Like everybody else, I was horrified when two bombs blew up at the Boston Marathon last week. I was encouraged by the swift response of the general public in sifting through all the available footage, and locating the probable perpetrators quickly. My belief that they might be the guilty ones was changed to near-certainty when, in attempting to avoid capture by the police, they used an explosive device made out of a pressure cooker, much like the one used at the finish line of the marathon. I was relieved when they said one of these murderers had died as he tried to kill more innocent people.
Like everybody else, I watched the footage as the Boston police (and others) searched for this man. But as I watched and listened to the news reports, something bothered me.
The media said that the police commanded every person in a twenty-block radius to stay indoors. The police then went house to house, forcing the “house-arrested” residents to get out while the police searched their home for the perpetrator. And this is the part that concerned me.
The fourth amendment to the constitution states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
This means that the government does not have the right to enter your house or search you, your house, or your possessions unless they have probable cause to search. On April 19th, 2013 the Boston police forced people from their homes, and searched their homes without warrants. I did not hear of one case of someone refusing, and I’m sure if anyone DID refuse, a warrant would have been issued fairly quickly. This does not change the fact that the government wanted something, and they simply took it, with no regard to the rights of the homeowners in Watertown, MA.
But I have two other questions that maybe someone out there can help me with:
1. Why is this man being tried in federal court? He is a United States citizen who committed murder on a city street in the city of Boston in the state of Massachusetts. He did not commit this murder on federal property, he did not cross state lines, or do any other thing that would move him into the jurisdiction of the federal government instead of the state government. Is it simply because it is a “high profile” case? In this case, why weren’t O.J. Simpson or Casey Anthony tried in federal court?
2. This man is charged with using “weapons of mass destruction.” How does killing three people and injuring dozens qualify as “mass destruction”? I thought the term “WMD” was reserved for chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. If pipe bombs qualify (IED, whatever you want to call it), then there WERE WMD’s aplenty in Iraq, thank you very much, liberals!
Don’t get me wrong: I am glad they found the perpetrator, and that he will be brought to justice. What concerns me is the manner in which he was apprehended. I can foresee a time when the government uses similar tactics to apprehend, arrest, and try someone who simply disagrees with them. What if a group of people felt that the government was not serving in the best interests of the nation, and the government needed to be forcibly changed? This is what our founding fathers did. In today’s world, the founding fathers would be hunted down, shot, or killed by the very government they founded.