Professor Amann Discusses Terrorism and Miranda on WNYC
Professor Diane Marie Amann was part of a New York Public Radio discussion on whether Miranda rights should be limited in response to threats posed by terrorism. The "Leonard Lopate" news talk program on WNYC addressed statements made by Attorney General Eric Holder that the Obama administration intends to work with Congress to limit the scope of warnings given to terrorism interrogees.
In response to Lopate's comment that Holder had said the administration would "tweak" the use of Miranda v. Arizona (U.S. Supreme Court, 1966) in terrorism cases, Professor Amann noted that Miranda had a constitutional dimension, and that it was "perhaps a little cavalier" to suggest the "tweaking" of a constitutional rule.
Professor Amann also said that the idea that terrorism presents a new kind of threat is "profoundly ahistorical," pointing out that the U.S. legal system has dealt successfully with terrorism cases since the 1970s. "All of those cases have been handled under the existing rules in federal criminal courts," she said, adding that convicted individuals typically serve very long prison sentences. "We as members of the public need to think long and hard about whether we are in a new period that requires new curtailments of liberties."
Diane Marie Amann, Professor of Law and Director of the California International Law Center at King Hall, UC Davis School of Law, has published widely on national security law since the attacks of September 11, 2001.