Monday, April 22, 2013

Miranda rights

The issue of rights is a complicated one. And people aren't usually very consistent with what they believe rights should cover. Some groups who are opposed to gun regulation want to regulate women's rights, calling for invasive procedures and even promote propaganda with no scientific backing. But I digress. I try (note: tryyyyy) to stay consistent with what types of rights I support. Free speech is a complicated one when people get on the fringe of what's socially acceptable, take the Westboro Baptist Church, who have every right to protest what they want as long they proscribe to the legal requirements of protesting in that city.

So anyway, there is an issue with an American citizen, who participated in an act of terrorism, and who is not being read his rights. This has happened before and the Obama administration has made it clear that they are okay with not reading people their Miranda rights if they are suspected of terrorism (key word: suspected). The problem with this, is that this guy is a citizen, not a foreign combatant. This guy is, in essence, the same as you and me. And if he isn't being guaranteed his rights to a fair trial, to not being forced to self-incriminate, to all of the promises of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution that are meant to protect citizens from abuses of government... then where does the line get drawn? I am going to quote an article by the Guardian about his rights and ours, and I beg you to read it yourself, and realize that doing what is RIGHT is not always going to emotionally satisfy you as proper revenge. (because that's what a lot of people want)

But that's always how rights are abridged: by targeting the most marginalized group or most hated individual in the first instance, based on the expectation that nobody will object because of how marginalized or hated they are. Once those rights violations are acquiesced to in the first instance, then they become institutionalized forever, and there is no basis for objecting once they are applied to others, as they inevitably will be...

Leave aside the fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted of nothing and is thus entitled to a presumption of innocence. The reason to care what happens to him is because how he is treated creates precedent for what the US government is empowered to do, including to US citizens on US soil. When you cheer for the erosion of his rights, you're cheering for the erosion of your own. 
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