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The 'sound' of executions - audio from The Execution Tapes is an hour-long public radio special hosted by Ray Suarez featuring excerpts of recordings made in Georgia's death house during state electrocutions. You can find it here. Many thanks to the gentleman from Nova Scotia whose assistance to my site has been invaluable.
Sunday, 6 February 2005
Great News for Constitutionality
All kinds of good news from the Supreme Court which comes on the heels of the recent (bad) Hiibel decision (which allows the states to stop you and require you give your name-beyond the Terry Stop rules). There is the MISSOURI v. SEIBERT decision which said that the Miranda warning decision is still quite valid. Police must inform you of your rights to remain silent and that anything you say can and will be held against you. The 'work around' employed by police increasingly has been to question a person, then mirandize them, then question them again and then using the first interrogation to work the confession, information they are looking for. No no no said Justice Souter, joined by Justice Stevens, Justice Ginsburg, and Justice Breyer-with Justice Kennedy in concurrence. By saying no to this strategy, the police can no longer use it as a interrogation technique.
HAMDI et al. v. RUMSFELD,- Yaser Esam Hamdi, an American citizen was
in Afghanistan when Northern Alliance people caught him. When the US figured
out that he was American, he was taken to the US and has been in the Brig
for the duration. He had been labeled as a 'enemy combatant' which would
give him, according to the government, no rights at all and in fact this
designation would make him eligable to be kept in jail, without lawyers
and without contact -Indefinitely. Justice O’Connor, joined by The
Chief Justice, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Breyer, concluded that although
Congress authorized the detention of combatants in the narrow circumstances
alleged in this case, due process demands that a citizen held in the United
States as an enemy combatant be given a meaningful opportunity to contest
the factual basis for that detention before a neutral decisionmaker. The
court said that you can't just throw someone in a hole and forget about
them, theoretically, he gets his day in court. We know that it takes an
interminal amount of time to get your day in court even if there is no
question about your right to be there. This guy, perhaps a bad guy, has
spent that time in a cell and he is still in a cell. Logically, constitutionally,
by every idea of what is supposed to be good about America, you cannot
be tossed into a cell indefinitely, this brings to mind the horror stories
about the Man in the Iron Mask, -the sorts of things that happen in historically
distant times or in third world dictatorships. We could feel superior
in the knowledge that we are protected by a constitution and those idiots
in other countries weren't. Instead, we are forced to sit here for years
and hope that the Supreme Court does the right thing for the constitution
and the country.
RUMSFELD V. PADILLA- Let's see, oops guys, wrong district, please refile again.