U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is reintroducing a bill allowing prosecution against those who are convicted of crimes against humanity overseas. Durbin says while the U.S. has long supported the prosecution of human rights violations dating to the Nuremberg trials after World War 2, a gap remains in our country's own laws.
There is no U.S. law prohibiting crimes against humanity, Durbin said. As a result, our government is unable to prosecute perpetrators of these crimes when they're discovered in America.
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There are human rights violators in the U.S, according to Durbin, saying the Department of Homeland Security is currently pursuing more than 1,800 leads in that area.
Durbin first introduced the bill in 2009, but it died in committee, due to concerns it would threaten the sovereignty of the United States. He says human rights violations in places like Syria and Ukraine, and especially those involving Islamic State militants, have motivated him to reintroduce the legislation.