Tsarnaev to be tried in US criminal court system

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is lucky there’s a Democrat in the White House because by now Republicans probably would have declared him an enemy combatant and whisked him off to a secret prison someplace. If he died while being waterboarded … too bad. What’s another dead terrorist. Never mind that he’s an American citizen on American soil, entitled to the full protection of the US Constitution.

It looked for a while as though Gitmo had come to the mainland when, under Miranda’s “public safety exception,” Tsarnaev was not immediately read his rights — even though law enforcement had already declared the danger over and the public safe.

Apparently when someone close to a case decides the situation warrants, Miranda and the Constitution can be suspended. Sort of. It’s complicated and subject to abuse. Tsarnaev’s rights today, yours tomorrow? Not a chance, you say? See: Patriot Act, warrantless wiretaps, TSA searches, etc.

In any case, President Obama announced Monday that despite Republican calls to try Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant in a military commission, he will be tried in our criminal justice system. Anyone who doubts this system can effectively deal with terrorists should check the guest list at ADX Florence.

Yes, it’s good to know Gitmo hasn’t come stateside. At least, not yet.

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Categories: Constitution, Guantanamo, Law, Obama, Politics, terrorism

10 replies

  1. This has been a very interesting ordeal. One I wish never happened, of course. But since it has, might as well learn from it. And what have I learned? Not quite sure yet. I have discovered that my definition of “weapons of mass destruction” was wrong. I always thought it was a weapon that could either level ot take out a city, if not more. Typically, nuclear, but chem and bio fit in there, too. What I found out is thT I am not entirely wrong. During the Cold War, that was the primary definition of WoMD, which explains where I got that from. I remember growing up with bomb drills. Anyway, the name implies the same. But in reading an article on Wired, the d3finition has evolved and actuallybecome more loose. Basically WoMD covers everything except firearms (lucky for LaPierre) and pyrotechniques. So, by Fed definition, these bombs are considered a weapon of mass destruction.

    My judgment is still out in reference to the delay of rezding him his Miranda rights. I understand why, but concerned that it may cause more problems than help.

    But i think the best i have learned or witnessed is how a large city can pull together and become one. I am sure there was some bitching from people, probably more business owners than anything. But for the most part, i never heard anyone complaining and everyone cooperated. And, much to the dismay from radical gun owners, Watertown didnt turn into a huge gun-toting lynching mob. Everyone stayed inside and let the law do their work. No Zimmermans happened. In fact, the guy that owned the boat just found the bomber by happenstance. The homeowner wasn’t out carrying a gun of any sort.

    This definitely helped renew my faith in humanity and the the ability of all levels of the police to work together.

    • With current usage, I guess now a grenade would be a WMD. Like you, I always thought they meant something much bigger, that caused hundreds or thousands of deaths — not a homemade bomb.

      I was really worried about Tsarnaev’s treatment when he was first caught. So many reports were incorrect. But I about hit the ceiling when I heard they weren’t mirandizing him right away. I had visions of them using all sorts of illegal interrogation techniques on a guy who couldn’t fight back. I wondered, and still wonder, if he’ll leave the hospital alive. And if he doesn’t, what sort of explanation we’ll get.

      The people of Boston reacted like the people of Oklahoma City did — pulling together as one, everyone helping everyone else. Not strangers anymore. All in it together. But I doubt it’s just OKC or Boston. I think it’s America.

  2. He’s a US citizen and thus has rights.
    Seriously I don’t think it’s just one political group that would wish him harm – it was a brutal attack with families and kids. Politics not involved with basic human response.
    He is at risk by his own as much as by angry citizens and victims.
    It’s no wonder he wasn’t read his rights immediately – cops forget to do it immediately even in events not so dramatic. There was a concern about danger – no one knew exactly what he had with him. Understandable considering the night’s events during a previous encounter.
    I was surprised he was taken alive mainly because it looked like he would either try to kill himself or force authorities to kill him. (Note: shoot across the brain from ear to ear – the gun n the mouth doesn’t usually kill). Figured it would be a dramatic costly suicide. Boston cops and law enforcements took brave actions – and were willing to sacrifice to protect the general public. Noble anywhere.
    How sad. He ran over his own brother and dragged the body. Now he’s still alive and having to face it all. I do hope he has some faith of some kind to sustain him – he’s killed innocents. Hated and pitied. Hard to live with – despite the buster – he failed – he’s alive.

    • I’m hard pressed to believe anything the press says about this case anymore, but I heard one report suggesting his mouth/neck wound was the result of a botched suicide attempt. All things considered, that sounds logical.

  3. I’m glad he’s being tried as the citizen he is who’s broken the law.

    I also think it’s odd that the police, FBI, BATFE, National Guard and other members of law enforcement who’ve been trained to overcome the adrenaline spikes that come with fright and excitement when firing their weapons… almost ALL of which were fully automatic assault rifles each of which had magazines containing 30 or more rounds… wasted over 200 rounds trying to bring down two targets. They only killed one.

    And… because they used the standard .223 assault cartridge instead of the old 30.06 or .308 rounds used in the last declared wars, the surviving target still escaped and only succumbed to his massive loss of blood from multiple wounds. A REAL assault rifle like the one used in WWII would have ended this whole thing the night after the bombing.

    • Given the number of suspects and the number of cops, it did seem like a very protracted gunfight with a lot of rounds fired. On the other hand, it was dark and it looked like there was a lot of cover.

      Why do today’s assault rifles not use the same ammo as those in WWII? Did the military see some advantage in the change? Lighter weight, more mobility, easier handling?

      • “Why do today’s assault rifles not use the same ammo as those in WWII? Did the military see some advantage in the change? Lighter weight, more mobility, easier handling? “

        All of the above. An old “M1” weighs about twice what a new “tactical” rifle weighs. Almost the same for the ammo.

        Darkness is the favored assault time for people with access to night vision goggles and gun sights, so night should have favored the cops.

        You didn’t find it odd that the good government guys NEED fully automatic assault rifles with 30 round magazines, while I a non-government good guy does NOT NEED a comparable defense?

        • Not at all odd, unless I’m missing your point. I think the military and law enforcement should have more powerful weapons than civilians. You forget I’m that naive, sheltered, too-trusting, old-fashioned woman who thinks the military and law enforcement are the ones who protect us and enforce our laws. That’s what we pay them to do and they should be armed accordingly. The sad fact, of course, is that we’ve already allowed civilians to arm themselves with military grade weapons.

“I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.” ~ Cornel West

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