Saturday, April 27, 2013

Miranda Confusions and Ignorance

There are many so-called experts blathering about the Boston marathon bomber and Miranda and "enemy combatant" that we need to clear the air by sweeping away the smoke of ignorance.

First off, Obama eliminated the status of "enemy combatant" from a standpoint of questions about how to treat those alleged to be terrorists in 2009.

Secondly, an enemy combatant presupposes we have an official "enemy," that is that we have a congressionally declared war against a sovereign nation, and then someone militarily associated with that sovereign nation does something outside of the battlefield against the security of this country.  We, of course, don't have a declared war, making most of our international bellicosity unconstitutional, and our invasions and occupations of foreign lands are, of course, war crimes, which is why we do not subscribe to the jurisdiction of the International Court at the Hague, while self-righteously asserting that other leaders should be prosecuted there for war crimes!  And an "ism" [terrorism, communism, stupidism] is not an enemy, but a methodology or line of thought, so it is not something war could be declared "against" anyway.  So, we could not have a true enemy combatant here [whether he be citizen or non-citizen].  Moreover, almost all enemy combatant matters, the few valid ones, occur outside of the constinental US and involve non-citizens. Yes, yes, I know about the WWII incident[s]; and that was a declared war against a tangible, sovereign belligerent.

Thirdly, those in custody for crimes [and murdering people with bombs is a crime] have a right to be informed of their Miranda rights, and if they are not, and if they are nevertheless grilled, the verbal fruits of those grillings cannot be used against them.  Those fruits can be used against others, and they can lead to other evidence usable against the person grilled.  If they lead to physical fruits, those can be used against the person being interrogated, under the wrong-headed Supreme Court opinion of U.S. v. Patane.

Fourthly, if Miranda rights are not timely given, or if they are given and invoked, but interrogations proceed notwithstanding, that does not result in the dismissal of the charges, but only in exclusion of the verbal fruits, and solely as to the person interrogated.

Fifthly, the "public safety exception" to Miranda is very narrow, it is involved with quick action needed at the site of the questioning, and it lapses shortly thereafter, and it was created at a time that Miranda was not considered to be a rule compelled by the Constitution.  However, years later, the Supreme Court woke up and decreed that Miranda is constitutionally compelled [Dickerson], and its rule is itself a constitutional right, so query whether any aspect of public safety exception survives, but it does not exist days later, in hospital beds, with someone truly in isolated custody.

The news programs are spewing idiotic stuff through supposed "experts" who know not what they are talking about, and silence is better than idiocy.  Idiocy on this volatile subject [nor really on anything] does not serve the public interest, even though it might sell newspapers and magazines, or inspire viewers.

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