April 25, 2013

Not Mirandizing Terrorists? Slippery slope…

I’m not a shrinking violet when it comes to dealing with terrorists. That said, I understand that we have a Constitution, and it needs to be followed and protected. We aren’t doing that.

I have problems with how we’re handling the surviving Boston Marathon terrorist. He’s not getting Mirandized because of a potential “threat to the public.” Problem is, one can argue the justification behind that decision doesn’t match the case that sets the precedent for not mirandizing suspects. Further, if one argues it does, one can’t argue how arrested drug or gun dealers’ stash isn’t a continued threat to public safety, as well as anyone involved in a criminal enterprise. It’s a very slippery and scary slope.

The case cited as precedent by the administration dates back to 1980, when cops in hot pursuit of a criminal with a gun immediately asked where he dumped the gun after catching him, without first mirandizing him. He told them and subsequently was charged with gun violations. The SCOTUS ruled that public safety exceptions to Miranda do exist, based on the fact that the tossed gun was an immediate threat to the public.

Well, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wasn’t caught in hot pursuit, he didn’t toss a gun and he wasn’t questioned immediately. Not the same as the case precedent. Obviously, other bombs and bombers out there is a concern and threat, but heck, you can make that case for a host of other crimes. Isn’t a drug dealer’s stash a threat to the public? What about any other weapons an apprehended criminal may have? Isn’t a gang still on the loose a threat after one of its members commits a crime? CRAP!!! Do we stop mirandizing these people? Of course not, but the justification for withholding Miranda in this case justifies them in many others. Not an issue? Have you read up on the Patriot Act and its application to cases besides terror?


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About the Author

MAJ (Ret.) Will Rodriguez Will served over 20 years as an Infantry officer serving in Europe, the Middle East, Korea and Latin America. He has extensive experience in both light Infantry and mechanized warfare to include combat. He was selected to serve as a TAC at West Point and his final assignment was to the Infantry’s Battle Lab conducting research on tomorrow’s Infantry force. He concentrated in National Security at West Point, holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling & Leadership Development and is a graduate of the Combined Arms General Staff College. Born and raised in a tough section of New York City, Will lost his accent in the Army but kept the attitude. Read more from Will at http://gruntsandco.com/

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  • SEAN SPOONTS

    Agreed, but we have an administration and DHS that is loath to do anything that looks like profiling.  The political correctness thing by the morally obtuse is working against us here.  The words "Chechen from Daghistan" on his resident alien application would have been enough for me to hit the red button.

  • SEAN SPOONTS

    Moving on, you made the point that a military commission might be a better venue even as you hail the Constitution as the protector of civil liberties. I think you may be trying to have it both ways here. The surviving bomber is a US citizen who committed his acts on US soil. He is not subject to the UCMJ or Laws of Armed Conflict. The US criminal code can readily try and convict him for his crimes. The use of a military tribunal in this case would not be legally appropriate unless Boston was under Martial Law or formal military authority by Executive Order at the time of the offense. Its a matter of legal jurisdiction and Constitutional law. You introduce one slippery slope argument regarding Miranda but seem unaware of the much more dangerous precedent of handing criminal law over to the military without clear Constitutional Authority. Jus sayin'.

  • SEAN SPOONTS

    As I understand the law in this case admissibility is dependent on some factors. Who did the questioning? In what matter was it done? What was asked? What use was the information put to? The admissibility of such statements requires that they be obtained without the form of a traditional police interrogation where a suspects will to resistance questioning can be overwhelmed. They might have an admissibility problem if they tried to charge him in connection with any information he gave about other plotters and bombs if the questioning was done like an interrogation. Personally, I hope they leaned on him hard expecting that they had plenty to convict him exclusive of any non-Miranda admissions about other bombs and plotters.

  • SEAN SPOONTS

    That isn't a logical extension of my position.  You know, we appoint FBI agents, federal prosecutors and other people to make judgment calls on this based on their special expertise.  I wouldn't call foul on them before they've committed a foul.  If a US drug gang was stealing weapons and explosives and trading it for heroin that Taliban agents in the this country was smuggling into the US, then I'd say you have a strong enough terrorist connection to provoke a immediate threat to public safety exception to Miranda warning.  But saying they use terror as a weapon isn't enough.  The Left accuses Rush Limbaugh of terrorizing them.  He's not a terrorist.

  • Txazz

    dickftr Txazz majrod yeah, I saw the weather and it sure looked awful up your way.  Them cows gotta eat snow or not!