Local man disappointed over Va. Supreme Court’s felon’s rights restoration decision

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Richmond resident Kenneth Williams is disappointed about the Virginia Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Governor Terry McAuliffe’s executive order to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons.

“My Bible tells me once I turn my life to Christ I become a new creature and old things are washed away,” Williams said. “So why can’t we stand on that in a Christian based society?”

Williams served ten years behind bars for a robbery he committed more than three decades ago. However, he is now a successful businessman and he even works with other ex-cons to help them re-enter society.

Referring to the four Virginia Supreme Court justices who voted against McAuliffe’s executive order to restore rights to felons who have served their time, Williams said he wished they took the time to see him for who he is now, and not who he used to be.

Terry McAuliffe
(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

“They don’t know I’ve been married and run a class-A construction company and a business in the city of Richmond [called] Williams Appliances Plus,” he said. “And I’m CEO of a re-entry program, giving back to re-entry citizens. They don’t know I’m trustee of my church, they don’t know that I’m 67-years old and never voted a day in my life … and I’ll be 70-years-old in three years. So, I think I need to be heard. As a citizen, I pay taxes, and they don’t cut my taxes short.”

Right now Williams does not know what the status of his voting rights will be. But he is optimistic because the Supreme Court’s vote was so close at four to three.

He said, “It was, to me, like a close fight that needs a rematch.”

It is yet to be seen if further actions to appeal the Virginia court’s decision will be made.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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