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by Abigail Van Buren

Godparent Plays Minor Role and Never Is Given the Lead

DEAR ABBY: Please inform potential employers and the general public that not all ex-convicts are lifelong criminals who should never again be trusted.

I would like to hear from your millions of readers how they would answer my question: By taking away most of my constitutional rights and severely limiting my employment opportunities for the rest of my life, how is that going to protect society or give me an incentive to go straight?

My debt (for armed robbery) was paid 22 years ago. -- ROY S., SPARKS, NEV.

DEAR MR. S.: My experts tell me that convicted felons receive due process under the law, and all their rights are returned to them when their sentences have been served and paroles are complete.

However, two PRIVILEGES are withheld: the privilege of owning a gun and the privilege of voting.