May 4th, 2010
02:58 PM ET
12 years ago

Rubio: Miranda rights could hamper terror investigations

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio spoke out Tuesday against the Mirandization of Faisal Shahzad."]Washington (CNN) - Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio questioned Tuesday whether Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in Saturday's botched Times Square car bombing, should have been read his Miranda rights by officials following his arrest.

"If this individual has information that could help us prevent future attacks and loss of life, nothing should stand in the way of that, including Miranda," Rubio told reporters in Washington, where he was visiting for a series of finance-related events.

His remarks mirrored criticism by fellow Republicans like Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Rep. Pete King, R-New York, both of whom said Tuesday that law enforcement officials should have interrogated the suspect before reading him the rights.

Shahzad is an American citizen. FBI Deputy Director John Pistole said the suspect was questioned before and after having his Miranda rights read to him.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Shahzad admitted involvement in what authorities have now labeled an attempted terrorist attack.

Rubio argued that the priority for federal officials in terrorism cases should be intelligence gathering in order to prevent future attacks.

Asked if Shahzad should have been read his Miranda rights, Rubio answered: "It all depends on how they are going to try him."

"After 9/11, the primary goal of our war on terror has been to prevent future attacks, not just to punish terrorists, but to prevent future attacks," he said. "And part of the problem with Miranda is that it prevents you from accessing information."

Filed under: 2010 • Marco Rubio • Terrorism
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Dan

    As a US citizen, the constitution requires that he be read his Miranda Rights. Until that is changed – these people need to stop trying to make laws work only how they want them. Where was McCain when they read the shoestring bomber his Miranda Rights 5 minutes after his arrest? Not speaking out against it. Now, when he is in a tough campaign, and a Democrat is President, McCain speaks out against it? Smacks of Political Partisanship muckracking to me. Rubio – laws are laws – and they apply equally across the board to all citizens. You cannot pick and chose what laws you want to apply at different times. I think its time that these politicians be required to take courses on US Constitutional Law.

    May 4, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Scott Brown

    What a surprise, another Republican / Tea-Partier eager to discard Supreme Court-mandated rights in the name of methods that will not increase our security one bit. Shahzad is an American citizen, therefore must be read Miranda. Or does Rubio want Shahzad's future prosecution thrown out of court?

    May 4, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The only opinion I would seek from this pre-Madonna, wannabe diva is: WHERE DO THEY TAKE AMERICAN EXPRESS?

    Unitl I see his resume with extensive experience in District and Circuit courts he can keep his elgal opinions to himself.

    May 4, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. El Gordo

    Let us not throw out the baby with the bath water. Trial by torture is not the American way. If you think someone is guilty of something, you charge him. We don't know he is guilty until the court says he is guilty. Even American courts with all our safeguards frequently convict innocent men.

    Let us keep perspective. Terrorists have killed about 3500 American on American soil. Flu killed more than that last month. Americans kill many more Americans than terrorists – in bar fights, domestic disputes, drug deals, and anger over tenure decisions. More Americans die of aspirin complications every year than were killed by terrorists in 9/11. We could save more lives by enforcing seat belt laws or lowering the speed limit to 55 than by torturing terrorists.

    May 4, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Jim in San Mateo

    Just goes to show what idiots these are. American citizen, interrogation before Miranda Rights, means that any information obtained can be thrown out of court.

    Why do we get peabrains for candidates?

    May 4, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Steve

    Seriously? So when ANY American citizen is suspected of a terrorist plot they should lose their Miranda rights? That gets a bit scary. What if Rubio is "suspected" of a terrorist plot? WOuld he be okay if he lost his Miranda rights too. It scares me when officials feel it is okay to do away with certain freedoms and rights. I just hope I never get "suspected" because they would just throw me away without anyone ever knowing what happened to me.

    May 4, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. No Incumbents 2010

    Rubio wants to suspend the Constitution due to two undeclared wars and declare martial law. Rubio is a big-government neo-con supported by establishment big-government neo-cons.

    May 4, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. D. Bunker

    More un-American fearmongering from a typical un-American GOPbagger. The guy was read his rights and he kept talking. Our system of due process is robust enough to handle "terrorists" whenever and however we may may encounter them. Miranda warnings are a fundamental part of our American system of due process rights. Why does the GOP hate America?

    May 4, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Pete

    Sorry, Marco, but you don't get to rip up the Constitutional Right to Due Process of American Citizens because you are accusing them of a particularly heinous crime.

    Miranda doesn't "prevent the gathering of information". It simply allows American Citizens accused of crimes to remain silent during an interrogation, have access to a lawyer, and most importantly, be safe from being tortured by law enforcement officials.

