ACLU – Hands off Miranda


So these two cases are very similar: both are suspected of terrorist acts, both are caught, questioned, and Mirandized, and most crucially, both cooperate with law enforcement authorities both before and after they were read their Miranda rights.

Which is why it’s completely befuddling that some politicians have used these attempted terrorist attacks to propose that we completely change the way we enforce the rule of law. Some have charged that it was mistake to Mirandize both Abdulmutallab and Shahzad, that they should have been interrogated more—some have even implied tortured—before they were read their rights. The Obama administration has caved to this naked fear-mongering: Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee that the administration wants to “modernize” and “clarify” the public safety exception in terrorism cases.

Related… There is a saying about blind squirrels. But yes, credit where credit is due.

I’m filing this under “justice” instead of “politics” to keep from getting dumber. Praise to Glenn B for doing the same, and shame on Holder/Obama for filing under politics.

15 comments to ACLU – Hands off Miranda

  • jlue

    A lot of people are confused because there are now those who have become American citizens who are actually Jihadist. They consider themselves to be fighting a military (in their eyes a ‘holy’)war against Americans on behalf of Islam. These people fight using terrorist tactics. What should we do in these situations? I think they should be ‘mirandized’ and then charged with treason. Once a person becomes an American citizen they should be given the rights of a citizen. Some conservatives did speak out too quickly and without thinking this situation through. Frankly, I see no other solution, but if anyone else knows of a better solution I would like to hear it.

  • For some reason I just find it very amusing that you might first torture somebody and then read them their rights. Do you actually have to be read your rights before you have them?

    Which is why it’s completely befuddling that some politicians have used these attempted terrorist attacks to propose that we completely change the way we enforce the rule of law.

    Because they do not want to look weak on terror. Politicians do things for political reasons always.

  • Politicians do things for political reasons always.

    And don’t forget – politics makes people dumb!

  • jlue

    Can anyone show me a credible elected official who has actually called for torturing someone and then reading them their rights? It may have happened as crazy as things are now, but I missed that one. I know you can find all sorts of accusations of someone who says someone said something and so on…, but I would like to see the actual video. Liberman did suggest stripping American citizens who are members of terrorist organizations of citizenship, but I think it is a BAD idea. If an American citizen joins a group whose purpose is to bring down or even terrorize America then that person is a traitor and guilty of treason, but he still is tried under the American judicial system. In some cases, the person may not even join the group, but may support the group or operate as a spy or terrorist for the group. It seems to me that our government has been so successful in stopping terrorist attacks since 911 that a new approach is now being taken by the enemy.

  • that they should have been interrogated more—some have even implied tortured—before they were read their rights.

    I did not research it. I just pulled it from the quote. It just brought to my mind what could possibly be a funny SNL skit.

    What I keep wondering is whether or not I have a right to remain silent even before the good police officer takes his foot off of my neck and reads from that card.

  • jlue

    Buck, Maybe you have good reason to fear the police these days. A 67-year-old Yuba City woman was shot and killed by officers when she pointed a shotgun at them and refused to put it down, Yuba City police said Friday. Her son said she was startled by the late night police visit.

    Apparently, police were called by census workers who had been turned away earlier at gunpoint. The woman was shot multiple times.

    Better not remain silent when the census workers come calling.

  • Let’s put it this way. I fear the police one hell of a lot more than I respect them.

  • jlue

    I realize that policemen and women place their lives on the line every day to protect citizens and I appreciate what they do. Most of them go above and beyond the call of duty to protect us.

    Still, a citizen should not be shot and killed for not responding to the census workers. According to what I read concerning what is required in regard to answering census questions I find that:

    There are fines for non-response and for false response as well, though the amount has risen from the 1790′s $20. Today failure to respond can result in a $100 fine; providing false answers is a more severe offense, and carries a $500 fine.

    A $100 fine is steep, but taking a woman’s life???

    According to the fourth amendment we should be safe in our homes. It reads:

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    Perhaps the government will say something went terribly wrong as they did at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

  • Yeah, well it’s hard to say she was shot and killed for “not answering the census workers”. That kind of ignores the fact that she was brandishing a weapon at the police and refused orders to put it down.

    I’m with Buck – I fear the police… and I definitely fear them too much to ever wave a shotgun at them.

  • jlue

    But she has the right to ask anyone to leave her property if she feels threatened. If she had not broken a law the proper method for the police to take would be to leave and come back with a warrant. The woman was 67 years old and her son said she was confused.

  • I feel sorry for her and her son… and it’s likely that the police handled it wrong, as they often do. But it’s kind of silly to say she got shot for not speaking to the census workers. The reason the police came out to begin with is that she brandished a firearm at the census workers. And the reason the police shot her was that she brandished a firearm at the police and refused to put it down. Yes – that does sound like she was likely confused. And she probably should still be alive today. I’m just pointing out that there is a great big ocean between getting gunned down by the cops for brandishing a weapon at them and being gunned down by the cops for “not speaking” to the census workers. It was the former that happened, not the latter.

  • & btw — for better or worse, a warrant is only needed for an arrest or a search. To knock on the door & ask questions does not require one. And to tell someone to put the gun down does not require one.

    Wiretapping someone’s phones does require one, unless it doesn’t.

  • If I was a census worker and got threatened with a gun, I’d probably call the police, too. I don’t know. Maybe not. But I’d be scared enough to.

  • Maybe… they didn’t do anything worse here than they did with Jonathan Ayers – that’s for sure… And those cops didn’t get any kind of discipline at all.

  • This conversation makes me think of one of my favorite parts of “O Brother Where Art Thou”

    “I nicked the census man!”

    “Now there’s a good boy.”

    I am sure the 67 year old lady was probably confused. I would be willing to bet that she spent her afternoons watching Glenn Beck and crying about losing her country. But you just do not point a gun at a policeman. Ever. For any reason. Even if a policeman has you down and is kicking you while his friends watch you just stay down and keep your head covered.

    Chickenshit? You better believe it. But better a live dog than a dead lion. They will shoot you dead and get a two weeks paid vacation out of the deal.

    That is just the way it is in this best of all possible worlds.

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