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Boston Marathon bomber suspect should get a Miranda warning
April 20, 2013 - Andrea Johnson
Did you know that the United States can suspend your civil rights? No, I didn't either.
NBC is reporting that Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old surviving Boston marathon bombing suspect who is currently hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds, will not be read his Miranda rights when authorities are able to question him. The government plans to question him without first advising him of his right to remain silent or to have an attorney present. There is a legal rule known as the "public safety exception" that the Obama administration is claiming allows them to do this. Authorities have deemed him a public safety threat, as the events of the last days surely suggest.
I am not inclined to be sympathetic to a man who is alleged to have set down a bomb at the finishing line of the marathon on Patriots' Day, killing three people, including an 8-year-old boy, and seriously maiming and crippling nearly 200 people. I'm not sympathetic to a man who allegedly shot and killed a cop who was sitting in a police cruiser and left another cop in the hospital fighting for his life. I'm not sympathetic to a man who allegedly drove over his own brother in his haste to get away and whose alleged actions resulted in the lockdown of a city with a population of more than one million. I am mildly curious about why he might have done these things, but that will probably come out in time. Surely the cops have more than enough evidence of his movements and past travel to find out the how and the why and the when.
My most primitive instincts are all shouting "Who cares?" when I hear that the American Civil Liberties Union has objected to the decision not to Mirandaize Tsarnaev before interrogating him. And yet, our laws only have meaning if they apply to absolutely everyone, even the most evil of criminals who is guilty of among the most heinous deeds. We have lost or given up some of our civil liberties in the desire to stay safe, particularly in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks of 12 years ago. I do not want to give up more of my rights in the aftermath of these attacks. It bothers me that the government has this "public safety exception." It bothers me that they are not planning to read Tsarnaev a Miranda warning. I say that he should be advised of his right to remain silent, provided with an attorney, tried in a court of law and sentenced accordingly if found guilty.
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