By Melanie Nathan, April 20, 2013.
After a 102 hour manhunt ending in the backyard of a Watertown residence, the capture of the Boston Marathon Bomber, yields many questions yet to be answered and charged still to be filed. Here are 2 of many Statements circulating in social media today commenting on the judicial process that ought to be applied:
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham
Just put out this statement with John McCain about the suspect captured in Boston and whether they should be held as an enemy combatant.
“We truly appreciate the hard work and dedication of our law enforcement and intelligence communities.
“It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city. The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorist trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.
“Now that the suspect is in custody, the last thing we should want is for him to remain silent. It is absolutely vital the suspect be questioned for intelligence gathering purposes. We need to know about any possible future attacks which could take additional American lives. The least of our worries is a criminal trial which will likely be held years from now.
“Under the Law of War we can hold this suspect as a potential enemy combatant not entitled to Miranda warnings or the appointment of counsel. Our goal at this critical juncture should be to gather intelligence and protect our nation from further attacks.
“We remain under threat from radical Islam and we hope the Obama Administration will seriously consider the enemy combatant option.
“We will stand behind the Administration if they decide to hold this suspect as an enemy combatant.”
Center for Constitutional Rights
Our thoughts go out to the friends and families of victims of the horrific bombings in Boston. While it is difficult to turn to points of law in times of tragedy, those are, in fact, the times we most need to cling to the values, laws and rights that make us who we are as a nation.
The government has decided not to read the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings his Miranda rights before interrogating him for what is now the longest exception to date.
The Miranda warnings were put in place because police officers were beating and torturing “confessions” out of people who hadn’t even been formally accused of a crime. We cannot afford to repeat our mistakes. If officials require suspects to incriminate themselves, they are making fair trials and due process merely option and not a requirement. To venture down that road again will make law enforcement accountable to no one.
Like Obama’s expanded killing program and his perpetuation of indefinite detention without trial at Guantanamo, this is yet another erosion of the Constitution to lay directly at the President’s feet. Obama’s Justice Department unilaterally expanded the “public safety exception” to Miranda in 2010 beyond anything the Supreme Court ever authorized. Each time the administration use this exception, it stretches wider and longer. However horrific the crime, continuing to erode constitutional rights invites continued abuse by law enforcement, and walks us down a dangerous path that becomes nearly impossible to reverse.
What do you think?
To call this suspected murderer an enemy combatant is to validate his quest – for consideration that his ideological motive distinguished him in a way that he considers positive! I think calling him such is falling into the hands of other future “home-growns” so called “terrorists.” Personally I would rather call them “mass murderers” – criminals – and give them less cause to receive help from ACLU and Civil Liberties Union – all of whom will rush to the rescue if we dare call them ‘enemy combatants,’ which will only serve to give their warped ideology publicity. I think if we buy into the stupidity (politicizing) of the Republicans calling for such, we will be feeding the motivation for more “home growns.” Damn some of those Senators are idiots!
The White House said Monday that despite the demands of some congressional Republicans, the lone surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings will not be tried as an “enemy combatant” but will face trial in U.S. federal court. White House spokesman Jay Carney added that under U.S. law, American citizens such as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev cannot be tried by military commissions. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/alleged-bombers-aunt-tamerlan-tsarnaev-was-religious-but-not-radical/2013/04/22/ca8f3214-ab5c-11e2-a198-99893f10d6dd_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboNP_p
Boston bombing suspect charged with using weapon of mass destruction
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged Monday with one count of using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death, the Justice Department announced Monday. Read more at:
- US Attorney in Aaron Swartz – No miranda rights to Boston Marathon Suspect (politico.com)
- What rights should Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get and why does it matter? | Glenn Greenwald (guardian.co.uk)