It looks like I was premature in giving the Justice Department credit for reading Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights. It appears that they questioned him for a long time before a judge insisted on reading him his rights on Monday. So once again, we are dependent on the judiciary to intervene to make sure the government does not violate the rights of people. (In a separate case, a federal judge is challenging the government’s claim to broad secrecy powers.)
Judge [Marianne] Bowler convened the brief, makeshift court hearing in the hospital room about 16 hours after the complaint was filed. Her reading of the Miranda warning came as part of the formal presentation of charges to the suspect, an act that would normally take place in court.
Judge Bowler was the first government official to advise Mr. Tsarnaev of his right to remain silent after his capture Friday night, officials briefed on the matter said.
The Daily Show highlights something that I have noticed, that some of the very people who wave the US constitution with pride as evidence of the superior values of the US are the same ones who will discard it as soon as it becomes a hindrance to achieving some short term goal or satiating their fear-based lust for vengeance. When that happens, they throw due process and the protections in the Bill of Rights out the window. There seems to be only one of them that they view as utterly sacred and inviolable. Can you guess which one?
(This clip was aired on April 24, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)