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May 22, 2013

Letter: Time to end a terror 'trial by media'

To the editor:

Mr. Mahieu referred to my letter, “Judge made right call on suspect’s rights” (the Times, Monday April, 29) and suggested I omitted some comments I now state.

In the Declaration of Independence, it says we have “certain unalienable rights.”

Unalienable rights are not to be given or taken away. These rights immediately apply to all citizens of this country. Ideally, they are universal rights for all everywhere.

He cited two irrelevant examples showing hasty implementations of our laws, one during a formal state of war, and the other in the panic years of the late 1940s and 50s. We executed people who could have been safely held in legal detention. There was no justification for their swift executions; they were no longer a threat to anyone.

Mr. Mahieu asserted we would never know the sources of information for the brothers. Now that the computer of the younger brother has been recovered, we might learn his sources while respecting his rights, Miranda warning included.

There seems to be confusion about the right of a defendant to a speedy trial to prevent indeterminate pretrial incarceration and a trial quickly brought against a defendant.

I see no evidence of a weakened Department of Justice. The whole investigation by all the various cooperating agencies is healthy, vital, and thorough.

Mr. Tsarneav is an American citizen and his family did not emigrate here from Russia; Mr. Mahieu’s call for deportation “back to Russia” fails twice.

The far too casual use of the word “terrorism” seems to be causing some people to go all wobbly. I do not demean the degree of tragedy caused by the bombs, but if 2 AR-15s with multiple high capacity magazines had been used, hundreds of people could have been slaughtered in the same length of time between the two explosions. This criminal action should be handled as a felony by the police forces and appropriate judicial branch.

There was an insinuation by Mr. Mahieu about what would suit me. I’ll make it easy for him and possible cohorts to understand what suits me.

What suits me is a full respect of all rights of the accused, a cessation of the fear mongering by demagogues, and the ongoing “trial by media.”

ARTHUR THOMAS

Gloucester

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