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June 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Miranda Rights

J. Edgar Hoover Fought for People’s Right to Remain Silent in 50-Year-Old Case

Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover

Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover is often criticized for his zealous, unconstitutional surveillance of civil rights leaders and suspected communists.

But many people don’t know Hoover fought to protect accused criminals by supporting the Miranda rights.

The Washington Post reports that Hover and his colleagues were integral in the Supreme Court case, Miranda v. Arizona, which established the people the right to remain silent while in police custody.

That made him an unlikely ally of the ACLU – one of his biggest critics.

The Supreme Court decision was made 50 year ago this coming Monday – June 13, 1966.

James Comey Faces Tough Questions During Confirmation Battle During Confirmation Hearings

James Comey

Steve Neavling

President Obama’s nominee for FBI director, James Comey, faces a tough confirmation battle over a host of controversial issues facing the agency.

Comey, who served as deputy attorney general in President George W. Bush, is seeking Senate confirmation at a tough time for the FBI, reports The Hill. The Hill reports that hearing will start after Congress returns from its 4th of July recess.

Among the controversial topics expected to be addressed are miranda rights and enemy combatant status, the Boston bombing missteps, drones and eavesdropping.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to hold hearings this week after the July 4 recess.


Boston Marathon Suspects Stops Cooperating After Miranda Rights Read

Steve Neavling

After 16 hours of interrogations in a hospital, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect stopped talking when a federal magistrate read him his miranda rights for the first time Monday, Newsday reports.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was being questioned under a public-safety exception that does not require law enforcement to read suspects their miranda rights.

Tsarnaev cooperation abruptly ended when the 19-year-old was notified of his rights.

“This was such a productive interrogation, and so much information was coming out,” Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, told Newsday.

Job Interview for FBI Position Lands Applicant in Hot Water

Steve Neavling 

To Dominick Pelletier, he was just being honest when he admitted to possessing child pornography during a job interview for the FBI, Reuters reports.

Because he wasn’t read his rights during the interview, Pelletier claims agents had no basis on which to search his property, where they found more than 600 images of children.

A federal appeals court didn’t buy the argument last week, saying Pelletier, now 35, was not in custody and therefore authorities had no obligation to read him his miranda rights, Reuters reported.

“Indeed, it seems that Pelletier left the interview room believing he was still in the running for an FBI job,” Judge Michael Kanne wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel.

LA Times Editorial: New Guildelines for Miranda Rights “Defensible”

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marshals photo

By The Los Angeles Times
Editorial Page

There was an uproar when it was revealed that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called Christmas Day bomber, was read his Miranda rights. The hysterical reaction obscured a real dilemma for law enforcement: how to obtain what could be vital information about terrorist plots without denying suspects their legal rights. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and the FBI have produced guidelines that adroitly balance the two interests.

Issued Oct. 21 but made public only recently, the guidelines will not please those conservatives who insist that suspected terrorists shouldn’t be Mirandized at all. But they strike us as reasonable and, equally important, useful in heading off efforts in Congress to weaken Miranda.

The guidelines say that if applicable, “agents should ask any and all questions that are reasonably prompted by an immediate concern for the safety of the public or the arresting agents without advising the arrestee of his Miranda rights.” This advice is consistent with a 1984 Supreme Court decision making an exception from the Miranda requirement for questioning motivated by a concern for public safety.

Next, the guidelines say that after public safety concerns have been resolved, agents should promptly Mirandize a suspect. But there are exceptions: situations in which, “although all relevant public safety questions have been asked, agents nonetheless conclude that continued unwarned interrogation is necessary to collect valuable and timely intelligence not related to any immediate threat, and that the government’s interest in obtaining this intelligence outweighs the disadvantages of proceeding with unwarned interrogation.” This provision pushes the public safety exception to its limit, but it’s defensible.

To read more click here.

Supreme Court Rules Silence is Not Golden With Miranda Rights

Justice Kennedy wrote majority opinion

Justice Kennedy wrote majority opinion

By Glynnesha Taylor

WASHINGTON — Sometimes silence is not so golden — at least according to the Supreme Court.

