Posted on August 7, 2023

Lifetime Voting Ban for Felony Convictions Struck Down in Mississippi

Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, August 4, 2023

Mississippi’s lifetime voting ban for people with disqualifying felony convictions has been struck down in a new decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The court’s 2-1 decision will restore the right to vote for tens of thousands of Mississippians, according to the plaintiff’s council {snip}

The court ruled Thursday in the case of Hopkins v. Hosemann that by banning former offenders “from the body politic forever” they will be punished “beyond the term their culpability requires,” according to the decision.


The policy was derived from the Mississippi 1890 constitution where white lawmakers tried to disenfranchise Black people who they felt were more susceptible to commit certain crimes that would lead to lifetime voting bans.

According to a 2020 study by the criminal justice research center Sentencing Project, 10.55% of adults in Mississippi – 235,152 people – were unable to vote due to felony convictions.

The same study found that almost 15.96% of Black Mississippians – 130,501 – were unable to vote under such restrictions.