Comment: My FB post which is gaining in unpopularity as we speak

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crietmann's picture

My FB post which is gaining in unpopularity as we speak

I do try to educate a bit, but the response has been decidely negative as you can imagine. I call it preaching to the sheep.

Many of you will not like this post, but I ask you to either stop here or read the entire thing before you comment. It is about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. And to be clear - I am assuming that a very strong case has been made against the brothers and they are very likely guilty; if found so he should be prosecuted to the max allowed by law.

I have absolutely no sympathy for the Boston bombing suspects. If they are guilty they deserve the maximum punishment allowed by Massachusetts and perhaps Federal law. Additionally the surviving suspect will be charged with the murder of an MIT officer and the wounding of another police officer, along with a myriad of other charges.

Or will he?

In the press conference about 15 minutes ago the question was asked to verify whether the survivor was read his Miranda rights. The answer was clarified - no he was not. A Federal representative explained at first that as a matter of public safety they were granted an exemption. She then backtracked and said that he could not be Mirandized due to national security concerns.

The Miranda rights are typically read something like this:

You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law.
You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning, if you wish.
If you decide to answer any questions now, without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.
Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is an American citizen who is the primary surviving suspect in a number of horrific crimes. He became a naturalized citizen on September 11, 2012. He is entitled to all the protections of the US Constitution, particularly the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments.

I have a feeling that will be denied to him. In the War on Terror when we do not Mirandize suspects it is for one simple reason - to treat them not as US citizens but as enemy combatants. I suspect we will hear this phrase in the coming days. As such he can be aggressively interrogated, held without trial or bail indefinitely and denied access to legal counsel. He could rot for the rest of his life in Guantanamo Bay. He may be interrogated or tortured to find out every last detail of why this crime was committed, who else was involved (if anyone) and whether he has any knowledge of future attacks.

What I truly love about America's founding principles are our concepts of protecting the rights of everyone, no matter how despicable their acts. Charles Manson got a trial by jury, the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church frequently win court cases based on their right of free speech and assembly and we frequently brag and emphasize about how in America you are truly "innocent until proven guilty".

Our citizens and our government are terrified of terrorism. That's understandable. But when we cease to treat American citizens with the due process afforded by the Constitution - whether it's not allowing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his rights to due process or we kill American citizens in Yemen by drone without a trial or charges but as the result of a Presidential Kill List - we give up a little more about what made America great.

I'm guessing public opinion would all be in favor of executing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev based on the evidence we've seen on the news, that's not how America is supposed to work.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should have been read his Miranda rights, no matter how horrible the crimes he should be charged with. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should know and understand his rights, he should be afforded a fair and speedy trial with counsel provided if he cannot afford it, no matter what the evidence we or the government possess. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has the right to not talk to police at all and should not be interrogated unless he has counsel present, and he has the right not to incriminate himself.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is an American, like it or not. In the eyes of our law he is absolutely equal to and should have every right that you - the person that is reading this right now - possess in our country. You deserve those rights, and like or not, so does he.

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