I read a lot of fussing back and forth about the Boston bombing suspect’s situation. Read/don’t read him his rights? It’s a serious thing, but silly at the same time.

He’s accused of a crime. Read him his rights. Then book him, or however that is done when a suspect is in the hospital. Politicians and pundits don’t get to make exceptions when the tide of passions are high. Above all, don’t do something silly that will harm the prosecution. The individual is a naturalized American citizen and as such, has rights, whether they are read to him or not. Or he’s given a piece of paper. In the 21st century, really: it’s not like everyone doesn’t know them already. Above all, there is no need to create a side show over this. The focus should be on bringing an alleged criminal to justice, preserving the common good, and mantaining the America way.

The ordeal is over, but people will start to question matters like why a whole metro area was in lockdown if the suspect was in Watertown all the time. Other questions about “pajama-investigators” stirring up suspicion on the innocent. All those discussions need to happen, and happen openly. These are good matters to hash out in the public sphere.

Professionals focus on their procedures in difficult times. They know you don’t rewrite the rulebook for casual reasons. Otherwise, who’s to say Wall Street bankers weren’t economic terrorists for bilking the nation’s investors out of hundreds of billions? Maybe they were too big to be read their rights.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Rights

  1. John McGrath says:

    Wall Street was not read its rights because everyone on Wall Street was “too big to jail.” Or arrest. Or investigate. Or treat too rudely. These guys deserve prosecution, but if not treated with lordly respect they could wreak even more havoc on the economy, especially of the liberal northeast, by shredding jobs. Everyone in the government feels held hostage by them.

    If Wall Street shrinks the version of meritocracy favored by the liberal and conservative elites in the northeast would collapse. That meritocracy requires getting into an Ivy League or Ivy equivalent college and getting a big job on Wall Street or in one of the consulting firms working for Wall Street. Example: Chelsea Clinton.

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