01:58 GMT +320 September 2019
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    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., takes part in a Fox News town-hall style event, Monday April 15, 2019 in Bethlehem, Pa.

    Backlash as Sanders Says Boston Marathon Bomber Has Right to Vote From Jail

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    Addressing the issue of felony disenfranchisement, Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders argued that inmates must pay the price but retain the right to vote. His remark was related to the infamous terrorist who orchestrated two deadly explosions at the 2013 Boston Marathon along with his now-deceased brother.

    Meghan, the daughter of late US senator McCain and co-host of ABC's talk show The View, has lashed out at two 2020 Democrats for their soft take on the voting rights of the Boston Marathon bomber.

    "For Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris to go on TV and say that the Boston terrorist deserves any rights in this country after killing three people and injuring 264 in 2013, I think it's disgraceful," Meghan McCain said on The View.

    "It is not hard to say people who commit acts of terror in this country should be punished, but God forbid they should have any rights that any of us have," she continued.

    "It is not hard to put lines between terrorists and people who commit low-level crimes. If Democrats wanna drag anybody this far left, this is why people like me are so upset and so disenfranchised with how extreme this is. It's not hard to say the Boston terrorist is a psycho lunatic who is a threat not only to national security, but shouldn't be allowed the right to vote in any elections. It's not that hard."

    In a CNN town hall on Monday, 2020 Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders was asked whether he would allow Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to vote for president.

    While admitting that criminals should pay the price for their deeds, Sanders insisted that the right of individuals, including murderers and sex offenders, to vote is inherent to US democracy. "Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away…you're running down a slippery slope," he added.

    Another top 2020 Democratic contender, Senator Kamala Harris, said she was open to a discussion when pressed on the issue.

    According to Fox News, Sanders's comments have also sparked condemnation from Cher. The pop icon reportedly tweeted: "Does Bernie Sanders really believe [people] in prison who are murderers!? Rapists!? Child Molesters!? Boston bombers… still deserve the right to vote!?"

    Sputnik could not immediately verify this since the tweet appears to have been deleted.

    At the moment, Maine and Sanders's home state of Vermont are the only legislatures in the country that allow felons to vote even while they are incarcerated. In 14 states and the District of Columbia, felons are disenfranchised while incarcerated and have their voting rights automatically restored upon release.

    In 22 states, inmates regain voting rights after a post-release waiting period. And in another 12 states, for some crimes an individual convicted of a felony can be banned from voting indefinitely.

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    Tags:
    voting rights, felony, disenfranchisement, Boston Marathon Bombing, Cher, Meghan McCain, Bernie Sanders, United States
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