Socialist Bernie Sanders said during a CNN Democratic town hall event that he would let the Boston Marathon bomber, sex predators, and murderers vote in U.S. elections while in prison.
“Would [you] support enfranchising people like the Boston Marathon bomber, a convicted terrorist and murderer?” Sanders was asked by an audience member. “Do you think those convicted of sexual assault should have the opportunity to vote for politicians who could have a direct impact on women’s rights?”
“Thank you for the question, and let me just say this: What our campaign is about and what I believe is creating a vibrant democracy,” Sanders responded while complaining about voter turnout in the U.S.
“If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they’re going to be punished,” Sanders said. “They may be in jail 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole life. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime.”
“But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy,” he continued. “Yes, even for terrible people, because once you start chipping away … you’re running down a slippery slope … I believe even if they are in jail, they’re paying the price to society, that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.”
CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who hosted Sanders’ town hall, asked Sanders if he was sure that he supported allowing the Boston Marathon bomber to be able to vote from inside prison.
Sanders doubled down.
“Look, this is what I believe. Do you believe in Democracy?” Sanders continued. “Do you believe that every single American 18 years of age or older who is an American citizen has the right to vote. Once you start chipping away at that, believe me that’s what our Republican governors all over this country are doing.”
“I believe every single person does have the right to vote,” Sanders concluded.
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