Tsarnaev Should Never Have Been Denied a Lawyer

This is a bigger deal than delaying Miranda rights: Glenn Greenwald
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2013 1:38 PM CDT
Tsarnaev Should Never Have Been Denied a Lawyer
This undated photo provided by the vkontakte website shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.   (AP Photo/vk.com)

In a recent Los Angeles Times article about suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Glenn Greenwald spotted a tidbit that appalled him (emphasis Greenwald's):

  • "Tsarnaev has not answered any questions since he was given a lawyer and told he has the right to remain silent by Magistrate Judge Marianne B. Bowler. Until that point, Tsarnaev had been responding to the interagency High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, including admitting his role in the bombing, authorities said. A senior congressional aide said Tsarnaev had asked several times for a lawyer, but that request was ignored since he was being questioned under the public safety exemption to the Miranda rule."

If that detail is true—and Greenwald acknowledges that it's a bit thinly sourced—then we should all be concerned. This is a much bigger deal than delaying the reading of Tsarnaev's Miranda rights. "This is a US citizen arrested for an alleged crime on US soil: There is no justification whatsoever for denying him his repeatedly exercised right to counsel," writes Greenwald in the Guardian. Worse, no one in Washington cares, because they're more concerned that Tsarnaev's rights weren't violated even further—they're piling on the judge who finally Mirandized him. You may not like Tsarnaev, writes Greenwald, but you should still be concerned over the way he's treated. As Thomas Paine put it in 1795, "He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." Click for Greenwald's full column. (More Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stories.)

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