Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Miranda Rights

Have you ever heard of a fellow called Ernesto Arturo Miranda?

Probably not. Ever heard of Miranda v. Arizona?

Again; probably not. But you have heard of Miranda Rights, or the Miranda Warning. Especially in the last week. But what are they, exactly, and why are they 'read' to a suspect? And why is the the fact they are read or not important to the Boston Bombing Case?

First; we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights (do those words sound familiar?) Those rights are enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Some of us will never need to know about some of those rights; they only come into play when we become involved with the government in a possible discreditable nature.

In English? When we get busted.

If you have ever watched a cop show you know the drill: You have the Right to Remain Silent (anything you say can and WILL be used against you in court). You have the right to an attorney (one the state will pay for if you are broke enough). And of course, the first piece of advice from your mouthpiece is SHUT UP.

Here is where the Miranda Rights come in on Live Bomber (as with all mass murderers, I will not name either of them; for sake of difference they are Dead Bomber and Live Bomber). We want to know some things; things only he and Dead Bomber knew. Once we have Mirandized him, if he tells us how this action came about, and maybe admits to a few more crimes while he is at it, we can use that information in court. It is to his benefit to follow the sound (and expensive) advice of his mouthpiece and shut up.

If he isn't Mirandized, then we can act on the information in all cases but the defendant's. He hadn't been told that we could use the information against him, so we can't use it.

In practical application, let's say that Live Bomber says he was part of a larger conspiracy and names names. If he states that information before he is Mirandized, then we can find his conspirators and charge them, but not him, with the conspiracy. Same information after he has been read his Miranda Rights? Then we can round up the gang, AND add a conspiracy charge to Live Bomber.

This is why the decision to read him his Miranda Warning was a poor one, provided he has his right mind. Who in their right mind wouldn't lawyer up and shut up? Information we might have obtained if we couldn't have used it against him now can and will become a part of the case.

Granted, I think we have enough to fry Live Bomber and send him to where ever it is he has earned in his God's eyes. He couldn't incriminate himself anymore than the photos and other physical evidence has. We can't fry him twice; who cares what else he could incriminate himself in?

This is Massachusetts for crying out loud. They may not fry him for the murders and the maimings, but they will for not filing an Environmental Impact Statement before he set off the bomb and polluted the atmosphere.

Here is the other problem with our Constitutionally protected inalienable rights: Live Bomber is a United States Citizen and entitled to all of the rights every other citizen has. Considering that he has blown the oath he took into as many pieces as he has his pressure cooker, and considering what he is charged with, I'm not happy about it.

But I would rather have him acquitted than I would have a precedent set of trying him as a foreign national.

Sometimes Justice is not pretty. Sometimes the rights of the one must be seemingly misused in order to save the rights of the many.

I hope it doesn't happen in this case.

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