soldier with rifle american civil warState Of The Union

The Boston Bomber:
Read Him His Miranda Rights!

The prompt use of public surveillance cameras focused on the streets of Boston led to the quick capture of the nineteen year old who was found cowering (surrounded by an army) in the bottom of a boat behind a residence in Watertown, MA. Taken by ambulance to a hospital where he presently lies in a bed in an unresponsive condition, the suspect bomber is surrounded by members of the Government's  "special interrogation team." The "team" means to question the murder suspect as soon as he opens his eyes. The presence of this "team" is yet another example of the Government's consistent attitude of ignoring the legal restraints imposed upon how it confronts American citizens it takes into custody.

In the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona, the United States Supreme Court held inadmissible in court any evidence obtained by police from their questioning a citizen under arrest, without first informing the citizen he is not required to answer their questions.

The Miranda Warnings

In 1984, in the case of New York v. Quarles, by a five to four vote, the majority of the Supreme Court recognized a "public safety exception" to the requirement that, before questioning a person in police custody, the Miranda Warnings must be given. Here is the express holding of the Supreme Court, in Quarles, as stated in the text of the decision and the factual basis for the Court's holding.


To intelligent lawyers, who are discplined to give their clients objective advice, the holding of the Quarles case can mean only one thing: when the police, "in the very act of apprehending a suspect," are "confronted with the immediate necessity of" discovering whether the suspect has left somewhere in public a dangerous instrumentality that, if not recovered, may cause personal injury to members of the general public, then, in such circumstance and only such circumstance, the police may ask the suspect "Where have you left the dangerous instrumentality?" That's it. That's all the "exception" allows, under the express holding of the Quarles case.

But, of course, that is not how the Government interprets the holding; rather than accept the narrow holding for what the Court clearly expressed it to be, the Government pretends the exception swallows the Miranda Rule. Here is how the Government puts it.

Seizing upon the general concept and ignoring its application to the specific circumstances, the Government now claims it can question the nineteen year old "terrorist" (killer for sure) as he wakes up in a hospital bed on the ground it is "concerned for public safety." Here is how the Government puts it.

In the event, of course, the Government's "special interrogation team" can certainly ask the nineteen year old questions like these: "Any more bombs out there, son?" But not questions like these: "Did you do it?""Is this you in the photograph?" "Who helped you?" "How did you intend to get away?" "What inspired you to do it."

So, then, why the need for the "special interrogation team?" Just another example, of how 9/11 has turned our country into a national security state, short for the next best thing to a Orwellian state. The next thing we can't be surprised to hear is that, instead of disappearing into prison for the rest of his life, the nineteen year old has disappeared into Gitmo.

Right on target the neo-Orwellians, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, weigh in:

Los Angeles Times, Friday, April 26 2013

"WASHINGTON—Federal agents had to end what they termed an `urgent public safety interview' with Boston bomber suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev when a judge came to his hospital room (in Ft. Devens). Tsarnaev has not answered any questions since he was given a lawyer and told he has the right to remain silent by Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler, officials said.

Until that point Tsarnaev had been responding to the interagency High Value Detainee Interrogation Group (this stuff is straight out of Orwell), including admitting his role in the bombing, authorities said. A senior congressional aide said Tsarnaev had asked several times for a lawyer, but that request was ignored since he was being questioned under the public safety exception to the Miranda rule.

Eugene Fidell, a professor at Yale School of Law, said it was past time for Tsarnaev to have been read his rights, because the Constitution requires it.

`The notion that the public safety exception was going to allow them all the time in the world is preposterous', he said.

The federal rules of criminal procedure say a person making an arrest `must take the defendant before a magistrate without unnecessary delay.' And the Supreme Court has held that the judicial process must begin within 48 hours. This rule aims to `prevent secret detention,' wrote former Justice David H. Souter, adding that `no one with any smattering of the history of the 20th Century dictatorships needs a lecture on the subject.'"

Note: Anything Tsarnaev said during his interrogation by the Government before his Miranda warnings were given is not admissible in evidence against him. The idea being that the Government can ask, and Tsarnaev if he wants can answer, but his statements cannot be used against him.

Joe Ryan