(WASHINGTON) — Four Republican lawmakers are calling for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be held as an enemy combatant.
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Congressman Peter King (R-NY) released a statement on Saturday explaining their stance.
“The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy combatant status. We do not want this suspect to remain silent,” the statement reads.
Congressman King told ABC News that the Boston Marathon bombings were an act of war, and that Tsarnaev should be treated accordingly.
“The terrorist should not be given Miranda rights, should not be put in a civilian court at this time and basically should be held as an enemy combatant,” he said.
“The purpose in doing this is to get as much intelligence as we can, to find out how far this conspiracy went, who was involved in it, who provided the money, are there any other cells out there, are there any other members of this conspiracy, in Boston or anywhere else in the country who are planning other attacks?” King explained.
Not everyone agrees with the four lawmakers. In a statement released Saturday, the American Civil Liberties Union warned against such an action.
“We must not waver from our tried-and-true justice system, even in the most difficult of times. Denial of rights is un-American and will only make it harder to obtain fair convictions,” the ACLU’s statement read.
It may not even be possible, as according to a Department of Justice official who spoke with ABC News, “U.S. Citizens cannot be tried in military commissions under current law.”
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Catherine E. Shoichet, Max Blau and Holly Yan, CNN
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