Ex Convicts Running in Elections?


Today I found this interesting article in the Moscow Times. ¬†Apparently, on Thursday, Russia’s Constitutional Court ruled that ex-convicts have the right to fun for offices, including the office of president. This ruling was a direct response to the ban Vladimir Putin placed last year on ex-convicts running for office (which just happened to outlaw the leader of the opposition party from running in the future).

According to the new law, only people who are sentenced to a life in prison are banned from running for office.

I wasn’t sure what America’s policy on criminals running for office was, so I did some research. Most of the information I came across merely said candidates had to 1) be born in the US 2) be at least 35 and 3) have lived in the US for 14 years.

The only other information I could find was on Wikipedia (so I’m not guaranteeing accuracy). Wikipedia had the first three qualifications, as well as these other three: 1) cannot have already served 2 presidential terms 2) if impeached from office, the Senate can decide whether they are eligible to run 3) cannot have previously turned their back on their country after swearing an oath of allegiance (but this ban can be lifted from a Congressional vote). ¬†So yes, Charles Manson can run for US president, but not my best friend who was adopted from Russia but lived her life as a US citizen.

I’m not sure which is scarier, that Charles Manson can legally run for US president, or that I think Russia has the right idea of banning those sentenced to a life in prison from running for office.


One thought on “Ex Convicts Running in Elections?

  1. I agree with your concluding statement that the thought of Charles Manson being able to run for US president is alarming. I don’t know much about election laws, having never voted before, but I believe that someone running for a political position should have a background free of prior convictions. I grant that some people may have been arrested by mistake or on a minor charge, but stronger election laws against ex-convicts who have been incarcerated for more serious crimes should be implemented.

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