Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called for extreme punishments at times, even suggesting that people who smoke marijuana should face some kind of punitive measure. Now, in the wake of a terrorist attack in Manhattan, Sessions is reigniting a debate about Guantanamo Bay – the site of the most extreme punishment known to Americans. He has advocated sending the culprit of this week’s attack to Guantanamo, echoing President Trump’s initial sentiments.
Trump suggested that terrorists do what they do because the American judicial system is a “laughingstock.” Later, Trump downplayed the idea of sending him to Guantanamo, but was no more sympathetic. “Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system…” he tweeted. “…There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!”
Sessions chimed into the debate. “Terrorists should know this: this administration will use all lawful tools at our disposal, including prosecution in Article III courts or at Guantanamo Bay,” he said. “If anyone has any doubt about that, they can ask the more than 500 criminals whom the Department of Justice has convicted of terrorism-related offenses since 9/11. And they can ask the dozens of enemy combatants in Guantanamo Bay.”
He then defended Trump’s stance on amending the American visa system. He called for a merit-based approach, which he called “the best way to ensure that the immigration system in America is benefiting America. We don’t use random chance in college admissions and we don’t roll a die to hire people. By the same token, a lottery tells us nothing about who would thrive in this country.”
He concluded, “I have been amazed how effective our federal investigative agencies have been in preventing attacks, but if you look at it mathematically you can see that we can’t possibly identify all attacks…and stop them from occurring.”