Less than a day after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was finally issued the required Miranda Warning and thereby invoked his right to silence and legal representation, the government quietly removed the injured youth from the intensive care unit at a Boston hospital to a military prison 40 miles away.
Tsarnaev, an American citizen, is of course being charged as such for whatever his role was in the Boston Marathon explosions but has not yet been tried. So it isn't clear why he would be incarcerated in a facility run by the armed forces, and the move is likely to further call into question the unusual treatment of this teenager.
Prior to being read his rights, U.S. agents claim Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, now known as Boston Bomber Suspect #2, had been providing them with elaborate confessions. This, despite the fact that the boy's throat is half blown away from bullet wounds received while in the act of surrendering, and that he's also been heavily medicated for excruciating pain the entire time they were interrogating him.
But, regardless of this flagrant abuse, many Americans say they are pleased to see a fellow citizen unconstitutionally stripped of their civil liberties merely by being accused of a crime against the state. And, not incidentally, most cheering the dire terms of Tsarnaev's detention have also indicated they'd never even heard of Miranda.
In fact, "Miranda Warning" was one of the most popular search terms on Google, once civil rights advocates stood up and began openly criticizing the government's well publicized intent and refusal to administer Miranda rights to Tsarnaev.
A POWERFUL WARNING: The obligation of reading suspects their rights via Miranda was enacted in the 20th century to particularly address the unlawful practice at the time of officers beating, bullying and tricking arrestees into supplying incriminating answers during questioning. It is intended to expressly reinforce sweeping protections granted U.S. citizens under the Bill of Rights in the 1780's.
America's founding fathers who drafted and ratified this important document, and who themselves proudly resorted to terrorist acts and geurilla warfare in order to overthrow a vicious tyrant, took great pains to add these extra protective clauses to the then-new Constitution.
Such inclusions were deemed necessary because, as formerly oppressed subjects of the British king, they recognized that certain rights, such as the right to remain silent when arrested, the right to an attorney, and the right to a fair trial by a jury of one's peers, was part of the "inalienable" rights of all human beings everywhere.
In the era of powerful monarchies and impoverished fiefdoms, leaders of the United States guaranteeing their constituents an unimpeachable Bill of Rights was groundbreaking and today still serves as the lynchpin to our first-world democracy. Many countries, awed by the humanitarian principles espoused in that bill have since adapted similar language to their own constitutions as well, including the concept of Miranda rights for police detainees.
WHO IS MIRANDA? In the 1960's Ernesto Miranda was detained by police and because he and his English was so poor, was deliberately lured into implicating himself by cunning investigators. Ultimately his conviction on that illicit confession was thrown out by the U.S. Supreme Court and, thereafter, the Miranda Warning was implemented nationwide so that all those who similarly found themselves in handcuffs would clearly understand their civil rights ASAP.
Although a controversial exception was made to Miranda in 2010 concerning any and all prisoners accused of "terrorism" and "threats to public safety," this sidestepping maneuver is still widely regarded among constitutional law scholars as an unlawful intrusion, and as such is persistently being challenged.
If you or someone you know are ever arrested or detained in any way by authorities and you're not immediately Mirandized, be sure to inform your attorney of this as soon as you have one or one has been appointed for you. Often any statements you made under questioning will be quashed (thrown away as illegally obtained) and in many cases the charges also will be dismissed because of the gross violation.
And for all those Americans still unfamiliar with this crucial piece of legislation, a properly and timely issued Miranda Warning sounds very much like this:
"You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions. Do you understand? Yes or no."
"Anything you do say may be used against you in a court of law. Do you understand? Yes or no."
"You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to police and to have an attorney present during questioning by the police now or in the future. Do you understand? Yes or no."
"If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before police questioning if you wish. Do you understand? Yes or no."
"If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you are able to talk to an attorney. Do you understand? Yes or no."
"Knowing and understanding your rights as they have just been explained to you, are you still willing to answer police questions without an attorney present? Yes or no?"