a non-violent, non-destructive crime you can do 

So many actions are felonies. So many are non-violent. Many can legitimately be done by mistake.

I bet you've committed multiple felonies without realizing it. You just didn't inconvenience anyone.

Support voting rights for felons. Support hiring former felons. You almost certainly are an unconvicted felon.

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@thraeryn this reminds me of something i've noticed about language, particularly in the US but more broadly too:

"criminal" is treated as a habit instead of as an action.

what i mean by this is, there's certain descriptors that apply only when someone's doing something. you're a pedestrian only until you stop walking. you're only a customer when you're in the store.

other descriptors apply to habitual actions, like jobs: teacher, driver, etc; or lifestyle choices: hiker, smoker, and so on

@thraeryn these aren't hard categories; "hikers" could refer to people who habitually hike or people who are currently hiking right now.

but "criminal" and related terms (like felon) tend to be used in the habitual sense. people in jail are "criminals" even though they're not committing any crimes, because the word is considered to mean "the type of people who commit crimes" instead of "people who are currently committing crimes"

@thraeryn and i think that reflects a cultural idea that there is a kind of person who commits crimes (and that those people are bad)

that sort of idea that leads to policies like stripping felons of rights. i think if people only used "criminal" for people -in the act-, it would change perceptions significantly

just consider the difference from "the criminals in jail" to "the prisoners in jail"

("unconvicted felon" is a similarly good way to get people to re-evaluate their thought patterns)


@kotep @thraeryn The term unconvicted felon confuses me very much... Is that the point? I just don't understand how one can be an unconvicted felon unless the felon is referring to a previous conviction.

@tangent @kotep
I committed a felony offense, for which I was never arraigned or convicted.

I committed a felony offense, knowingly, on multiple occasions.

I could say "unconvicted criminal", but I honestly thought "felons are people who commit felonies" was an obvious definition. I will admit to never imagining someone splitting this hair.

If "convicted felon" is a common usage, how hard is it to grok "unconvicted felon"?

@tangent @kotep
Sorry, I think some of that came off as dismissive. I apologise for that.

@thraeryn @kotep I don't know? Mainly I just feel confused about it.

@thraeryn @kotep I guess my question would be "why do you want this term?" (My other question would be what you've done.)

1) I want the term to refer to the multitudes who, like me, probably like you, have committed felonies, many without realizing it. The list of offenses grows daily, and many are so general that they're essentially catch-alls to increase prison times for other offenses.

2) I intercepted and disclosed electronic communications, 18 U.S.C. § 2511. With an old TV.

Because the idea of a "convicted felony" being used to strip voting rights from a person when felonies are sometimes so meaningless is horrible. Practically everyone is a felon. Practically everyone could find themselves unable to vote for years, having to go through a capricious process to get that right back if they're in the wrong state.

@thraeryn Now I get it.. it's kind of like how the sex offenders registry is meaningless because you can get on it for absolutely ridiculous reasons.

Also I'm pretty sure I've technically committed the exact same felony you cited, just not with a TV.

There ya go! Also, there are people who have to check a little box on every employment form, practically guaranteeing they never again get a good job, over these things. They may have willfully done some shitty stuff, and once they spend that extra time behind bars it should be done.

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