John Kriesel says Boston bombing suspect "shouldn't have constitutional rights"

Categories: Law
john kriesel rect.jpg
Kriesel: "There needs to be special laws for punishment of sonofabitches like these two guys."
Former state representative and decorated war hero John Kriesel is known for being an outspoken gay rights advocate, but he's no liberal when it comes to national security.

SEE ALSO: Bob Koss, MNGOP Senate staffer, calls John Kriesel a "piece of shit" -- and gets fired

On Friday night, Kriesel got into a heated debate with some of his Twitter followers after he said captured Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev "shouldn't have constitutional rights" and doesn't "deserve due process."

Over the weekend, some Republican members of Congress called for Tsarnaev to be questioned prior to being read his Miranda rights. As the Washington Post writes, "A delay in issuing Miranda warnings is justified when suspected terrorists are captured in the United States, according to a 2010 memorandum from the Justice Department." Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, actually wants the Obama administration to classify Tsarnaev as an "enemy combatant." That designation would allow officials to question Tsarnaev indefinitely before any charges are pressed.

Of course, others, including Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald, argue "the general concept that long-standing rights should be eroded in the name of Terrorism is indeed odious, and the specific attempt to abridge core constitutional liberties on US soil under that banner is self-evidently dangerous," to use Greenwald's words.

In any event, here's a sampling of tweets where Kriesel laid out his controversial view:









Tsarnaev, 19, is a naturalized American citizen, though in practice citizenship isn't sufficient to guarantee constitutional rights. For instance, in 2011, Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son were killed in Yemen by extrajudicial American drone stikes despite being American citizens.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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32 comments
josh019
josh019

I like Kriesel quite a bit, but he is way off base here. Its pretty obvious why, His ability to walk was taken by a terrorist in Iraq. I can identify (somewhat) - I was hit by a drunk driver and have had many physical and mental issues since my accident and I now hate people that drive drunk... its a good thing I am not a judge in your next DWI case because right now I would throw the book at you!   The point being that this is the reason the constitution is in place, so the emotions of the masses do not dictate policy.  The sites of the carnage shown on TV and the emotional side with the kid that died are very compelling reasons to just say no trial, no rights... "Kill them bastards now." But what if they didnt do it? What if we take these clowns' rights away and the precedent is set that this is okay and the next president strongly feels that pot dealers, anti-war protesters or even christians are terrorists?  That is why they are called slippery slopes!

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

Democrats don't believe in constitution rights.   Well, at least when it doesn't apply to them or their needs...

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

Wait what?  He is a citizen and a product of the public school system.  In fact, I don't think he face the death penalty.  Let the citizens of Massachusetts pay for his life imprisonment, as they on a state level, believe the death penalty is "inhumane".   

Besides people, what the hell do you expect?  We teach people to despise America, and all it stands for, from a very young age.   We don't assimilate, we purposely segregate.  Check the right box, and there is a special government program for you!  

dieteman
dieteman

chechens are one of the most backward and primitive races on earth, barely above papua new guineans... he may be a U.S. citizen on paper, but he would have to assimilate for this to carry any legal weight. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Just as these A-holes pick and choose which parts of the Bible they're going to follow and which parts they'll ignore, they do the same for the Constitution. Don't mess with that 2nd Amendment, but the rest...meh.

helmmatthews
helmmatthews

What if you arrest someone who turns out to not be a terrorist? We can't pick and choose who gets constitutional rights. Way too dangerous a precedent. Fortunately, even THIS Supreme Court agrees.

Kevin Lane
Kevin Lane

" Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Jenna Waldrop
Jenna Waldrop

Just proves how dumb the government is, a man who bombed a city didn't get read his rights so might not have action taken against him? Doesn't make sense, yet people aren't read their rights every day and still get charged with stuff and/or mishandled by the police.

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

Technically, Richard Jewell was a "terrorist," when he was accused by incompetent law enforcement and panicky mass media of perpetrating the Atlanta Olympics bombing. In point of fact: he was innocent and there was no reason to even suspect him. Yet in John Kriesel's world, Mr Jewell should have been arrested and condemned and perhaps executed without all the trouble of evidence, trial by jury, all that dull stuff.

Tom Brennan
Tom Brennan

Just because you carry US citizenship does not mean you are exempt from unlaw combatant status, case in point Ex Parte Quirin. All the government is required to do is show cause for the designation.

Ben Weidt
Ben Weidt

Guilty until proven innocent, I guess.

David Gustafson
David Gustafson

If he wants to surrender his rights first, I'll listen to his argument.

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

I'm as furious as the next person over these senseless acts and I agree that this kid should never see the light of day again.  However, he is a US citizen and as such he is protected by a little thing called the US Constitution.  It is absurd that we are even having these types of conversations.  How can you claim to love America in one sentence and advocate circumventing the Constitution in another?  Due process...another cornerstone of America, like basic human rights, that seems to be up for debate by the terrified masses these days.  I for one am ashamed that we are even having these types of conversations.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

everyone gets due proccess in america...

