Daniel Linskey, former superintendent-in-chief of the Boston Police Department on Thursday said he had a visceral reaction to comments made by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who supports giving felons like Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev the right to vote.
"When I first heard it, my initial thought was to send something on Twitter that would have been sent in anger and I waited and calmly thought about it," he told "America's Newsroom."
"The anger comes from the fact that we are talking about the Tsarnaevs. We shouldn't talk about them, every time we do, we reinjure victims in our community and their families."
Tsarnaev was sentenced to death for helping carry out the 2013 attack that killed three people and wounded 264 others in the crowd at the iconic race’s finish line. His brother Tamerlan died during a gun battle with authorities four days after the pressure cooker bombs detonated.
Sanders, who is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination, was asked during a recent town hall how he felt giving convicted felons like Tsarnaev the right to vote. Sanders said he believes all prisoners - including "terrible people" - should be allowed. He added that people behind bars serving time, no matter how serious their crime, deserve the right.
"I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy," Sanders said Monday. "Yes, even for terrible people, even if they are in jail. They're paying their price to society but that should not take away from their inherent American right to participate in our democracy."
Linskey says he understands that there's got to be a punitive side and a redemptive side to America's system of law and order.
"Once you serve your sentence and you come back out into society, then you should be involved... be a part of a community and see a second chance after you've paid your dues," he said.
"That being said, Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death. He will not return to our society and therefore we do not need to debate whether he will ever have the chance or should have the opportunity to vote in any election."