Like everyone else, I was shocked and disturbed by the recent tragic events in Boston. I couldn’t be more grateful to the heroic police officers who did such an amazing job at bringing the terrorists to justice (one of them alive, no less . . . hopefully an enormous intelligence asset). But, as an attorney, I strongly disagree with the far right of my Party (e.g., the Rand Pauls of this world) who’d like to treat the surviving brother as a “enemy combatant.” Government officials made exactly the right compromise by first invoking the “public safety exception to Miranda,” and then, second, by choosing to deliver a healthy dose of justice American-style: in a courtroom, with a judge, a jury, Constitutional rights and lawyers. Just as terrorists hope to send messages of fear, it’s critical that we never fear to send messages of hope. Showing the world that our traditional justice system is ALWAYS up to the task is morally responsible, profoundly patriotic and an incredibly powerful symbol that American values come from our own faiths and traditions – never the warped visions of those who’d kill innocent men, women and children – the great people of a great city whose only action was to cheer their friends toward victory on what would have otherwise been a beautiful spring afternoon.
More thoughts on Boston:
- Point: “We must not waver from our tried and true justice system, even in the most difficult of times,” Romero continued. “Denial of rights is un-American and will only make it harder to obtain fair convictions.” [Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU CBS News, 4/20/2013]
- Counter-Point: “Boylston Street sure looked like a battlefield on Monday, and so did Watertown on Thursday night. The artificial distinction is Mr. Paul’s focus on geography. The vital distinction for public safety is between common criminals, who deserve due process protections, and enemy combatants at war with the U.S., wherever they are. As for due process, the greatest danger to liberty would be to allow more such attacks that would inspire an even greater public backlash against Muslims or free speech or worse. The anti-antiterror types on the left and GOP Senators who agree that the U.S. isn’t part of the battlefield are making the U.S. more vulnerable.” [The Wall Street Journal, Editorial, 4/21/2013