There is some question if Tsarnaev the younger of the two Boston Marathon bombers should have been Mirandized. Tsarnaev is a US Citizen. While his older brother was not. Does this matter? Who determines just who is an enemy combatant? These are important questions. How much of our Constitutional rights should we give up in the name of security?
The problem isn’t that we should feel sorry for Tsarnaev or that he deserves any special treatment, the problem is that if we continue to give away our freedoms in the name of security we are at the mercy of whomever is running country at the time.
The Miranda warning simply reminds us of the 5th amendment to the Constitution. That’s all it does.
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
There is of course the ticking time bomb argument. Should we allow our law enforcement or military to suspend the rights of the accused in cases were potential eminent danger to the US is perceived?
Is there a difference if the accused is an American Citizen?
My general feelings on this subject are to error on the side of liberty and personal rights. I have no problem with Tsarnaev being Mirandized.
I wish there were no worries that our legal and Law Enforcement systems were always on the side of truth and justice but facts are they are not. Our officials are human with human faults and vices and have in the past abused their power and will in the future. Our only protection while not perfect is to maintain personal rights and freedoms. The Miranda warning is part of that process.
I don’t feel the same way about non-citizens however. I also believe there is a serious breakdown in how we administer immigration in this country. For normal hard working people immigrating here is painful and expensive, I personally know this. If you are in a country plagued with dysfunction and corruption come to America we won’t check you out much. Even our enemies have figured out that they can leave the battlefield of home for American by claiming asylum.
But that’s for another post.
“The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry, but we live in a complex world where you’re going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will,” Bloomberg said during a press conference on Monday. “And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.”