Opinion

Commentary: Miranda rule deserves debate, not know-it-all politicians

One of the most disappointing things about the Congress of the United States is that many of the members seem to have already formed opinions on every subject under the sun.

That is the case with Attorney General Eric Holder's suggestion that Congress and the administration work together to see if further exceptions should be made to the Miranda rule as it applies to suspected terrorists.

Rather than being open to discussion of an important subject, some members are already hectoring Holder for raising the issue.

Must it always be this way?

Are our national legislators really so bright that the public is expected to take their personal conclusions as gospel?

This is a serious matter, this discussion about the rights of terrorist suspects.

Ours is a country at risk from organized fanatics.

Yet to the dullest among us, every question too often is about the next election.

Some leeway is already provided in a 1984 Supreme Court decision that allowed statements by defendants made before they were read the Miranda warnings to be admitted at trial when public safety was threatened.

Attorney General Holder has said that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, accused of being the thwarted "underpants bomber," was questioned for almost an hour without having his rights read to him, according to The New York Times.

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