Obama To Seek Miranda Rights Exception For Terrorism Cases


The Obama administration will seek a law allowing investigators to interrogate terrorism suspects without informing them of their rights, the New York Times reports. Attorney General Eric Holder proposed carving out a broad new exception to the Miranda rights established in a 1966 Supreme Court ruling. It generally forbids prosecutors from using as evidence statements made before suspects have been warned that they have a right to remain silent and to consult a lawyer.

He said interrogators needed greater flexibility to question terrorism suspects than is provided by existing exceptions. The proposal to ask Congress to loosen the Miranda rule comes against the backdrop of criticism by Republicans who have argued that terrorism suspects – including U.S. citizens like Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the Times Square bombing case – should be imprisoned and interrogated as military detainees, rather than handled as ordinary criminal defendants. For months, the administration has defended the criminal justice system as strong enough to handle terrorism cases. Holder acknowledged the abrupt shift of tone, characterizing the administration's stance as a “new priority” and “big news” on NBC's “Meet the Press.”

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