Rand Paul OK with Drone Killing Suspects of Crime

April 23rd, 2013

A few days ago I queried whether the state could have used a drone to kill Tsarnaev, and wondered what Rand Paul would think. Now we know.

Apparently, Rand Paul is okay with a drone killing a suspect on the loose:

“Here’s the distinction, I have never argued against any technology being used against having an imminent threat an act of crime going on,” Paul said. “If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash I don’t care if a Drone kills him or a policeman kills him, but it’s different if they want to come fly over your hot tube, or your yard just because they want to do surveillance on everyone, and they want to watch your activities.”

Due process, schmue process. This is very disappointing from Paul. Too bad Rand doesn’t stand with Rand.

Update: I think I have have misunderstood the import of Rand’s comment, as pointed out by several helpful commenters. To the extent that an officer on the ground would be justified in using lethal force against an imminent threat, I don’t know that there is any constitutional difference than a drone doing the killing. Though, the policy implications seem somewhat different. An officer on the ground would himself be at risk. The drone is safe and sound in the sky. But the objections are sound. Let me give this some more thought. A practical difference is that a bullet from an officer, or sniper, can be used  in a nonlethal manner (unlikely). Can a hellfire missile be used in a nonlethal way?