Will We Deny Constitutional Rights in the Name of Fear?


Authorities have used a public safety exception to delay reading Boston Marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his “Miranda” rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present, a move that has sparked controversy. The Obama administration has been criticized in the past for rolling back Miranda rights after unilaterally expanding the public safety exception in 2010. A group of Republican lawmakers have also called for Tsarnaev to be held as an “enemy combatant,” but the Obama administration has signaled its intention to try him in civilian court. Constitutional lawyer and Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald joins us to discuss the legal issues surrounding the case. “It’s sort of odd that the debate is Lindsey Graham’s extremist theory [to hold Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant] or rushing to give President Obama credit for what ought to be just reflexive — if you arrest a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil of a crime before you imprison him, you actually charge him with a crime and give him the right to a lawyer,” Greenwald says. “The fact those are the two extremes being debated I think is illustrative of where we’ve come.”

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