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48 New Eng. L. Rev. On Remand 1 (2013-2014)

handle is hein.journals/remand48 and id is 1 raw text is: A Different Perspective on the Boston
The Watertown, Massachusetts, standoff in April 2013, which led to
the arrest of one alleged Boston Marathon bomber and the death of
the other, is still fresh in the nation's collective mind. The suspects'
confrontation with law enforcement personnel and the subsequent
manhunt resulted in the lockdown of a large part of the Boston
metropolitan area.1 Commentators, legal and otherwise, have been quick to
worry that just a couple of suspected terrorists were capable of creating so
much trepidation that they brought a major city to a standstill. These
commentators express concern about the troubling legal implications of the
government's response, the huge economic costs of the shutdown, and the
public policy precedents for dealing with terrorism in the future.
I believe these commentators have viewed the lockdown incorrectly.
Government officials' reason for locking down Boston and the surrounding
area was not the dangerousness of the situation. Rather, officials were very
close to capturing the remaining suspect, and shutting down the city
greatly improved the chances of doing so. Commentators' fears about the
ramifications of the lockdown are unjustified when one considers the
actual facts of the situation. We need a different lens for analyzing these
events, one that rightly casts the government's actions in a more positive
light and might even send a stronger message to would-be terrorists.
M.P.P. and M.B.A. Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School; A.B.,
Harvard College; M.Sc., University of Oxford. Thanks to Kyra Wilson Cook, Alex Potapov,
and Ina Subulica for their helpful comments.
1 See Mark Clayton, Marathon Bombing: Manhunt has Boston Under Lockdozon. How Long
Can    it    Last?,  CHRISTIAN    SCI.   MONITOR     (Apr.   19,    2013),
lockdown.-How-long-can-it-last (identifying the Boston-area neighborhoods that were asked
to shelter-in-place).


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