GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

April 29, 2013

Letter: Judge made right call on suspect's 'rights'


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made an initial appearance in court in his hospital room last Monday before Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, according to a court filing of notes taken at the proceeding.

She advised him of his rights as well as the charges. He was informed about his Miranda Rights in a level of English that anyone with at least a sixth grade education would understand — not only in words but also with explanations of the meaning of those words.

A couple of U.S. senators would have preferred a legal chicanery that would have effectively deprived Tsarnaev of his rights. Others have been howling for his transportation to America’s place of shame, Guantanamo Bay. Online comments on various sites have not been as charitable.

It is so easy to be mean. It is so easy to misunderstand the purposes of our laws. It is so easy to convict without considering evidence. It is so easy to not make these errors.

There are reasons to think that the Tsarnaev brothers were culpable, but with the erroneous reports coming from Glenn Beck from “Gold and Avarice,” John King currently of CNN, and The New York Post, why should we?

What does it say about some people that they only want to hear or read what confirms their suspicions? For those who ask “why?” the action of the magistrate judge says we treasure the rights of all people equally; all deserve equal protection within all our laws and by all our the laws no matter what emotional reactions we have pro or con.

No one can say with certainty that the rights we take for granted today won’t be written out of existence tomorrow. No one can say with certainty that errors might not have occurred.

Franklin once said, “Either we all hang together or we all hang separately.” If you understand, thank a teacher — soon. If not, apologize to all of them.

ARTHUR THOMAS

Gloucester