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Constitutional Rights Trials And Tribunals

Written by | January 25th, 2010


In The United States, many of us are very concerned with the current administration’s policy of reading rights to known, and captured terrorists … 

While, I am not a constitutional scholar, it does not take much expertise to look up the origin of Miranda Rights… In this 1966, landmark decision, The Supreme Court decided (Chief Justice Earl Warren’s Opinion), “no confession could be admissible under The Fifth Amendment self-incrimination clause, and The Sixth Amendment right to an attorney, unless a suspect had been made aware of his or her rights.” 

Here are a few points worth considering:

Just because The Supreme Court made this decision, there is still no mention of mirandizing, or of reading arrested criminals these so-called rights, in The Constitution; therefore, does that make it a constitutional right? 

The Fifth Amendment states these words:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury,…” 

Does anyone see where The Fifth Amendment states, suspected criminals, let alone terrorists, “have the right to remain silent, and that anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law”?  Clearly, it says, “no person shall be held unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury.” I’m also confused as to why that clause has been named, the self-incrimination clause? And somehow, in a court of law, you can plead The Fifth Amendment, and again, evoke this so-called right to remain silent? I’m not so sure this was the intents of our founders. 


The Fifth Amendment continues on to say this:

“…except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;…” 

Which confirms, constitutionally, law enforcement, and/or the military, in times of war, or public danger, are allowed to hold detainees for an unspecified amount of time, prior to being given a trial, as directed by The Constitution. Call me crazy, but if a man/terrorist was barely stopped from blowing up 300 people, on an United States airliner,  I would consider that a public danger; and I would want to know, if, in fact, this is an isolated incident, or if this person has any valuable information in regards to imminent attacks. Even without arguing the validity of the Supreme Court’s (1966) decision, it is fairly clear to me, if the public is in danger, these writs, are legitimately, and legally, able to be “suspended” by our Federal Constitution. And again, I will go back to asking, is reading a person these so-called Miranda rights, the same as constitutional rights? 

I could leave it at that, however, it may be worth noting, The Sixth Amendment does say this:

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial,…” 

And once again, look at the words closely, all “criminal prosecutions,” the accused shall enjoy a speedy, and “public trial.” 

My conclusion is, if the accused is detained, and feared to be a danger to the public, then their rights (under The Sixth Amendment) to a speedy, and public trial, can be suspended, under The Fifth Amendment. It appears to be perfectly legal under The United States Constitution. 


We continually hear, why isn’t The President creating military tribunals, so we can try these captured terrorists, before our military, and without the complications of the typical court system? After reading over The Constitution, and to my surprise, The President was NEVER granted this authority… In Article 1, Section 8  of  The Constitution, these words… “To constitute tribunals inferior to The Supreme Court,” are listed under the powers of Congress. In The Constitution, our founders only created The Supreme Court; all other, inferior courts, were left to Congress to create. 

Again, I am not a constitutional expert, nor am I a constitutional lawyer… I am, however, a citizen that is deeply concerned about the direction that our country is headed in. Therefore, if you feel, any of these arguments are valid; by all means, please ask these questions to the people who are truly, and professionally, equipped to further investigate the truth. In my humble opinion, and interpretation, I will say, it looks like Congress needs to take a bigger role, in our national security; and not leave these national security decisions, solely to The (Executive Branch) President.

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