It has never been clear to me why people claim that voting is the most important collateral penalty imposed on criminals after conviction given that everything that I have heard indicates that felons themselves care much more about what jobs they can get and their ability to own a gun for defense. Here is Spencer's take on the discussion. I will let what I said in the debate in response to Spencer's notes on his blog speak for themselves. On the general issue, my bottom line is that barring felons from voting is justified on two grounds: 1) it is just another penalty that we impose on people to discourage them from committing crime. 2) You have learned something about a person who has committed multiple rapes or violent robberies or murders. It seems entirely reasonable to me that if some rapes multiple women, you don't want this person making social policy. There is something different about a person who can commit rape. The interesting thing to me in the debates that I have done on this subject is that those who want to let felons vote have no problem with banning them from owning a gun. They will even ban people who have committed misdemeanors from ever owning a gun.
Amazed how lucky I am that I have had jobs where I could just think about whatever I wanted to think about. I have published over 90 articles in academic journals. I received my Ph.D. in economics from UCLA in 1984.