July 31, 2010 / by emptywheel


Adam Schiff Advocates Gutting Miranda

Adam Schiff–a CA Democrat (!)–just filed a bill aiming to not only give prosecutors 4 days to question “terror suspects” before bringing them to court, but also expressing the will of Congress to let them delay Mirandizing suspects “as long as is necessary.”

The bill filed Thursday by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) would change federal law by creating a procedure to question a suspected terrorist for up to four days before taking him or her to court without jeopardizing prosecutors’ ability to use statements made by a suspect during that time.

It would also express Congress’s view that authorities can delay reading Miranda warnings “for as long as is necessary” to elicit intelligence from a terror suspect.

I had a whole range of thoughts as I read this. I reminded myself that the time frame Schiff would allow prosecutors to hold people without bringing them to court is just slightly longer than the amount of time our country claims we can legally sleep deprive someone (remember, the reason we delayed bringing Faisal Shahzad to court was because we needed him available 24/7). I’m intrigued by the timing–not long before an election that the White House has said could result in Dems losing the House (and with it, John Conyers and Jerry Nadler losing their Committee and Subcommittee gavels).

But I’m also interested by what Schiff didn’t include in his bill: Any limitation on this to those who present a national security risk (as the hawkish Ben Wittes notes in a quote in the story). So can an environmental activist lose Miranda rights under this bill? Can Quakers?

Copyright © 2010 emptywheel. All rights reserved.
Originally Posted @ https://www.emptywheel.net/2010/07/31/adam-schiff-advocates-gutting-miranda/