Alabama, like a lot of states (especially in the South) bars certain convicted felons from ever voting again. Which kind of felons? According to state law, those who committed crimes exuding a certain "moral turpitude." What puts the turp in the perp's 'tude? According to the New York Times, the list begins with "Murder, rape, sodomy, sexual abuse, incest, sexual torture and nine other crimes mainly involving pornography and abuses against children," but then in 2005 was expanded by Alabama Attorney General Troy King to include what the American Civil Liberties has just discovered is the following:
about a dozen additional offenses, most of them nonviolent, and several including the sale of marijuana.
There are now more than 5 million Americans who cannot vote because of felony convictions, a state of affairs that tempts me to use the phrase "so-called" in front of "democracy." I weighed in on behalf of anti-disenfranchisementism back in 2003.
Hat tip to Alan Vanneman.