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When Society Gives Felons a Second Chance
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It’s good to know that our society is not completely closed minded. In the city of Flint, Michigan two convicted felons were given second chances to redeem themselves as class A citizens by running for City Council and winning a chair.  Wantwaz Davis has a less than favorable record when he served 19 years in jail for a second degree murder back in 1991. Davis won the majority by 71 votes to gain a seat in Flint’s Fifth ward.

According to the Flint Journal/MLive; Davis was just 17 years old in August 1991 when Kenneth S. Morris only 27 years old was killed in his home on Grace Street. After three shots; one to his hip, abdomen and mouth he was pronounced dead on arrival. Davis made a statement on November 6 which quoted “He went and reached for his pocket, so I reached in my pocket and I shot him. When I found out he later died, I turned myself in. I never intended to shoot Mr. Morris. To this day, I am very remorseful.”

  
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In an interview by NBC 25 Davis told them that he had killed Morris after the man sexually battered his mother and while imprisoned he studied politics. Although his actions were not of the best interest for the victim at the time he did feel sorry for the incident.

In the state of Michigan the laws don’t state that felons can’t run for officials, only in such exceptions like fraud or public corruption charges that are related to service as a government official. Davis has since been open about his record to the residents but according to the Flint Journal, they were “unaware” of his convictions until Wednesday, when they asked the newly-elected candidate to confirm the report. Sometimes minor details can be overlooked but in the world of politics there is no such thing as skeletons in the closet. The editor of the Flint Journal has been apologizing since to the residents of Flint for failing to unveil Wantwaz’s profile.

Marjory Raymer, a current reporter for the Journal wrote “We reported it the same day we discovered it. However, we did not inform voters the way we all wish we could have of that information before they went to the polls on Tuesday.”

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Flint’s population is about 100,000 or so and the people who are felons there are men and women that feel that they are constantly neglected and treated like second class citizens. People may shun ex-cons for fear of criminal relapse. It’s always a battle for these people who served their time and are now trying to reenter society to prove that they have changed and have learned from their mistakes. But most never get the chance to show their worth. By giving second chances to these “born again” people – the felons could possibly help produce revenue that could also help create more jobs and possibly add to the economy. It is better to arm these people with a good paycheck than a weapon. This can prove beneficial to not only the community but can also contribute to rebuilding an already cracked economy.

Although Davis has redeemed himself and was given another opportunity to show his worth, another convicted felon has also grabbed the headlines. According to the Associated Press, Eric Mays, who pleaded guilty to a heinous assault back in 1997 and given a year long probation has also won a seat on Flint’s City Council. Mays story was that a random man had been threatening his life before Mays reversed the threat by going after the man with a gun.



It goes to show that if given the chance, people who once lost their way can be brought back to give back to the community and not take from it.

Image Credit: The Huffington Post



 

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