War on Terror

New Policy: No Miranda Rights for Terror Suspects

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A published report says the Obama Administration has a new policy that allows investigators not to read Miranda warnings to domestic-terror suspects, even when there is not an "immediate threat."

The Raw Story quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal which said it obtained a memo from the FBI. The memo reportedly said that in "exceptional cases," investigators can hold suspects without informing them of their rights.

A 1966 Supreme Court ruling created Miranda Rights, which said police must tell suspects of their right to remain silent and have an attorney present during questioning.

A 1984 ruling gave police the right to question a suspect for a limited time without the Miranda warning if there was an "immediate threat" to public safety. It is this ruling that law enforcement uses to question domestic-terror suspects without reading them their rights.

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But the new policy takes that one step further, allow investigators to question suspects if they  "conclude that continued unwarned interrogation is necessary to collect valuable and timely intelligence not related to any immediate threat."

Miranda is a constitutional rule, not an interrogation policy. It is important to remember that no change in FBI interrogation policy can alter the constitutional imperative that information gained without Miranda warnings is inadmissible against a defendant in a court of law where no public safety exception exists. This principle is fundamental to the American system of justice.