Boston Bomber: Shutting down the city, and going door to door, looking for the bomber. Not reading him his "Miranda Rights."

  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 20, 2013 10:27 PM GMT
    --Some people feel that the cops going door to door, looking for the bomber, was an invasion of all residents' right to privacy.

    --Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will not hear his Miranda rights before the FBI questions him. He will have to remember on his own that he has a right to a lawyer, and that anything he says can be used against him in court, because the government won’t tell him. This is an extension of a rule the Justice Department wrote for the FBI—without the oversight of any court—called the “public safety exception.”
    There is one specific circumstance in which it makes sense to hold off on Miranda. It’s exactly what the name of the exception suggests. The police can interrogate a suspect without offering him the benefit of Miranda if he could have information that’s of urgent concern for public safety. That may or may not be the case with Tsarnaev.
    _____________________________
    My opinion:
    Of course, it was an invasion of privacy.
    But, considering that a very dangerous, homicidal criminal was on the loose, not very many residents would refuse to let the cops search their homes.

    I feel that the Justice Department was 100% wrong in not reading this guy his Miranda rights. Regardless of what he did, what he planned to do, or who he knows, ALL suspects deserve the same rights, when it comes to being arrested, questioned, represented by a lawyer, etc.
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3273

    Apr 21, 2013 1:35 AM GMT
    the Miranda rights is really a non issue. Simply reciting the words is not some sort of magic incantation. He has those rights already.

    If you read him his rights there is no magic force-field around him. It just prevents evidence obtained outside described in the Miranda decision from being used in court.

    I believe they have all they need to convict him. So they could read him his rights and kick out his attorney and start asking questions in disregard to any attorneys protestation. The miranda rights applies to evidence in trial. Given what we know I cannot imagine any jury not convicting him without a word from him.


    The rules only apply to evidence in trial. It doesn't handcuff law enforcement and the FBI from obtaining information.

    Last he could be caught up in a legal limbo of a prosecution deliberately dragging its feet while it questioned him . Then when it was satisfied have his citizenship revoked because of simply concealing facts or conspiring against the government.

    He then would then be deported back to where he came, which I can imagine the Russians have better ideas on how to handle him.
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    Apr 21, 2013 3:27 AM GMT
    yourname2000 said
    We've coddled this group with rights and responsibilities they simply have no ability to grasp or appreciate. It's getting us nowhere, meanwhile, it's us who die at their hands.

    Please define "this group". Is this a group not protected by our US Constitution? If not, please explain why.
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    Apr 21, 2013 11:25 AM GMT
    I do not understand the object of using the public safety exception in this case. If, even without being read his Miranda rights, the suspect still has all of his Miranda rights (which, having been placed in custody, he does), what is meant to be achieved by not reciting them to him? Is it a case of, "If we don't tell him his Miranda rights, he is less likely to be aware of them and therefore less likely to exercise them"? I doubt the courts would uphold this as a correct use of the public safety exception.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 22, 2013 5:22 AM GMT
    I agree that everyone has Miranda Rights, whether or not the suspect is informed of them.
    However, in almost all cases, it is the law that a suspect HAS to be informed as to what his Miranda Rights are.
    How many 19 year olds know what their Miranda Rights are ?

    Those rights cover a hell of a lot more than simply "evidence in court," as someone else stated.

    I am shocked, after the egregious disregard for the Constitution and countless other laws, that we saw after 9/11, that our current Democratic President and his Justice Department, seem to be flouting the rights of the accused, exactly as was done by Bush, Cheney, etc.

    What "public safety exception" is there ?
    I haven't seen any evidence that would call for this.
    It's absolutely outrageous.

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    Apr 22, 2013 5:33 AM GMT
    It's irrelevant. There's already enough evidence against him. Also, the government can do the old switcheroo and classify him as a terrorist/enemy combatant. Fist class flight to Gitmo.
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    Apr 22, 2013 7:14 AM GMT
    xrichx saidIt's irrelevant. There's already enough evidence against him. Also, the government can do the old switcheroo and classify him as a terrorist/enemy combatant. Fist class flight to Gitmo.


