Legal Advice

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Republicans are once again in a tizzy regarding the rights of the accused.

This in Politico:

Congressional Republicans want to know whether the Pakistani-born American arrested in the Times Square car bombing plot was read his Miranda rights, with Sen. John McCain saying it would be a “serious mistake” if the suspect was reminded of his right to remain silent.

These guys act like one must be read their rights to actually obtain them. Seems to me that NOT reading him his rights might set up the accused for some sort of defense.

To the lawyers and soon-to-be lawyers at ATK: Am I missing something?


Smitty 12:02 PM  

I think you missed the key quote in all of this:

If they believe they [law enforcement/intelligence community] got enough from him [the suspect], how much more should they get? Did they Mirandize him? I know he’s an American citizen but still,” [Congressman Peter] King told POLITICO.

I know he's an American citizen but still.

I know he's an American citizen but still.

Say it one more time for effect, just to help you crawl into the amoebic sense of logic:

I know he's an American citizen but still.

Not all Americans are equal, apparently.

Streak 2:11 PM  

If you can stand it, watch this exchange on Fox. To be fair, Glenn Beck is rarely almost rational here, though when talking about treatment of non-citizens, he pulls out the waterboard and laughs (not literally). But the other guy, the one Steven Colbert refers to as the "brown-haired guy who is not Steve Doocy" is practically champing at the bit to remove a citizen's rights.

I don't know if this was true on Fox, but some of the blogs I read suggested that when the initial reports were about a middle-aged white guy, all the Republicans were rather measured. Once they found out he was originally from Pakistan, the crazy came out.

steves 6:39 PM  

I should note that Miranda v. Arizona, IIRC, doesn't mandate that there be any warning, just that the confession is knowing, intelligent, and voluntary. Having the standard warning is just what is done to establish this. The defense has to show that a confession was coerced or not knowing, intelligent and voluntary. Even if it is thrown out, the statements could still be used to impeach the testimony of the defendant.

If he is an American citizen, then he is entitled to the same 5th Amendment protections as any other citizen. End of story. I am fairly sure that non-citizens are entitled to protections also if they are arrested in the US.

People in Congress take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. It is sad when some of our elected officials are so willing to ignore this and act contrary to our civil liberties.

FWIW, Miranda was retried and convicted.

Anonymous,  9:14 AM  
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