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Constitution? We don’t have to honor no stinking Constitution

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Neither President nor Sen. Lindsey Graham care much about the Constitution if it gets in their way. So forget about constitutionally guaranteed Miranda rights for a US citizen, the government is ignoring them and instead will turn the Boston Bomber over to the ominously named High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group. If this could happen to him it could happen to any of us. It’s not a good idea to trash the Constitution. It just isn’t.

Why is it that those who spend an inordinate amount of time professing their dedication and fealty to the United States Constitution seem to always be among the first to toss our founding document out the window the moment it becomes inconvenient to their desires?

  • Pat H

    Two legal bloggers who have differing views on a lot of things (Orin Kerr of Volokh Conspiracy and Jason Mazzone at Balkinization) are in agreement about this.

    I’ll quote Mazzone:

    “Miranda does not in any way require the police to warn suspects taken into custody that they don’t have to answer questions or that they have a right to have an attorney present. All that Miranda says is that if the interrogators don’t give the warnings, then (barring an exception), the government won’t be able to introduce into evidence at trial statements the unwarned suspect makes (or the fruits of those statements). Accordingly, there is nothing remotely unusual about the Tsarnaev situation.”

    http://balkin.blogspot.com/2013/04/miranda-schmiranda.html

    You can find Kerr’s explanation here: http://www.volokh.com/2013/04/20/tsarnaev-and-miranda-rights/

    • Except it is unusual in that it is never done and it opens a huge slippery slope to using non-Miranda testimony in other trials, which is the deliberate purpose here.

      • Phinsd

        Did you read Kerr?He goes into the subject at greater length.
        Miranda is about self-incrimination. If there’s enough evidence to convict without the accused’s testimony, Miranda doesn’t matter.
        As far as I can tell, the exception has to do with uncovering immanent threats and there’s a time limit on it.

        • I think Miranda always matters. Too many slippery slopes here.

          • DJ

            Even more important is habeus corpus. A person can now be held indefinitely without charges if they are “suspected” of terrorism. THIS is a slippery slope. In Sri Lanka, thousands were detained without charges as a matter of course under emergency regulations. Their only crime was being of the wrong ethnicity. One of my friends, a well-respected worker for an aid organization, was picked up at a road block and held for two weeks before his employer could even learn where he was being held – he just disappeared. The employer intervened and was able to gain the man’s freedom. Most folks weren’t so lucky. Think that can’t happen here? Guess again. Already, people have been denied access to air travel just for being members of the Green Party. We are well on our way to a police state.

          • What happened with the GP people?

          • DJ

            In 2002, political activists and Green Party members were routinely delayed or denied at airports. See the articles from 2002 below. In 2005, my 15-year-old nephew’s name turned up on a no fly list. He had no political affiliations at all, and no criminal history. He was eventually allowed to board his flight, but with no explanation as to how his name got on the list.

            http://www.commondreams.org/headlines.shtml?/headlines02/0927-01.htm

            http://inthesetimes.com/issue/27/02/feature3.shtml

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