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?
Many individuals, especially on the left, are very suspicious of military commissions. They have some justifiable concern, but one advantage to making this a military matter (or better yet, a CIA matter) is that it takes it out of our federal system of dealing with everyday crime. It allows for a host of extrajudicial approaches to deal with what may be international terror, and it can always be given back the judicial system (like Jose Padilla) if that’s deemed appropriate. Miranda, the Fifth Amendment and America stays protected, and the Constitution followed. The mental tweak necessary is to recognize international terror is an act of war, not a crime, and that’s a huge problem for some.
Hmmmmm, what a concept?
(Featured Image Courtesy: TheBlaze.com)