Clarity on Miranda: Why the Boston Bomber Won’t “Walk on a (Miranda) Technicality”

Posted: April 24, 2013 in Criminal Law
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For those who want clarity on how the Miranda warnings, and the government’s use of the “public safety” exception, here’s my interview on WESA FM Public Radio on the program Essential Pittsburgh.  This wide-ranging discussion allowed host Paul Guggenheimer and I to thoroughly explore all the aspects of the Miranda warnings.  How it is actually used by police?  Does the warning actually stop people from talking to the police, undermining efforts to prosecute the guilty?  And how it might impact the prosecution of the Boston bombing case?

In the days since the federal government’s announcement that they would not read the Boston bombing suspect the Miranda warnings, under the “public safety” exception, I’ve had some conversations with some acquaintances — all reasonably bright, aware people.  I’ve asked them what they thought would happen to the bomber in the courts if the government did not read the suspect his rights.  The unanimous reply: the Miranda failure means he’ll be freed because some court will let him “walk on this technicality.”  Those conversations, the uninformed media coverage of the issue, and the willingness of politicians of both parties to twist the law for their own political gain are what motivated me to write an op-ed for yesterday’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and to discuss the issue on the radio.

  1. Tim Dawson says:

    Great article, David. Really well written—for practicing lawyers AND an uninformed public. Lays out the essence of Miranda protections like a Bar prep course. I saw politics immediately with the Miranda comments regarding “public safety” exception.

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