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Sen. Sanders Faces Backlash For Saying Convicted Felons Have Right To Vote

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) - A Boston Marathon bombing survivor says he disagrees with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' remarks that all felons, regardless of their crimes, should have the right to vote.

"No. You're in jail. You're serving jail time. You committed a crime. You broke the law. I think you should lose your rights and voting is one of your rights," Marc Fucarile told WBZ-TV.

Marc Fucarile
Boston Marathon bombing survivor Marc Fucarile. (WBZ-TV)

Sanders, who is running as a Democratic candidate for president, made the remarks during a CNN town hall, Monday night.

Harvard student Anne Carlstein asked Sanders whether "people like the Boston Marathon bomber" should have the right to vote.

"I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy, even for terrible people," Sanders replied.

Carlstein did not expect the answer to get this much attention. "I do think it's a valid issue, but I was surprised by how much publicity it got," Carlstein told WBZ.

Anne Carlstein
Anne Carlstein (WBZ-TV)

The Harvard University junior says she purposely chose a topic that wasn't in the headlines, but now it is and she's glad she asked it.

"If that's what Sanders thinks then the people should know about it," Carlstein said.

Fucarile says he does not believe the marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, or any felon should have the right to vote while behind bars.

Sen. Bernie Sanders
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in Cambridge (WBZ-TV)

"He took the life of innocent people, changed and damaged many people's lives. And I don't think him, or anybody who is incarcerated for breaking the law, cause that's what we have laws for, I don't think they should have the right to vote," Fucarile said.

At a small campaign event in Cambridge, Tuesday, Sanders avoided the topic, while answering questions on healthcare, housing, and climate change.

Some supporters say they agree with Sanders statements.

"Just because you're in prison, you're behind bars, and you've done something that requires you to be in prison, doesn't mean that your rights as a citizen of this country should be taken away," Cheryl Hirshman said.

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