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NYC terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov, the legal rights of

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NYC attack suspect charged with terrorism

Federal prosecutors say that the suspect was trained for the attack.

President Trump is not known for hiding his opinions, and it wasn’t long before he publicly called for Sayfullo Saipov, the suspected New York bomber to be put to death.

Saipov, a 29-year-old legal U.S. resident, was charged with federal terrorism violations just a day after police said he rammed a rental truck down a popular Manhattan bike path, killing eight people and injuring 12 others. He has reportedly pledged his allegiance to ISIS in the aftermath of the attack.

Of Trump calling for the death penalty other GOP lawmakers’ demand that Saipov should be held as an “illegal enemy combatant”, he will be able to receive a fair trial?

“This man is going to have rights, regardless of what you call him or where you want him,” Wells Dixon, a senior attorney with the progressive Center for Constitutional Rights, told Fox News.

How does Saipov’s legal status affect his right?

Saipov came to the U.S. seven years ago through the Diversity Visa Program, a State Department initiative that allows citizens of countries with a few people in the US to emigrate to America.

But Saipov’s status – if he is a legal resident or a natural born citizen – does not matter when it comes to law, law experts said.

In this courtroom drawing, defendant Sayfullo Saipov, right, addresses the court during his arrest on the federal against terrorism.

(Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Resident “have the same due process rights under the Constitution that the citizens,” Trevor Burrus, a research fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, said.

Burrus noted that non-citizens can, however, be subject to deportation.

He can be labeled an enemy combatant?

Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S. C. and John McCain, R-Ariz., immediately called Saipov to be held as an enemy combatant in order to enable researchers to collect certain intelligence with regard to his activities, without a lawyer present

“If a person acts like a terrorist and says that she is a terrorist, they should be treated as a terrorist,” Graham said.

It is still possible to apply that designation to Saipov, Burrus said it is “very unlikely” that he could even meet the definition of an enemy combatant.

Can Saipov be sent to Guantanamo?

Earlier this week, Trump indicated that he is considering sending Saipov to Guantanamo Bay, a naval base in Cuba. Later he ran back what would have been an unprecedented step

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Trump’s back from his threat to send Saipov to Gitmo

“In fact, send him to Guantanamo is unconstitutional and unnecessary,” Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union national security project, told Fox News. “The federal criminal justice system is fully capable and in a better position to make fair trials for terrorism suspects.”

Dixon also argued that the sending of suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay would only provide more fodder for terrorist groups.

“If Senator Graham or Donald Trump are serious about the protection of the national security of the United States, they will not hand groups like ISIS a propaganda windfall by sending someone to Guantanamo,” he said.

What about Trump calling for the death penalty?

There is a case to be made by Saipov, the defense of the team that his right to a fair trial was hampered by Trump’s tweets, Burrus said.

NYC terrorist was happy when he asked to hang out ISIS flag in his room in the hospital. He killed 8 persons, seriously injured 12. SHOULD THE DEATH PENALTY!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017

Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo, but statistically, that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017

…There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the house of the terrible crime that he committed. Have to move fast. Death PENALTY!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017

He said Saipov’s legal team could argue that Trump “tainted the entire jury” with his tweets.

“It doesn’t help that the government is pursuing the death penalty to the president calls for the death penalty,” Burrus said.

Joshua Dratel, a veteran lawyer in terrorism cases, told the Associated Press that the tweets should disqualify prosecutors from seeking the death penalty.

“It is inconceivable that it would be fair to seek the death penalty if the president has declared two times in a tweet,” he said. “It poisons the jury members, all prospective members of the jury.”

However, Michael Wilde, a former federal prosecutor, said: “even presidents are entitled to the rights of the Amendment.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @K_Schallhorn.

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