    The guy picked up for this bombing is a naturalized US Citizen. Being brown-skinned and/or Muslim doesn't give the authorities a "get out of due process free" card.

    May 4, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. Bruce

    This guy is a manchurian candidate...he reads the daily talking points and say what the GOP estabishment wants him to say

    May 4, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Miranda rights guarantee that we don't go far with a suspect. It means that there is a level of civility and respect. If people fear that we don't have enough information, then they need to find other legal and civilized ways to get it.

    May 4, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Willy

    I like how the GOP shouts to the heavens about following the Constitution, except when cheap political points are to be scored. Shazad became an American citizen a year ago. He gets Miranda. We are a nation of laws.

    May 4, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Debbie

    Is this the best you can do?
    This statement has played out!

    May 4, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. tony

    This is a non-issue because he probably was read his Miranda rights. Not giving him his Miranda rights will make any evidence obtained from him after the arrest inadmissible. Police are not stupid. They did not go through all the troubles to catch this guy only to have the charges against him thrown out because they ignore a simple rule. Do the Republicans want this guy to go free because they want to ignore the Constitution whenever it is convenient for them?

    May 4, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Marion

    Oh boy, here we go again. Let me see if I can get this straight. Republicans objected to trials for those involved in 9/11 because they are not citizens. I could argue with that, but I'll go along for the sake of argument. Following their logic then, trials should be reserved for citizens. Well, guess what? Shahzad is a citizen. So, they can't object to putting him on trial. Therefore, the government has to follow established standards for evidence collection, and one of those is reading a suspect his rights. Don't do that, and the courts will almost certainly throw out anything he says as inadmissible. Do they want this guy to walk because of the cops not following procedure?

    Or do they not want him tried; just thrown in a military brig and brought before some kangaroo court? That'd be my guess, since their standards on how to handle suspects seem to change to reflect the events of the day and what they think will score them cheap political points.

    May 4, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Russ

    Rubio, you idiot, this was an American citizen. It's the freakin' law that he be read his Miranda rights. Bush and Cheney tried to rewrite the constitution and laws of the land for eight years. You Republicans that insist that laws were only made for when they are convenient, need to get a life and out of congress!!

    May 4, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. PaulC

    I wonder how many other civil/human rights Rubio thinks are a hinderance. Lets hope he doesn't get his hands on you.
    He learned a lot from his mentor, George W. Break out the rubber hose and make them talk......

    May 4, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  18. SY

    Rubio, stick with politics and keep your nose out of law enforcement. The experts know what they are doing. You are not an expert in terror.

    May 4, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. David

    ALL American citizens must be guaranteed our Miranda rights. Giving up our rights as citizens is a dangerous thing to be doing.

    Come on Tea Baggers, where are the complaints about losing your freedoms?

    May 4, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. jeremy..Big D..Tx

    Oh boy. Miranda rights is the of this land. Not unless you want to go against the law then individual rights or so called miranda rights must be read to all suspects. Respect our constitution mr Rubio.

    May 4, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Mindy

    I am quite sure I am going to be in the minority on this, but this man is an American citizen and should be read his Miranda rights. If, in the name of terrorism, we put aside the rights of American citizens then we are no better then the regimes that come into your home without any warning and without legitimate reasons and arrest you and cart you off to jail or prison. The charge of terrorism is now being used for everything and anything whether it is really terrorism or not... when in the past it would have been considered a prank or maye more severe but not neccessarly a terriots act ....and this Do not misunderstand me, I am not for terrorists, but I am for our basic rights as Americans and if we lose them what do we have?

    May 4, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. CK in SD

    Miranda rights hinder all investigations, who gets to decide what constitutes a "terror" investigation? This case is pretty cut and dry in whether they should read him is rights. a) he is a US citizen b) the crime was committed on US soil. That sounds like the constitution should apply.

    May 4, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. Tom

    Rubio is a comlplete fool. Anyone who runs for the US Senate and says that Rights shouldnt get in the way is unfit to serve. That is why we are the greatest country in the world, because of our rights and freedom.

    May 4, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. Citizen

    Utterly astonishing that a candidate for the US Senate should advocate the suspension of Constitution and revocation of due process for a US citizen who is a suspect in a crime. Who in their right mind would vote for this person? This is tantamount to advocating overthrow of the government. How can anyone believe that this person would uphold his oath of office?

    May 4, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  25. Tommy

    He's running on the platform of limiting rights accodred to all persons in the US as stated in the Constitution? Interesting....

    May 4, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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