With all the talk about whether the surviving Boston bombing suspect should receive Miranda warnings prior to questioning, our political leaders and the media have obscured what the Miranda case requires, what it does, and its effect on police investigation. My article “Misunderstanding Miranda,” in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, clears away the unfortunate fog. Here’s a sample:
Just hours after the second Boston bomber was taken alive, the government announced that it would not give the man Miranda warnings before questioning him. Instead, the Department of Justice said, the attacker would be questioned without warnings under the public safety exception…
Let’s start with a clear understanding of the Miranda warnings. Failing to give Miranda warnings does not interfere with the power of the police to make an arrest. Not giving the warnings does not affect the ability of the prosecution to try a suspect. In fact, not reading a suspect his Miranda warnings does not even violate the person’s rights.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding of Miranda out there, and the public discussion over the last few days has made it worse. It’s important to know that our police officers and security personell will not be slowed down by Miranda warnings. The article will tell you why.