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.

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