The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ok, Mirandize me, baby, doggone it.

Calling all lawyers. Help me understand something here. Sarah Palin and other tea party folks are criticizing the Administration for "Mirandizing" the Christmas (underpants) terrorist bomber after only 50 minutes of questioning. The impression you get from their argument is that Mr. Fruit of the Boom didn't have any rights before he got Mirandized.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that the guy already HAD the right to remain silent. And that the reading of his rights merely recapitulates this fact. Yes? No? If yes, what's the big squawk? And if no, shouldn't we all go get Mirandized right away? Honk honk.

Update: As per Larry Kurtz's prompt, I offer this overview of Miranda rights from an online source. It appears to run counter to his assertion that police are not required to read you your rights. I hope he sees fit to clarify.


Bob Newland said...

Of course one has the right to remain silent. I recommend doing so in the presence of cops 100% of the time. It is NEVER a good idea to volunteer info to a cop unless one is reporting a crime, and even then the cops will often make the reporter a suspect.

It would have made no difference in the case Bill presents here. Had he not been advised of his rights and down the line the case was compromised as a result, the knuckle-draggers in question would have criticized that between hits on their Kentucky corn brew and tobacco spits (not that I condemn drinking moonshine or chewing tobacco).

This is pure pandering to a friendly crowd by a quasi-populist moroness.

senor citizen said...

Just one small fact, the Fruit of the Boom guy (cute) was NOT a US citizen. Our rights do not apply to him. He is an enemy combatant and should have been treated as such.

Bill Fleming said...

I'll challenge that, SC. I submit that you can't kill (rob, torture, enslave, etc...) someone just because s/he's from another country.

Our Constitution doesn't grant human rights. It protects them (or is supposed to.)

The rights are fundamental, a priori natural rights, not "American" rights. It's just that the USA (supposedly) does a better job of recognizing, enumerating and protecting them.

And in doing so, we lay claim to be among the greatest and most liberated of nations.

Thad Wasson said...

Fruit-of-the-boom guy is just the messanger. He was expecting to die so I doubt he had information of financial records, future terrorist activities or even the terror chain of command.

We have to go the head of this nonsense to stop these goofballs. That is in Saudi Arabia.

larry kurtz said...

Bob is right; Miranda was ruled as implied a number of years ago, regardless of country of origin.
It just no longer has to be recited by the arresting officer(s).

I wonder why these cops bothered to blurt it out at all except to cover up even more nefarious lapses.

Taunia said...

Palin has no understanding of Miranda to talk about it in public, let alone understand its implications.

What's worse is the low intellect crowd she's pandering to. Right up there with the Bush Doctrine.

Forget a Fifth Grader. A preschooler could whip her ass in Jeopardy.

What better a key speaker could they have for an imploding, directionless, impotent, and useless waste of time wannabe group.

Taunia said...

With that out of my system, Miranda is a rule of evidence, except for national security. Mr. Underpant's statements may be thrown if not Mirandized, but you've got a whole plane full of witnesses,

Also, even though his statement may be thrown, it really depends if the questioners were investigating or interrogating. If they ask me about, I wouldn't be Mirandized until the questioners believed I was responsible or had pertinent knowledge of the crime.

You don't have be Mirandized to be questioned.

Anonymous said...

"It [Miranda warnings] just no longer has to be recited by the arresting officer(s)."

Got a citation for that, Larry?

larry kurtz said...

Look it up yourrself, Stevie.

Bob Newland said...

I think Larry is right, although wikipedia does not specifically say that cops no longer are required to "Mirandize" a person they consider a suspect.

As for senior citizen's statement. Damn right. No effin furriner is worth a pimple on an American's butt. They don't have rights. Only Americans have rights.

Bill Fleming said...

Ummm... that's not the way it works, Larry.

As before, you need to be prepared to support your assertions. You make an interesting and unusual point, and I too would like to see proof of it.

But if you tell me to go look it up myself, I will assume you 1. Perhaps don't know what you're talking about, or 2. Are too rude to enjoy conversing with — neither of which I assume are the consequences you intend.

Bill Fleming said...

Oh brother. Where are my hip waders?

Bill Fleming said...

Larry and Bob, please note my update to the main post. Thanks. BF

larry kurtz said...

Bill, I apologize for my rudeness.

Miranda is not always implied.

Thank you for making me go look; my handheld won't allow me to open multiple screens or cut and paste.

larry kurtz said...

Taunia seems to have called a better game than I did.

I leapt before I looked.

Bill Fleming said...

No problem, Larry. Thanks!

Michael Sanborn said...

I repeat:

Sarah Palin: Stick a fork in her...she's done.