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ACLU eyes Boston bombing suspect's Miranda rights

By Associated Press


BOSTON >> The American Civil Liberties Union says it's concerned the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect will be questioned by investigators without being read his Miranda rights.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remained hospitalized today after being wounded in a firefight with police Friday. His brother was killed earlier.

U.S. officials say a special interrogation team for high-value suspects will question Tsarnaev without reading him his Miranda rights, invoking a rare public safety exception triggered by the need to protect the public from immediate danger.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero says the exception applies only when there's a continued threat to public safety and is "not an open-ended exception" to the Miranda rule.

Twin explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line Monday killed three people and wounded more than 180. Tsarnaev's father calls him a "true angel."

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W_Williams wrote:
Dear ACLU: did the bombers read any rights to the people they killed and maimed? You have the right to remain silent, ACLU. Anything you say may be used against you in the court of good sense.
on April 20,2013 | 08:59AM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
I disagree with just about everything the ACLU does. But, if they are to stay true to their mandate, they need to make sure that an individual's civil liberties aren't being infringed upon...no matter the circumstances. Note that they don't get involved in the defense of a criminal during trial, they're only there to make sure that their civil liberties are respected and that processes are followed. The knee-jerk reaction is to ask rhetorically whether the bombers respected the rights of those they maimed, but that would infer that our justice system requires an eye-for-an-eye...which it doesn't.
on April 20,2013 | 09:45AM
false wrote:
The ACLU is exactly right. What is at stake is not the suspects rights but ALL of our rights. The special interrogation team is making a POINT out of refusing to honor the Miranda decision and that precedent should be resisted.

This article is poorly written or edited, whether by the original AP writer or the Star-Advertiser, I dunno. The closing line:

"Tsarnaev's father calls him a 'true angel,'" was inserted to reinforce the idea that some people are unable to see the truth about the bomber, with the implication the ACLU suffers from the same problem. It serves no other purpose to include that comment, otherwise unrelated to the story, in the article.

