Report: Dzhokhar Tsarnaevís Repeated Requests for a Lawyer Were Ignored
2013-05-03 0:00

By Glenn Greenwald | Information Clearing House

There is zero legal or ethical justification for denying a suspect in custody this fundamental right

The initial debate over the treatment of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev focused on whether he should be advised of his Miranda rights or whether the "public safety exception" justified delaying it. In the wake of news reports that he had been Mirandized and would be charged in a federal court, I credited the Obama DOJ for handling the case reasonably well thus far. As it turns out, though, Tsarnaev wasnít Mirandized because the DOJ decided he should be. Instead, that happened only because a federal magistrate, on her own, scheduled a hospital-room hearing, interrupted the FBIís interrogation which had been proceeding at that point for a full 16 hours, and advised him of his right to remain silent and appointed him a lawyer. Since then, Tsarnaev ceased answering the FBIís questions.

But that controversy was merely about whether he would be advised of his Miranda rights. Now, the Los Angeles Times, almost in passing, reports something which, if true, would be a much more serious violation of core rights than delaying Miranda warnings - namely, that prior to the magistrateís visit to his hospital room, Tsarnaev had repeatedly asked for a lawyer, but the FBI simply ignored those requests, instead allowing the interagency High Value Detainee Interrogation Group to continue to interrogate him alone:

"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 on Monday, officials said.

"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."

Delaying Miranda warnings under the "public safety exception" - including under the Obama DOJís radically expanded version of it - is one thing. But denying him the right to a lawyer after he repeatedly requests one is another thing entirely: as fundamental a violation of crucial guaranteed rights as can be imagined. As the lawyer bmaz comprehensively details in this excellent post, it is virtually unheard of for the "public safety" exception to be used to deny someone their right to a lawyer as opposed to delaying a Miranda warning (the only cases where this has been accepted were when "the intrusion into the constitutional right to counsel ... was so fleeting Ė in both it was no more than a question or two about a weapon on the premises of a search while the search warrant was actively being executed"). To ignore the repeated requests of someone in police custody for a lawyer, for hours and hours, is just inexcusable and legally baseless.

As law school dean Erwin Chemerinsky explained in the Los Angeles Times last week, the Obama DOJ was already abusing the "public safety" exception by using it to delay Miranda warnings for hours, long after virtually every public official expressly said that there were no more threats to the public safety. As he put it: "this exception does not apply here because there was no emergency threat facing law enforcement." Indeed, as I documented when this issue first arose, the Obama DOJ already unilaterally expanded this exception far beyond what the Supreme Court previously recognized by simply decreeing (in secret) that terrorism cases justify much greater delays in Mirandizing a suspect for reasons well beyond asking about public safety.

But that debate was merely about whether Tsarnaev would be advised of his rights. This is much more serious: if the LA Times report is true, then it means that the DOJ did not merely fail to advise him of his right to a lawyer but actively blocked him from exercising that right. 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. And there are ample and obvious dangers in letting the government do this. Thatís why Marcy Wheeler was arguing from the start that whether Tsarnaev would be promptly presented to a federal court - as both the Constitution and federal law requires - is more important than whether he is quickly Mirandized. Even worse, if the LA Times report is accurate, it means that the Miranda delay as well as the denial of his right to a lawyer would have continued even longer had the federal magistrate not basically barged into the interrogation to advise him of his rights.

[...]

In March of last year, the New York Timesí Editorial Page Editor, Andrew Rosenthal - writing under the headline "Liberty and Justice for Non-Muslims" - explained: "itís rarely acknowledged that the [9/11] attacks have also led to whatís essentially a separate justice system for Muslims." Even if youíre someone who has decided that you donít really care about (or will actively support) rights abridgments as long as they are applied to groups or individuals who you think deserve it, these violations always expand beyond their original application. If you cheer when Dzhokhar Tsarnaevís right to counsel is denied, then youíre enabling the institutionalization of that violation, and thus ensuring that you have no basis or ability to object when that right is denied to others whom you find more sympathetic (including yourself).


Read the full article at: informationclearinghouse.info




Tune into Red Ice Radio:


Patrick Henningsen - Hour 1 - Boston Bombings & Third Way Control Mechanism

Dan Johnson - Hour 1 - People Against the National Defense Authorization Act

John B. Wells - Hour 1 - The Police State

Holland Vandennieuwenhof & James Lane - Hour 1 - A Noble Lie: Oklahoma City 1995

Peter Dale Scott - Hour 1 - Norwayís Massacre, Breivik & Deep Events

Kent Daniel Bentkowski - Anatomy Of A False-Flag Terror Attack





Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

Murder Rates Rising Sharply in Many U.S. Cities
2015-09-01 23:33
Cities across the nation are seeing a startling rise in murders after years of declines, and few places have witnessed a shift as precipitous as this city [Milwaukee]. With the summer not yet over, 104 people have been killed this year‚Äďafter 86 homicides in all of 2014. More than 30 other cities have also reported increases in violence from a year ...
Bulgaria - Islamic State Terrorists Caught Crossing Into Europe Posing As Refugees
2015-09-01 23:47
Bulgarian authorities near the Gyueshevo border checkpoint detained the five men, aged between 20 and 24, late on Wednesday, Bulgarian broadcaster NOVA TV reported. The men were stopped by a border guard, who they attempted to bribe with a “wad of dollars.” However, they were searched and Islamic State propaganda, specific Jihadists prayers and decapitation videos were found on their phones. In ...
How This NY Mom Made the Case for Her Son’s Religious Vaccine Exemption
2015-09-01 22:27
An unidentified, Russian immigrant mother who practices the Russian Orthodox faith, has secured a religious vaccine exemption for her autistic son. New York has a bill on the table to eliminate religious exemption and to root out those who weren’t refusing vaccines on strictly devout, religious grounds. Yet, this woman’s plight goes back before talk of eliminating the exemption – two ...
Wall Street Panics Over Global Recession Fears
2015-09-01 21:18
Chinese factories slow down significantly Wall Street plunged Tuesday after investors feared weak data from China, the world’s second-largest economy, would lead to a global recession. China’s manufacturing sector suffered its quickest deterioration in over six years, leading to a three-year market low and other sectors of the Chinese economy also slowed down significantly. In response, all three major U.S. stock indices, the ...
Thousands of Icelanders Have Volunteered to Take Syrian Refugees Into Their Homes
2015-09-01 21:47
The Icelandic government says it is now looking into increasing its refugee quota More than 11,000 Icelanders have offered to take Syrian refugees into their homes, after their government said it would accept only 50 people this year. A Facebook event created Sunday by Icelandic author and professor Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir encouraged members of the public to call on the government to increase ...
More News »