress a probation board.

    Drug abusers and criminals are rehabilitated only after time. A reputation is very dear, and should be dearly bought. It takes more than one lap around the sun to convince me that someone has rehabilitated.

    • #27
    • May 16, 2018 at 11:45 am
    • Like
  28. Thatcher

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    This. Either we believe in rehabilitation or we don’t. Either we belive in time limited punishment or we don’t.

    That’s not very “nuanced.” In fact, I would call it facile.

    Rehabilitation doesn’t happen entirely while in jail. It’s easy to stay off drugs while in jail. It’s easy to not rob a gas station while you’re in jail. It’s easy not to beat up your girlfriend while you’re in jail. Lots of people in jail even find Jesus. I’m sure you’re not surprised that their love for Jesus most often ends as soon as they get out of jail and don’t need to impress a probation board.

    Drug abusers and criminals are rehabilitated only after time. A reputation is very dear, and should be dearly bought. It takes more than one lap around the sun to convince me that someone has rehabilitated.

    If the sentence has been served, then they should be allowed to rejoin society. Nothing you can say will change my mind on that fundamental point. 

    Now, if you want to have sentencing that is for life, in the criminal code, that is another story. Right now, felons lose rights, regardless of the felony. I have a problem with that. Heck, try to find a place to rent, or a place to work with that hanging over your head. The felony haunts you for the rest of your life. Maybe Skyler, you want that. Maybe you will hold the actions of someone against them for the rest of their lives, never giving them the ability to return. How man laps, Sir, do they need to run? While they are running them, where are they to live and work? You have to live and work someplace in our society. 

    • #28
    • May 16, 2018 at 12:10 pm
    • Like
  29. Coolidge

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    This. Either we believe in rehabilitation or we don’t. Either we belive in time limited punishment or we don’t.

    That’s not very “nuanced.” In fact, I would call it facile.

    Rehabilitation doesn’t happen entirely while in jail. It’s easy to stay off drugs while in jail. It’s easy to not rob a gas station while you’re in jail. It’s easy not to beat up your girlfriend while you’re in jail. Lots of people in jail even find Jesus. I’m sure you’re not surprised that their love for Jesus most often ends as soon as they get out of jail and don’t need to impress a probation board.

    Drug abusers and criminals are rehabilitated only after time. A reputation is very dear, and should be dearly bought. It takes more than one lap around the sun to convince me that someone has rehabilitated.

    If the sentence has been served, then they should be allowed to rejoin society. Nothing you can say will change my mind on that fundamental point.

    Now, if you want to have sentencing that is for life, in the criminal code, that is another story. Right now, felons lose rights, regardless of the felony. I have a problem with that. Heck, try to find a place to rent, or a place to work with that hanging over your head. The felony haunts you for the rest of your life. Maybe Skyler, you want that. Maybe you will hold the actions of someone against them for the rest of their lives, never giving them the ability to return. How man laps, Sir, do they need to run? While they are running them, where are they to live and work? You have to live and work someplace in our society.

    Too many things are felonies — that I’ll agree with. 

    But the market place determines who gets a job. Employers decide whom they want to employ. Exactly what do you wish to do to force employers to hire felons? Do you want to hide their past? What is the interest in that? Criminal convictions are a public record, and should be a public record. Employers should know if a prospective employee has embezzled money in the past, or if they’ve assaulted people or burgled homes. Just what do you want to do to change that?

    It’s easy to say that a criminal conviction should not be a life sentence. Well, how do you propose to change that?

    • #29
    • May 16, 2018 at 2:47 pm
    • Like
  30. Thatcher

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    This. Either we believe in rehabilitation or we don’t. Either we belive in time limited punishment or we don’t.

    That’s not very “nuanced.” In fact, I would call it facile.

    Rehabilitation doesn’t happen entirely while in jail. It’s easy to stay off drugs while in jail. It’s easy to not rob a gas station while you’re in jail. It’s easy not to beat up your girlfriend while you’re in jail. Lots of people in jail even find Jesus. I’m sure you’re not surprised that their love for Jesus most often ends as soon as they get out of jail and don’t need to impress a probation board.

    Drug abusers and criminals are rehabilitated only after time. A reputation is very dear, and should be dearly bought. It takes more than one lap around the sun to convince me that someone has rehabilitated.

    If the sentence has been served, then they should be allowed to rejoin society. Nothing you can say will change my mind on that fundamental point.

    Now, if you want to have sentencing that is for life, in the criminal code, that is another story. Right now, felons lose rights, regardless of the felony. I have a problem with that. Heck, try to find a place to rent, or a place to work with that hanging over your head. The felony haunts you for the rest of your life. Maybe Skyler, you want that. Maybe you will hold the actions of someone against them for the rest of their lives, never giving them the ability to return. How man laps, Sir, do they need to run? While they are running them, where are they to live and work? You have to live and work someplace in our society.

    Too many things are felonies — that I’ll agree with.

    But the market place determines who gets a job. Employers decide whom they want to employ. Exactly what do you wish to do to force employers to hire felons? Do you want to hide their past? What is the interest in that? Criminal convictions are a public record, and should be a public record. Employers should know if a prospective employee has embezzled money in the past, or if they’ve assaulted people or burgled homes. Just what do you want to do to change that?

    It’s easy to say that a criminal conviction should not be a life sentence. Well, how do you propose to change that?

    I want to have people serve their time and be allowed to rejoin society as full members of the society. I believe in second chances. Thanks to modern communications, you cannot flee your crime. The easy fix is to remove people from the Background check results if the time served is over. This includes, I might add, end of parole. 

    But, to label someone with a scarlet F and then deny them ever working a decent job again, to refuse to rent an apartment too them, so shun them forever, just what are they supposed to do? How are they supposed to live? If we forever hold the sins of the past against someone in the present, what does that say about us?

    It is a felony to be driving a car someone gave to you that they stole. If that happens, should your life be runied forever? Apparently, you think, “yes”. I think “no”.

    • #30
    • May 16, 2018 at 3:22 pm
    • Like
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