In a narrow 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that suspects must speak up and say they want to remain silent to get protections under the Miranda Warning during interrogations.

In other words, simply shutting up for a while just won’t do it.

The ruling stems from a Michigan case in which a murder suspect Van Chester Thompkins remained silent for three hours during a police interrogation before implicating himself in a murder.

A police officer asked him if he prayed for forgiveness for “shooting that boy down,” and Thompkins answered yes. He appealed his conviction, saying that he invoked his Miranda rights to remain silent by remaining silent.

Read more »

Reading Miranda Rights Remains Hot Button Issue in Terrorist Cases

hot buttonBy Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — It’s not surprising that some politicians on the Hill — including Sens. John McCain and Joseph Lieberman — started to loudly complain the other day when they learned the FBI read Times Square car bomber Faisal Shahzad his Miranda rights.

And it’s not surprising the government has been hesitant to jump into the public debate.  On Wednesday Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd  issued a statement when asked by whether Justice Department procedures on issuing Miranda rights in terrorist cases had changed since the underwear bomber incident in Detroit in December.

“There has been no change in the long-standing law on Miranda or in the FBI’s current policy governing use of Miranda, which was issued during the prior Administration,” Boyd said.

“Obviously, the facts and circumstance of each particular terror case are different and the government’s actions in each case will depend entirely on the immediate circumstances of the threat and the case.

“In this case, Shahzad is a U.S. citizen and, by law, may not be prosecuted in a military commission. The suspect continues to talk to agents and continues to provide useful information. The agents and officers who took Shahzad into custody and questioned him did precisely what they are trained to do, what their policies require them to do and what this nation expects them to do.”

Then on Thursday, Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. told a Senate panel “the giving of Miranda warnings has not been a deterrent” and the suspect was continuing to cooperate.

The Associated Press reported that administration had learned lessons from the December underwear bombing incident by having a team ready, which knew when to read the suspect the Miranda rights.

Reading Miranda rights — the right to remain silent — became a controversial issue back in December when agents Mirandized the underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who has been cooperating with authorities. A boat load of politicians felt Abdulmutallab should never have been read his rights and argued the case should have gone to military court.

This week, the buttons were  pushed all over again.

Sen. Lieberman/senate photo

Sen. Lieberman/senate photo

“My own feeling is that anybody who we decide there is reasonable possibility that they’ve committed a terrorist act ought to be turned over to our military justice system because though it’s an unconventional war, they are prisoners of a war,” Lieberman told Fox News. ” A war that Islamic extremists declared against the United States, certainly, on 9/11/01. So, bottom line, I don’t believe somebody like Faisal Shahzad should receive Miranda rights. I don’t believe he’s entitled to them.”

FBI deputy director John Pistole, at a press conference on Tuesday, explained that the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force first interviewed New York car bomber Shahzad under the “public-safety exception to the Miranda rule”, and said Shahzad was very cooperative. The exception  allows investigators to interview a suspect to find out if there’s an imminent threat to people before Mirandizing them.

“He was eventually transported to another location, Mirandized; and continued talking,” Pistole said.

Christmas Day Bomber Read Rights 9 Hours — Not 50 Minutes– After His Arrest, Administration Says

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marhsals photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The political bickering and posturing over the questioning of the Christmas Day bomber continued in true Washington fashion Sunday.

Ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, who some may view as being on a campaign to prop up or save his legacy, went on ABC and said the administration should have considered everything up to waterboarding when questioning the infamous Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Then Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) went on Fox and criticized the administration for reading the bomber his Miranda rights “within 50 minutes”.

Then on Sunday, according to the Washington Post, “senior administration officials” released information saying that the bomber was read his Miranda rights 9 hours — not 50 minutes — after his arrest.

After 50 minutes of questioning, the story goes, medical personnel said his condition had deteriorated to the point questioning was no longer possible.

Then nine hours later, the Post reports:”New FBI agents meet with Abdulmutallab in his hospital room. He says he will not answer their questions and “acted like a jihadi. He is read his Miranda rights.”

To Read Full Story click here.