On March 25, Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, an activist for felon voting rights and Al Sharpton’s half-brother, was arrested and charged with capital murder.
“Arrested for Capital Murder was Kenneth Glasgow, 52, of W. Powell St., Dothan,” says a Dotham, AL police department release. “A ‘no bond’ has been issued in this case.”
Glagow allegedly shot and killed 23-year-old Breunia Jennings over a dispute regarding a stolen car.
Glasgow is a prominent felon voting rights activist. His non-profit, The Ordinary People Society (TOPS), was founded in 1999 and has helped “hundreds of thousands” of felons gain voting access. In 2008, he even won a lawsuit that allowed him to register felons to vote inside prisons.
“In the last month, I think we registered at least five- to ten-thousand people all over the state,” said Glasgow in November. “I’ve got people all over the state registering people with my TOPS branches in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Montgomery, Enterprise, Dothan, Abbeville, Geneva, Gordon, Bessemer, we have a lot.”
The thousands of felons Glasgow referenced were registered to vote mere weeks before the December 12 special Alabama Senate election between Republican Judge Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones.
Glasgow’s stated intention was to get felons to vote Democrat. He told Think Progress that formerly incarcerated people “swarming the polls” had the potential to swing the seat to Democrats.
“We have the chance to do the same thing they did in Virginia,” he said. “We can turn it blue. Well not blue, but we can add some color. Make it pink or purple.”
One of the newly-registered voters was Barbara Hughes, a 29-year-old who thought she was precluded from voting for a previous drug conviction.
“Even though I was born in this country, I feel more like a citizen,” she told Think Progress, adding that she was looking forward to casting her first-ever vote for Democrat Doug Jones.
The timing of the new bill was obviously significant – Judge Moore lost the special election by about 20,000 votes. Glasgow has high level connections within the Democrat party, as his half-brother is Al Sharpton, and he was pictured with Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Alabama’s 1901 Constitution banned those guilty of a crime of “moral turpitude” from voting. The law clarifies the definition of “moral turpitude,” which was interpreted differently by each county in Alabama. Glasgow and his group championed the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey (R) in May. Now, any felon in Alabama not convicted of a murder or sex offense can vote, opening the door to thousands of new voters.
Judging by the results of the December special election, Glasgow’s strategy worked to perfection.
Also noteworthy is the fact that The Ordinary People Society participated in the anti-gun violence “March for Our Lives” the day before Glasgow allegedly shot and killed Jennings.