    He's a US citizen charged with committing a crime on US soil during peacetime. I doubt the 'enemy combatant' angle has any chance of success.
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    Apr 22, 2013 8:18 AM GMT
    So far, only the ACLU is complaing. Everyone else.. not so much.



    article-2311443-19651AD4000005DC-583_964
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 22, 2013 10:47 AM GMT
    There is an exemption to the Miranda rule
    and that was made when there is concern for public safety

    That is when allowing a criminal the ability to remain silent will put others in danger
    That can be as in this case where there is concern that there might be others involved .... weaponry or bombs that remain in secret locations .... or if a victim remains unfound

    But this exemption is supposed to be for 48 hrs
    What I don't like are the typical doufuses calling for him to be labelled an enemy combatant and not be tried in the Federal system

    This is what gave us Guantanamo
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    Apr 22, 2013 12:59 PM GMT
    GQjock said
    But this [Miranda] exemption is supposed to be for 48 hrs
    What I don't like are the typical doufuses calling for him to be labelled an enemy combatant and not be tried in the Federal system

    This is what gave us Guantanamo

    Agree about enemy combatant status being inappropriate. I'm not aware of whether the US Supreme Court has ruled on the Constitutionality of this 48 hour Miranda exception, a formula devised by the Justice Dept, but I believe based on the wording of the original Miranda decision. Does anyone here know?

    A plausible exemption case could be made in this instance, because these 2 suspects were alleged to have made enough bombs to have been throwing them at pursuing police. They might have hidden a cache of bombs somewhere, and created explosive booby traps. Nor is it known for certain they were acting entirely alone, and didn't have accomplices prepared to detonate more bombs, or to simply flee from capture if given enough time.

    A significant aspect of the Miranda warning is that once read, the suspect can then legally refuse to answer any more questions, and the police must stop. That could have deadly consequences in a situation like this.

    As for the house searches mentioned in other posts here, a number of issues are in play. One is the concept of "hot pursuit" which I knew from my own law enforcement days. If you are actively pursuing a dangerous suspect and see him duck into a house, you don't have to wait outside the door until you get a search warrant.

    If certain criteria of high risk and immediacy are met you are justified to go into the house after him without a search warrant. But a key element is that you see the suspect actually enter that home or building; the courts may or may not sanction hot pursuit to apply to whole neighborhoods to conduct blanket searches.

    Given the danger to pubic safety from these men I don't think many people would object to blanket searches, and it could well be that a Massachusetts court did in fact authorize this action, of which we aren't yet aware. Or that Commonwealth laws already give this authority to the Governor in emergencies. Again, does anyone here know Mass. law?

    My husband's relatives in Waltham, right next to Watertown, Mass, were told to stay indoors, but I don't know if police came to their doors for a search, and what authority they would have used. I may ask them that later today.
  • musclmed

    Posts: 3273

    Apr 22, 2013 4:38 PM GMT
    the police can ask him whatever he wants, he is not compelled to speak.

    whatever they obtain during that outside of miranda may not be able to be used at trial. That is the extent of the Miranda decision.

    It doesnt intrude on the Presidents authority in national security matters.

    Its the difference between criminal evidence and evidence


    When police are canvassing a neighborhood if you refuse a search, with modern technology within 10-20 minutes they will generate a magistrate warrant.

    If you refuse entry with a warrant in place you go to jail.

    They can only look for exactly what is specified in the warrant.
  • tazzari

    Posts: 2926

    Apr 22, 2013 5:18 PM GMT
    Let the law work. If he's guilty (and I use"if" only as a legal/grammatical term) a public trial with all the elements in place will find him guilty.

    A quotation from Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons:

    Roper: So now you'd give the Devil the benefit of the law?

    More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

    Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned around on you -where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast - man's laws, not God's - and if you cut them down - and you're just the man to do it - d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?


    Let the law do its work. it will, if we let it.
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    Apr 22, 2013 7:25 PM GMT
    I live right outside the are that was "locked down" (about 3-4 miles from Watertown). I can tell you that Friday was a strange day and everyone around here was on edge and afraid of what could happen. Many people in the surrounding communities weren't leaving their homes, even though their communities weren't locked down. I've spoken to some people who were in Watertonwn and Somerville, and they were glad the police and others were there and were more than willing to give them whatever help they needed.

    Everyone was afraid that there were other bombs, so if the police came to my door and said can look around your house and property because there's an armed man, possibly with a bomb, HELL YEAH, look around!
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    Apr 22, 2013 7:33 PM GMT
    yourname2000 saidHe's been read them now.


    Here's the complaint, if you want to read it:

    http://www.boston.com/yourtown/specials/cirminal_complaint_dzhokhar_tsarnaev/