This was going to be a post called “Only a Dumbass Would Bomb A Marathon.”  I was going to talk about how, even though it may not sell to the general public, nearly every person arrested for a crime has a reason they did what they did (if they did it).  It may not be a reason that makes sense to you, but it is their reason.  The crime is a means to their end- whatever end that may be.  And, despite that, there really is no end for which bombing a marathon could be the means.  Only a total dumbass would bomb a marathon.

I was told not to go there. So it’s not going to be a post about dumbasses and bombings.

It should be a post about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his Miranda rights, or lack thereof.  Everybody is talking about that.  “Everybody” doesn’t really understand Miranda, but that doesn’t stop “everybody” from having an opinion.  People are saying it’s not fair.

This isn’t about that, either. It’s hard to talk about something like his Miranda rights when the justice department came out and told me that his Miranda rights don’t exist.  I know that they eventually did read him is rights.  Eventually reading somebody their rights is like not reading the rights at all, though.  Once somebody’s already confessed, there’s no way they’re not going to tell you what they already told you. It’s for this reason that interrogating somebody, reading them their rights, and then interrogating them again is disfavored. By the courts- but certainly not the cops.

So we won’t discuss that which effectively does not happen.

Instead, this is a post about John Wayne Gacy.  You remember him, right?  Gacy killed six-times as many people as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  He screwed with police for some time before finally getting arrested, too.  Then they read him his rights.  Then he confessed (or, as he said, “cleared the air.”)  He was tried, convicted and executed.  Nobody is saying Gacy’s interrogation and trial weren’t fair.  Mostly because they read him his rights.

Gacy is probably a bad example, though.  He murdered dozens of people in a more innocent time.  A time before we had homegrown terrorists.  So, forget I mentioned him.

Instead, this will be a post about Timothy McVeigh.  You remember him, right?  He murdered 50 times as many people as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and even used bombs, too.  Took the cops a few days to catch him, as well.  You know what they did when they caught him?  They read him his Miranda rights.  Then he confessed- they almost always do when they’re proud of what they did.  Then they tried him, convicted him, and executed him.  Nobody is saying McVeigh’s interrogation and trial weren’t fair.

McVeigh is probably a bad example, too.  He also killed people in a more innocent time, I guess.  He killed people at a time when our homegrown terrorists where really more right-wing radicals and militia supporters than potential Taliban.  For whatever reason, people born here, raised here, and trained to kill here aren’t as scary.

So, instead this will be a post about Colin Ferguson.  You remember him, right?  He boarded the Long Island Rail Road and started shooting people.  He killed more people than Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, too.  Like Dzhokhar, he moved here from a foreign country.  Like Gacy and McVeigh, he talked to the cops.  He took it a step further, though- he even tried to suppress (or, toss out) the things he said to the cops.

That didn’t work though.  Do you know why?  Because they read that mass-murderer his Miranda rights as soon as they started interrogating him.  They used his statements against him.  He was tried and convicted, and will spend the rest of his life in prison.  There is no outcry that his confession wasn’t fair.

This isn’t really about Colin Ferguson either, though. It’s about me.  It’s about my rights.  Somehow, despite the words of the constitution or the words of the Miranda decision having not changed one bit since the time of Gacy, McVeigh, or Ferguson, our rights have.  If the Feds think you are a terrorist and the Feds decide that the Feds think that the Feds don’t want you to have your Miranda rights, then the Feds say the Feds don’t have to read them to you.

Rights mean nothing if we’re not going to afford them to the people we don’t want to have them.  Even if those people are terrorists.

Shortly after the September 11th tragedies we heard a lot of the government telling us that “if we don’t do this” or “if we do that” then the terrorists win.  Twelve years later your rights have shrunk if the Feds decide the Feds shouldn’t afford you all of your rights.

The Feds didn’t read Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights when they should have.  They might not read you yours, either. As a result of the terrorist attacks on the U.S., you now have less rights. Maybe the terrorists have won.

Matt Haiduk is a very disappointed Criminal Defense Lawyer with offices in Kane County and McHenry County, Illinois.  Feel free to add him on Google+.