Want To Make Miranda Irrelevant? Repeal Federal Laws Criminalizing Terrorism

Lindsey Graham:

“Miranda warnings are counterproductive in my view,” Graham said at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing Wednesday. “We need a law that would allow you to go to a judge…and hold a guy like this and work with the intelligence officials of this country. Even if you’re an American citizen helping the enemy, you should be treated as a military threat,” Graham said. “Devise a law that recognizes we’re at war.”

If Lindsey Graham has the courage of his rhetoric, the solution is simple - repeal all federal laws criminalizing terrorism. After that, Miranda becomes irrelevant.

If you want to treat terrorism solely as a question of war, then do that. So long as people like Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham insist that suspected terrorism be treated as a criminal question, then Miranda and terror trials in federal court will remain "counterproductive" in their view. They need to put their money where their mouths are.

Speaking for me only

< How Lieberman's Proposal Would Work Proves How Pointless It Is | Schumer Opposes Lieberman Proposal >
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    Miranda Warnings Not Mandatory (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Michael Masinter on Wed May 05, 2010 at 01:09:25 PM EST
    It's worth remembering amid the nonsense emanating from Graham and Lieberman that the constitution does not require that arrestees be given Miranda warnings.  The failure to give Miranda warnings just bars the introduction into evidence of statements the defendant made; it does not bar  prosecution of the defendant or give rise to civil liability for damages per Chavez v. Martinez, and does not bar the introduction of physical evidence obtained after an un-Mirandized interrogation per U.S. v. Patane.  

    The Miranda fixation is based on (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Peter G on Wed May 05, 2010 at 01:36:51 PM EST
    an anti-Warren Court myth that will not die.  Giving Miranda warnings is seldom an impediment to effective law enforcement; most criminals are too poorly educated, too stupid, or too weak-willed to remain silent after arrest and until meeting with a lawyer.  A Miranda violation does not cause the judge to throw the case out; it only makes the suspect's statements, given in custody in response to interrogation, inadmissible in the prosecutor's direct case in court.  But having given the warnings gives the authorities a solid basis for arguing to a judge that any confession obtained was voluntarily and knowingly given, and thus admissible in court.  Not only that, but if the police (or FBI) are already fairly sure, after consulting with the prosecutor, that they can prove their case later without the benefit of a "confession," and that warning the suspect increases the chances that s/he will clam up and not "cooperate," they can deliberately withhold the warnings.  That way, they increase their chances of getting the information they want (assuming what the suspect says is truthful), with little loss to the provability of the case in court.  In that scenario, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling, they haven't even technically violated the suspects rights.  A Miranda "violation" occurs, according to the Supreme Court, only when and if an unwarned statement is used improperly in court.  And finally, even if the police deliberately withhold the warnings, they can use in court any physical evidence discovered as a result of the defendant's unwarned statement, as long as they don't use the statement itself.

    This is all part (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Maryb2004 on Wed May 05, 2010 at 01:45:31 PM EST
    of a general wish on the part of conservatives to do away with Miranda altogether.  They see evidence excluded for failure to Mirandize as exclusion on a mere technicality that results in criminals getting away with their crimes.  

    These terror cases just give them a foot in the door on getting even more of the public to think Miranda is a bad thing.  

    And It's Also (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by The Maven on Wed May 05, 2010 at 01:57:18 PM EST
    getting the foot in the door of formalizing our state of Permanent War, under which all sort sorts of rights and privileges can get thrown out the window.  I try not to be overly cynical, but hardly a week goes by anymore without moving us another step closer to a National Security State.  Rights?  We can't afford those any longer . . . we're at war, don'tcha know!

    I love the "close fit" (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Wed May 05, 2010 at 01:50:35 PM EST
    requirement.  Crazy.

    Conservatives? (none / 0) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Wed May 05, 2010 at 01:57:13 PM EST
    For what it is worth:

    Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) are said to be interested in what Lieberman comes up with, which essentially means that a bipartisan group of lawmakers are poised to help Lieberman park his explosives-laden Nissan Pathfinder right next to the "rule of law!" (If you see something, say something!) link

    Evidently the rumor on (none / 0) (#8)
    by MO Blue on Wed May 05, 2010 at 02:25:22 PM EST
    Schumer is not true. Good.

    Miranda Schmiranda... (none / 0) (#1)
    by DaveCal on Wed May 05, 2010 at 01:08:02 PM EST
    What's all the fuss.  If the feds don't want to Mirandize these guys, then don't.  

    They only need to mirandize them if they want to use the resulting info in court.

    I suspect they already have enough info (pre arrest) to convict the Times Square guy anyway. The info they're trying to gather at this point is probably to find co-conspirators and info on any terrorist cells or terrorism rings.

    Much ado about nothing as far as I'm concerned.  


    It seems pretty clear to me (none / 0) (#9)
    by Kimberley on Wed May 05, 2010 at 02:34:23 PM EST
    From the recent posts by BTD and Jeralyn's below, that the new domestic strategy in dealing with terrorism to is to convince US citizens that it's some kind of undue pressure for the state to bear burden of proof.

    In fact, you could almost say it's being presented in a way that congratulates those who sympathize with allowing the state to circumvent this burden as Americans pure-of-heart.


    Even if this is completely unconscious, it's immaterial. It's organizing itself to effect the same regardless.

    I think Miranda's a MacGuffin.

    Well, I'm glad to see that you are (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 05, 2010 at 04:10:45 PM EST
    starting to recognize that this war, not a bank robbery.

    The Loooooooong War (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Wed May 05, 2010 at 04:16:53 PM EST
    How long have you been at it?

    When you count your early adversaries, and then the commies... it must have been going on most of your life.


    heh (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 05, 2010 at 05:02:09 PM EST