[JURIST] The Florida Board of Executive Clemency [official website] on Thursday voted 3-1 to change the Rules of Executive Clemency [PDF text] so that non-violent felons will automatically have their civil rights restored upon release from prison, and released violent offenders can have theirs restored after a board hearing or other type of review. The changes take effect immediately. Board member and Governor Charlie Christ [official website] made clemency for felons part of his campaign platform [Herald Tribune review] during the 2006 elections and called a special board meeting [Miami Herald report] on Monday to present the rule changes. State procedures for restoring voting rights to Florida felons after release have been discussed and debated [JURIST report] for several years now.
In December, California restored voting rights to felons [JURIST report] after a state appeals court found the prohibition unconstitutional. AP has more.