Terrorist Defendants and (No) Miranda Rights
It appears that no Guantanamo detainees, including those who will be tried in a New York civilian court, were given their Miranda rights, nor were their “normal Fourth Amendment rights” observed. This is a sincere request: can someone provide a legal scenario in which all five of these cases are not thrown out on that basis alone in the first ten minutes of the trial?
Even as this potentially fatal flaw in the case against five men accused of carrying out acts of terror against the United States is highlighted with urgency and consternation, both Attorney General Eric Holder and Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined to uphold the Miranda rights of Osama bin Laden.
Well, let’s see, how many years has it been? Nine, eight years. Let’s worry about capturing Bin Laden and not worry about your, your question.
Again I’m not — that all depends. I mean, the notion that we —
Let’s look at this.
Is there any doubt that AG Holder and Speaker Pelosi would wish to try Osama bin Laden in a civilian court? So why would they not acknowledge one of the fundamental rights of a defendant in that venue? Is it that such defendants are entitled to a civilian trial but not all of the attendant rights? But then, wouldn’t that be a show trial instead of a showcase of the American justice system?
Or does this arise out of a more base and self-protective concern; namely, that they fear being hooted out of the room at the mere suggestion of proffering Miranda and Fourth Amendment rights to the self-avowed mastermind of the 911 attacks?
Lindsey Graham, not my favorite senator, had it right yesterday.
The only point I’m making (is) that if we’re going to use federal court as a disposition for terrorists, you take everything that comes with being in federal court.
Including the substantive procedural flaws that inevitably attend the transition of a detainee from a war zone, in a larger or stricter sense, to a civilian courtroom. It is not at all clear that the Obama Justice Department took a careful accounting of these flaws and their implications to justice before undertaking this transition.