Abdulmutallab’s Pre-Miranda Statements Ruled Admissible in Court

Despite not being told of his right to remain silent, and perhaps being drugged at the time, his statements will be used in court

The federal judge in the trial of terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – the underwear bomber – decided Thursday to allow prosecutors to use incriminating statements made by him before he was informed of his rights.

Abdulmutallab was not told his Miranda rights when interrogators questioned him following his attempted terrorist attack in an airliner flying over Detroit. He was also given the pain killing drug Fentanyl on account of the burns he received attempting to detonate the bomb, which can create a “high,” according to the nurses who aided him.

The fact that he was not mirandized and may has been inebrieated have lent added weight to his defense attorney’s request that those initial statements not be used against him in court. In normal criminal prosecutions, individuals’  statements before they have been informed of their rights are not admissible.

The prosecution has argued, and the judge eventually agreed that Miranda rights don’t apply in cases an immediate related follow up attack is still a potentiality. But this sets a bad precedent going forward in terms of affording full rights to terrorism cases. A pending piece of legislation, for example, would shift cases like Abdulmutallab’s into military courts and procedures, where the rights of the accused are not complete.

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.