Convicted Criminal Talks about Governor's Plan to Restore Voting Rights

By: Litsa Pappas Email
By: Litsa Pappas Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- James Weathers has been in prison three times. He said he was glad to hear that Gov. Bob McDonnell would like to restore voting rights for non-violent felons, like him. Weathers said he has already served the time for his punishment, so now, he said it would be nice to have a voice again.

"Because I would have a chance to make a difference in what happens in Virginia. I would have a chance to make a difference to what happens to my grandson's future,” said Weathers.

He admitted to committing crimes in the past, but now, he's trying to live a different life.

"It's sad to say that I waited til a late age in life to figure out that that way wasn't working."

Weathers said ever since he got out of prison, he's been trying to get involved in the community. He said he's starting to recover at a halfway house in Rockingham County, but part of being an active member in society is having a voice at the polls. He hopes Gov. McDonnell's plan to help people like him will pass.

"To make some decisions to get some people in there that are willing to stand up for what they believe in. The right to vote is a powerful tool."

It's a powerful tool he hopes he'll have in the near future.

Del. Greg Habeeb, who represents the 8th district, and Del. Peter Farrell of the 56th district will introduce bills during this session to allow non-violent offenders to vote.

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