Sanders Says He Would Let the Boston Marathon Bomber Vote | NTK Network Sanders Says He Would Let the Boston Marathon Bomber Vote

Sanders Says He Would Let the Boston Marathon Bomber Vote

"But I do believe that even if they are in jail, they're paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right..."

By NTK Staff | 04.23.2019 @9:18am

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said during a CNN town hall on Monday that he believes that the Boston Marathon bomber, as well as people convicted of sexual assault, should be allowed to vote in elections while they serve sentences in prison.

An audience member asked Sanders whether he thought someone like the Boston Marathon bomber, who is a convicted terrorist and murderer, or a person convicted of sexual assault, should be allowed to vote.

“What our campaign is about and what I believe is creating a vibrant democracy. Today, as you may know, we have one of the lowest voter turnouts of any major country on Earth. I want to see us have one of the highest voter turnouts,” Sanders said.

Sanders then talked about the need for younger American to vote in higher numbers in elections.

“But to get to your point, we live in a moment where cowardly Republican governors are trying to suppress the vote,” Sanders continued. “To me, that is an incredibly undemocratic, un-American process. And I say to those people, by the way, if you don’t have the guts to participate in free and fair elections, you should get another job and get out of politics, all right?”

“Anne, to answer your question, as it happens, in my own state of Vermont, from the very first days of our state’s history, what our constitution says is that everybody can vote. That is true. So people in jail can vote,” Sanders said. “Now, here is my view: if somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they’re going to be punished. They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime.”

“But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy, yes, even for terrible people,” Sanders said. “Because once you start chipping away and you say, well, that guy committed a terrible crime, not going to let him vote. Oh, that person did that, not going to let that person vote. You’re running down a slippery slope.”

“So, I believe that people commit crimes, they paid the price. When they get out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right to vote. But I do believe that even if they are in jail, they’re paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy,” Sanders said.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo pressed Sanders on whether he thought that the Boston Marathon bomber should be allowed to vote while he is still in jail.

“Well, Chris, I think I have written many 30-second opposition ads throughout my life. This will be just another one,” Sanders joked.

“But I do believe, look, you know, this is what I believe. Do you believe in democracy? Do you believe that every single American 18 years of age or older who’s an American citizen has the right to vote?” Sanders asked. “Once you start chipping away at that, believe me, that’s what our Republican governors all over this country are doing. They come up with all kinds of excuses while people of color, young people, poor people can’t vote, and I will do everything I can to resist it.”

“This is a democracy. We’ve got to expand that democracy, and I believe every single person does have the right to vote,” Sanders concluded.

Sign Up

for NTK updates every week.


View Privacy Policy