Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Question About The Boston Bombing Case For Small Government Conservatives

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing,is being charged with charged with ""using a weapon of mass destruction that resulted in three deaths and more than 170 injuries." In addition to the three deaths caused by the bombs, Tsarnaev is alleged to have killed a Boston police officer.  Tsarnaev has indicated that he and his brother acted alone. Why, then, is he facing federal charges when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts could simply charge him with murder and destruction of property? .

So far some leading Republican or conservative voices have used the bombing to demand that the Tsarnaev be sent to Gitmo.
"You can't hold every person who commits a terrorist attack as an enemy combatant, I agree with that," Mr. Graham said. "But you have a right, with his radical Islamist ties and the fact that Chechens are all over the world fighting with Al Qaeda -- I think you have a reasonable belief to go down that road, and it would be a big mistake not to go down that road. If we didn't hold him for intelligence-gathering purposes, that would be unconscionable."
Mr. Graham said 30 days of confinement and interrogation as an enemy combatant would be an appropriate amount of time to allow the government to look for evidence that would justify his continued detention under the law of war. He also said he believed that federal judges would grant the government that amount of leeway.
Others want to slow the process on immigration reform:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has been a vocal supporter of immigration reform but Monday called on Senate leaders to hold off until lawmakers know if system failures played a role in aiding the two foreign-born brothers accused of planting the deadly bombs.
Timothy McVeigh bombed a federal building, so the federal government prosecution was justified. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, mailed some of his bombs, so federal involvement was necessary. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the underwear bomber, acted on a plane; once again federal jurisdiction was warranted.

This attack, however, was in a state against citizens of that state. The attack did not use the mail nor did it target a federal property. The state has no history of ignoring crimes against its citizens. The state prosecutes murderers successfully. It, therefore, seems odd that folks who frequently complain that the 10th amendment is being usurped are quiet about the federal government taking over what clearly seems to be a state case.

3 comments:

Troy Jones said...

The killed and maimed were not all MA citizens. The Marathon is an event that transcends boundaries.

The motives of the bombers relate to national defense intersts vs. individual serve and protect matters.

Kal Lis said...

I thought I had responded earlier. I must not have hit submit.

I don't know about the death of a foreign national, but I'm pretty sure that if I were murdered at a Cornhuskers game, the Nebraska police and prosecutors would handle the case.

The surviving bomber is a U.S. citizen and asserts he and his brother acted alone. There doesn't seem to be any evidence to the contrary.

These seems to be a situation of the Federal government being too cute by half. The state can get a murder conviction without working up a sweat. Federal involvement seems unnecessary.

By the way, I noticed that you are living up to Franklin's injunction about being early to rise. I hope the posts don't give you indigestion so that you can't read them at night.

Troy said...

Some nights are restful, some are not. But in general I'm up by 5 a.m. at the latest.

Two considerations:

1) I think the use of a bomb to kill people falls can be a federal offense, post-McVeigh. Don't know for sure.

2) More importantly, there is suspicion there was foreign influence. Until investigated we don't know what the evidence is, the jurisdiction is possibly unclear.