|Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Source: USA Today)|
Honestly, I was more shocked than I should have been that people would call to try the surviving terrorist from the marathon bombings as an enemy combatant. I knew some people would say it; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev committed a heinous crime against innocent civilians and this obviously engenders very strong emotions. But there is a very important reason why Tsarnaev should be tried in criminal court in the U.S.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a United States citizen who committed crimes on American soil. This is the beginning and the end of the conversation.
The fact that Tsarnaev is a naturalized citizen does not matter unless he is trying to run for president. American citizens are American citizens; there are no levels of citizenship in this country. Look at the Fourteenth Amendment:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.There is no lesser or superior citizen under the law, and the same applies here. Did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev commit horrendous crimes here in America? It certainly seems that way, but the second his rights are stripped because he is not a jus soli citizen our justice system has failed before it even has a chance to work.
There are numerous additional, legitimate arguments that have been made much more eloquently than I could have done. There's the slippery slope argument, or the fact that we're a nation of laws and that is one of the main differentiators between us and terrorists. But these arguments don't even matter. Why?
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is United States citizen who committed crimes on American soil. This is the beginning and the end of the conversation.