on April 20,2013 | 11:34AM
Jonas wrote:
Sorry false, but you and the ACLU are wrong. Our rights are not at stake UNLESS there is an immediate danger to the public. And in this case, the suspect has shown the ability to make and detonate bombs. How do we know there are no other bombs set to go off in the future? Just because he is in custody doesn't mean the public is safe.
on April 20,2013 | 05:30PM
Venus1 wrote:
The A C L U is about protecting the rights of 'every human being' not one person! They have the high road!
on April 20,2013 | 09:02AM
rigormortis wrote:
True angels are not human beings
on April 20,2013 | 09:09AM
hanalei395 wrote:
The ACLU kept the liar to Congress Ollie North out of prison. And druggie Rush Limbaugh out of jail.
on April 20,2013 | 09:12AM
roninsensei wrote:
ACLU doesn't have a clue.
on April 20,2013 | 09:33AM
cojef wrote:
Very interesting situation, if you could call it that. The mass killer was unconscious so if you read him his rights as required by Miranda then, and when he is conscious, is it okay.to start questioning him. What I can't understand is why not read him his rights, and then question him? Are they afraid he would clam up? If you kept repeatedly questioning him, it will bear him down and break him.
on April 20,2013 | 09:40AM
false wrote:
I think it is clear they WANT to erode the Miranda protections for other cases. Which is why the ACLU is correct to resist the effort in this particular case. The kid sounds like he has lived in the US long enough to have watched enough TV shows to be aware of his right to remain silent. So the insistence that he NOT be given his Miranda rights is a gratuitous attempt to win recognition of the view that Miranda is unnecessary. I agree with you that it is very unlikely to affect his willingness, or reluctance, to answer questions during what is likely to be a very long and very thorough interrogation.
on April 20,2013 | 11:38AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
You read any suspect his rights, while under pain medications, it's going to get tossed. We know they were in a gun fight,we know they had IEDs, we have footage of them all over Boston, we have thousands of articles of evidence. The kid could get convicted on that alone.
on April 20,2013 | 01:11PM
bigfish wrote:
ohh yah High road. Recently I tried to get the ACLU to intervene in a case where American taxpayers rights and liberties were being taken away almost daily. No response. Now we see them threaten to utilize our taxpayer funds to defend the rights of terrorists. Maybe the ACLU is calling him a true angel as they have no sense but use our cents and it's probably time they lose funding too.
on April 20,2013 | 09:49AM
SteveToo wrote:
ACLU -- American Communist & Liberals Union. What a joke!
on April 20,2013 | 10:13AM
FluidMotion wrote:
We should confirm the terrorist's legal citizenship status. If he is on a visa treat him as a foreign combatant excluding him from US citizen rights. If he is a citizen, charge him as a foreign combatant and make sure he spends the rest of his life in a small cell with a large cellmate. Do no give this religious zealot his "heaven" by making a martyr out of him, let him rot!
on April 20,2013 | 10:18AM
DABLACK wrote:
Would be different if the ACLU's family/relative got killed during the bombing !!
on April 20,2013 | 10:56AM
aomohoa wrote:
Does any one really think the investors are going to take any change of not doing everything by the book so justice will be served?
on April 20,2013 | 11:53AM
Anonymous wrote:
ACLU, you now something the FBI doesn't know? There may be others out there as part of their terrorist cell. And besides, when do these terrorists have any rightrs? They are enemies of this country!!!!
on April 20,2013 | 12:04PM
ross13moon wrote:
The whole country is watching...
on April 20,2013 | 12:11PM
bumbye wrote:
ACLU = Devil's Advocate
on April 20,2013 | 12:13PM
f206 wrote:
How do we know that they're aren't more co conspirators out there ready to attack again? They need to question him ASAP. Invoking this excepting to the rule in necessary for the safety of the public. How does the ACLU know that the threat is over?
on April 20,2013 | 12:29PM
W15 wrote:
The article and the quote from the ACLU director is short, but it sounds like they're fine with the use of the "exception to reading of Miranda rights" rule. This situation clearly applies, in light of the extraordinary circumstances. The ACLU is merely objecting to the duration of the exception. When there is no longer a threat to public safety or national security, the exception will simply no longer be in play, and the suspect must be afforded an opportunity to exercise his Miranda rights. Using the exception is appropriate. The authorities have to determine if there are no other bombers out there, and at this point, the suspect is the only one who can provide that information. If they extract info from him that shows there is still a credible threat out there -- either that there are still bombs left un-detonated or other bombers still at large -- then i'm ok with continuing to question and detain him without allowing him his Miranda rights. The key is whether there is still a continued/ongoing threat that must be quashed.
on April 20,2013 | 01:11PM
Slow wrote:
Obama labeled the brothers terrorists. Maybe he's right. But by doing so he deprives them of basic American rights. To belabor the obvious, the ACLU often takes the unpopular stance, in this case in front of many who lust for lynching. I applaud them for stepping forward. The Miranda rights waiver bothered me last night when I saw it in TV news. We must be ever vigilant against erosion of our basic liberties. I am sure the Tea Party agrees.
on April 20,2013 | 04:18PM
entrkn wrote:
The lawyers are only concerned for the terrorists' rights and they are going to donate their services for free... right?
on April 20,2013 | 04:18PM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Maybe the ACLU can visit the parents of the 8-year old boy this puke murdered and explain their late son's rights. For those concerned with this animal's "Miranda" rights, please keep in mind that their hero, the illustrious rapist/kidnapper Ernesto Miranda, was retried for his heinous crimes and once again convicted.
on April 20,2013 | 05:21PM
Ronin006 wrote:
It appears that most people commenting about this story may not fully understand the Miranda rule. There is no legal requirement to read a suspect the Miranda rights before questioning them. Law enforcement officials frequently question suspects without Mirandizing them to obtain information they otherwise might not get. They can act on such information, but statements made by the suspect may not be used against him or her in a court of law. There is nothing illegal about it. I believe law enforcement authorities in Massachusetts have more than enough evidence to convict the suspect in custody of murder and several other crimes without worrying about the Miranda rule and are instead more interested in who else might have been involved in any way. ACLU should take a hike.
on April 20,2013 | 06:10PM
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