Holder Undercut FBI by Giving Tsarnaev Miranda Rights
This column by ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski was published April 26, 2013 on Breitbart.com.
Updating our earlier report:
Details are emerging that when U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler read Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights, she went to his hospital room accompanied by a federal public defender (meaning taxpayer-funded) and an assistant U.S. attorney from the Massachusetts prosecutor’s office.
Reports say the FBI was only partway through questioning Tsarnaev to get intelligence to determine who else was involved in the plot and how broad it was. The FBI told federal lawmakers in classified briefings this week they were “stunned” when this judicial officer and lawyers from both sides showed up to read him his rights. Tsarnaev was providing what the FBI called valuable intelligence, when he was read his rights and then immediately stopped talking.
As we’ve explained before, the only danger with denying someone Miranda rights is that whenever the Constitution would require those rights to be announced, anything the defendant says after that point cannot be used to convict him in court. When the public-safety exception to Miranda applies–as it does here–police generally have about 48 hours of questioning the suspect before a judge would say the agents have had enough time to deal with imminent threats and therefore must now administer Miranda. The FBI was only 16 hours into those 48 hours when Miranda was given.
But that’s not a big deal in this case. We have high-quality video showing Tsarnaev planting the bomb that killed people shortly thereafter. We don’t need any confessions; prosecutors are quickly amassing enough evidence to get a capital conviction from a jury.
Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said that under these circumstances, only Attorney General Eric Holder could personally have ordered this to happen. In a case with critical national interests at stake, only Holder could decide to cut short the FBI’s process.
Rumors in D.C. are that Holder did this to shut down the debate about whether to treat Tsarnaev as a national-security threat instead of an ordinary criminal defendant in the court system. Holder decided to go with the latter, consistent with a far-left ideology, and America was deprived of additional intelligence that could be used to protect us against additional threats.