Contrast how new legal elements have transformed the rights of suspects established in Miranda v. Arizona with provisions in the Patriot Act.  

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I certainly think that if one were looking for justifications as to why modern legislation has transformed the rights of suspects fromMirandato now, the Patriot Act's justification in fighting "the war on terror" becomes part of this framework.  In theMirandaCase, there was an extreme emphasis in stressing that due process and the legal framework was entitled to be followed by authorities in preserving the rights of the accused.  In The Patriot Act, the emphasis changed to argue that the elusive and amorphous nature of the "war on terror" required the term "suspects" to be viewed differently.  The language in the Patriot Act moved individuals from "suspects" to "detainees" and "enemy combatants."  The legislation made the argument that such individuals were immediate threats and in order to avoid another event such as the attacks of September 11, reworking the legal structure to ensure that these individuals, these suspects' rights has to be suspended in order to prevent any possible activation of terrorist activities.  In this shift, the rights of the accused became seen as a threat to national security, enabling prosecution and the government to detain individuals suspected indefinitely.  The transformation fromMirandato the Patriot Act was accomplished through the invocation of the "war on terror" and using that to change the language of "suspects" to "enemy combatants," supposedly making such a shift permissible under the law.

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