The question about the rights of citizen terrorists has been poignantly raised again after last week’s terrorist attack in Boston. The attack, which was carried out by two brothers who had immigrated to the U.S. about 10 years ago, killed three people, wounded hundreds and emotionally devastated an entire nation.
During the manhunt to find the brothers, the older brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a gunfight with police, but his younger brother, Dzhokhar, 19, was found the next day and arrested.
On Tuesday, Tsarnaev confessed to his part in the bombing, but was not read his Miranda rights before his interrogation, drawing objections from some that his rights were violated. The Miranda ruling is usually read to suspects upon arrest and warns that anything they say can be used in court and then gives right to legal counsel.
The American Civil Liberties Union opposed the decision not to read Tsarnaev his Miranda rights, with ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero saying in a statement released Saturday, “Every criminal defendant is entitled to be read Miranda rights.”
The Obama administration decided not to mirandize the suspect under the Public Safety exception, which is given when the criminal is deemed exceptionally dangerous.
Authorities made the right decision in not giving Tsarnaev Miranda rights. In order for authorities to get more information about the brothers’ attack on the Boston Marathon, the motive behind it and if he knows of plans for future terrorist plots, it is important that Tsarnaev is not read these rights.
“This idea that the only way we can question him about national security matters is to go through his lawyer, turns [it] over to the terrorist and their lawyer controlling information to protect us all,” Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday on Fox News. “That’s crazy. That is absolutely crazy. This man should be held and questioned under the law of war.”