Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump expressed outrage on Sept. 19 that suspected bomber Ahmad Khan Rahami would have a state appointed lawyer and also underwent emergency medical care, both of which are required under U.S. law (video below).
Rahami, who was born in Afghanistan but is a naturalized U.S. citizen, is suspected of being behind two bombs that turned up in New Jersey and New York City. Rahami was taken to a hospital for injuries that he sustained during a shootout with police officers in Linden, New Jersey, notes NPR.
Trump made his remarks at a political rally near Fort Myers, Florida:
Today, we have caught this evil thug who planted the bombs, thank you law enforcement, thank you police. But the bad part. Now, we will give him amazing hospitalization. He will be taken care of by some of the best doctors in the world. He will be given a fully modern and updated hospital room. And he’ll probably even have room service, knowing the way our country is.
And on top of all that, he will be represented by an outstanding lawyer. His case will go through the various court systems for years and, in the end, people will forget and his punishment will not be what it once would have been. What a sad situation. We must have speedy, but fair trails and we must deliver a just and very harsh punishment to these people.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York for his reaction to Trump's statements:
Welcome to America. We have a system of jurisprudence. You’re innocent until proven guilty. You have a right to counsel. And you have a right to hospitalization if you’re ill. That is our system. And it is what makes this country special, and what makes this country great.
Cuomo said that he believed that the right man had been captured, but added that "sometimes the government is wrong" and that's why trials are needed.
Cuomo said the alternative would be a government that is "judge, and jury and executioner all in one."
He later added:
Let’s not lose ourselves in an effort to protect ourselves. We want to protect America. What is America? It’s the rights that we’ve established. It's the system that we’ve established. That's what makes us who we are.
And I fear sometimes with this rhetoric that people are suggesting we lose what’s special about us in a way to protect ourselves. And that doesn’t work. It’s not who we are. Let’s preserve the system. Let’s be fair about it. Let’s keep our heads.