Intelligence chairman says Miranda warning was a mistake

The Hill:
The head of the House Intelligence panel is worried the Justice Department may have jeopardized the public’s safety by allowing a federal judge to read the Boston bombing suspect his Miranda rights before fully interrogating him.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) is demanding answers from Attorney General Eric Holder on why the DOJ allowed a magistrate judge to inform Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of his Miranda rights while the FBI was in the midst of interrogating him earlier this week.

“We can’t have, in a case like this, the judiciary deciding, because it’s on TV and it might look bad for them … that they were going to somehow intercede in this,” Rogers, a former FBI agent, said in an interview with MSNBC.

“It’s confusing, it is horrible, [a] God-awful policy, and dangerous to the greater community,” he said. “And we have got to get to the bottom of this, and we’ve got to fix it right now.”

Congress has long been divided over the highly charged issue of when, and whether, it is appropriate to read a terrorism suspect their Miranda rights after they’ve been captured in the United States.

Many lawmakers worry that crucial intelligence about future attacks can be lost if suspects are told of their rights too soon and realize what they tell interrogators can be used against them in a court of law.

Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler for the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts gave the Miranda warning to Tsarnaev on Monday after the DOJ officially charged the Chechen-born 19-year-old while he was in a hospital bed recovering from wounds suffered during a shootout with police last week.

Officials interrogated Tsarnaev for 16 hours before the magistrate judge read him his Miranda rights, and then he promptly stopped talking, according to Rogers. He has since been assigned a lawyer, but authorities were not finished gleaning information from him, Rogers said.

I think Rogers is right.  Valuable intelligence in a timely manner was probably loss by the premature reading of the Miranda rights.


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