Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Re Michael Grunwald

There are two threads of though that seem to be missing from the current debate. One is the fact that private actors if they act in concert can be just as threatening to freedom as government. Though I can pee in a cup, free from fear, the fact that I need to even think of such things if I want to fully participate in society is a serious erosion of Freedom. If Government forbids employers from asking me for my Facebook password, then it's pretty clear that the government is DEFENDING my Freedom against Private sector infringement.
The second thing that seems to be severely misunderstood is Miranda. The point of Miranda is to prevent Police from beating confessions out of suspects who may or may not be guilty. It doesn't even prevent police from beating confessions out of people. It just stipulates, that if they do so, they can't use those confessions in court. 
It's a very important right to preserve for obvious reasons, but it the idea that we can't question someone without reading his rights, when we already have more than enough evidence to convict WITHOUT his statements, is to blow the problem up out of proportion. Miranda is an  important right to defend. This is not a good case on which to hang your defense.