Damian Amberg
Damian Amberg

I agree with him. Terrorists do what they do to us knowing they will be 'safe' if caught, and if they die, they get martyrdom. How do we get information to save innocent lives if they feel protected. Let them squirm a bit and let us get the information without torture and then let the courts decide what to do with them after that.

Brad Bergerson
Brad Bergerson

That is why they are called Rights and not Needs.

green23
green23 topcommenter

"If you're a terrorist" you shouldn't have Constitutional rights, says Kriesel.  

That's nice and  simple, isn't it? But how do you know *if* someone is a terrorist in the first place? Isn't a person innocent until proven guilty? Do we just trust the government enough to designate people as a terrorist without having to prove their case? Remember, this is the same government that the Right is shitting their pants over with drones and gun confiscation. 

This *particular* case may seem open-and-shut, but Kriesel's remarks don't limit themselves to this particular case. He's stating his opinion as some kind of universal, self-evident principle. 

Those on the Right should be particularly cautious about going down this road. Any day now, some wingnut (or group of wingnuts) could do something as bad (or worse) than the Boston bombing. How comfortable are you with trusting the federal government to determine if you are a "terrorist" or not? Maybe you said some ill-considered things, maybe you have guns, maybe you have associations with people who have a lot of crazy stuff going that you know nothing about. So, now you're a terrorist, and you have no rights. Nobody needs to prove anything, because they already 'know'. You don't get an attorney. You can be questioned for days on end until you'd admit that you were the Pope or Sammy Davis Jr. And, you end up 'admitting' that you are a terrorist. See? The government was right all along. The System works, and you lose.


Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

@wanews You are a dumb fuck.  You're statement makes so little sense that it doesn't deserve a rebuttal.  I believe social mores actually dictate that you be referred to as dumb fuck.  

keny1
keny1

@MNjoe But of course if the suspect were an angry Republican teabagger (like the Liberal media speculated right after the bombings), I could hear the Liberal war cry right now: "BURN HIM AT THE STAKE!!". 

green23
green23 topcommenter

@Jenna Waldrop  Miranda warnings aren't some kind of magical incantation, you know. And nobody is talking about not prosecuting him because of Miranda. Don't know where you got that, really. 

What it all means is that the guy does not get due process. He does not get a speedy trial. He is not protected against self-incrimination. He is not allowed an attorney, nor is he allowed a jury trial. 

He may get those things at some point, but only because the government is being "nice" to him; not because of any rights that he has.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Jenna Waldrop You watch too much TV.

helmmatthews
helmmatthews

@Tom Brennan Um, no. As a matter of fact the government chickened out before the Jose Padilla case was to go to the Supreme Court. The court is already on record as being against labeling people arrested domestically as "enemy combatants." And it really doesn't matter whether the person is a citizen or not. The constitution uses the word "person."

Drewey
Drewey topcommenter

@Tom Brennan That's kinda thin.  Only one was a US citizen the rest  were German citizens and we were at war with Germany.  The "American Experiment" is a difficult thing.  That is no more evident than when we are applying those rules to people who commit horrible atrocities.  This is America, just because it's hard doesn't mean we shouldn't do it.

green23
green23 topcommenter

@Damian Amberg "then let the courts decide what to do with them after that."

Yeah, genius. The "courts" are part of "due process", which involves those Constitutional rights that Kriesel says terrorists shouldn't have. 

Basically, you are *disagreeing* with Kriesel. You are just too dense to understand the issues involved.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@keny1 @MNjoe  Well, they are religous nuts, something your party calls "our base." Sounds like you have a hearing problem (or maybe a mental one) - I listen to AM 950 from Stephanie Miller though Thom Hartman and I heard no such war cry. Not even close - are you sure you weren't listening to Rush or Glen?   

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@keny1 @MNjoe Well, that's 100+ to six - that's all you got? Also, I'd call that organization a much more unbiased source for facts that what comes out of your addled brain.  And you do know that the Sandy Hook shooter's mom was one of your right-wing survivalist whack-jobs? I highly doubt that kid even voted - what was he 20 years old if that? Anyway Keny,  you're just a hateful troll that enjoys bringing your warped politics into everything. I wonder if your mom damaged you somehow as well? Something obviously traumatic happened to you at some point to cause such brain damage.  Pretty sad.

keny1
keny1

@MNjoe @keny1 LOL! Oh yes, and all just KNOW that the Southern Povery Law Center is a COMPLETELY unbiased source for facts. LOL! 

keny1
keny1

@MNjoe Oh really.............how about this:

1. Ft. Hood Shooter: Registered Democrat/Muslim and Obama voter (Obama called his actions "Workplace Violence).

2. Columbine: The shooters were too young to vote, but both of their families were registered Democrats and "Progressive" Liberals.

3. Virginia Tech: Shooter was a Democrat and wrote hate mail to former President Bush Jr.

4. Aurora Theater: Shooter was a registered Democrat; staff member for the local Obama re-election campaign AND an OWS protester.

5. Sandy Hook: Shooter was a registered Democrat and hated Christians.

6. AND THIS JUST IN: Boston bomber/shooter admits that he and his brother committed their crimes because of their (Islamic) religion and hated American (Christian) culture. Most likely voted for Obama last election.

There ya' go, Sparky!

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