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July 29, 2014

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Bomb suspect in serious condition; ACLU targets Miranda rights

Image

Police guard the entrance to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Saturday, April 20, 2013, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old Massachusetts college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings, is being treated. Tsarnaev is hospitalized in serious condition with unspecified injuries after he was captured in an all day manhunt the day before. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Boston One Day After the Capture

Investigators work near the location, on Saturday, April 20, 2013, in Watertown, Mass., where the previous night a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings was arrested. Police captured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect, in a backyard boat after a wild car chase and gun battle earlier in the day left his older brother dead. (AP Photo/Katie Zezima) Launch slideshow »

Boston Manhunt

A crowd gathers at Boston Common after the final suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing was arrested, Friday, April 19, 2013, in Boston. Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured in Watertown, Mass. Launch slideshow »

Boston Marathon Explosion

In this Monday, April 15, 2013 photo, Boston Firefighter James Plourde carries an injured girl away from the scene after a bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston. The FBI's investigation into the bombings at the Boston Marathon was in full swing Tuesday, with authorities serving a warrant on a suburban Boston home and appealing for any private video, audio and still images of the blasts that killed at least three and wounded more than 170. Launch slideshow »

BOSTON — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lay hospitalized in serious condition under heavy guard Saturday as people around the city breathed easier and investigators tried to piece together the who and why of the deadly plot.

Tsarnaev, 19, was reported to be in no condition to be interrogated the morning after he was pulled, wounded and bloody, from a tarp-covered boat in a Watertown backyard. The capture came at the end of a tense day that began with his older brother, Tamerlan, dying in a desperate getaway attempt.

There was no immediate word on when Tsarnaev might be charged and what those charges would be.

The most serious charge available to federal prosecutors would be the use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill people, which carries a possible death sentence. Massachusetts does not have the death penalty.

President Barack Obama said there are many unanswered questions about the bombing, including whether the Tsarnaev brothers — ethnic Chechens from southern Russia who had been in the U.S. for about a decade and lived in the Boston area — had help from others. The president urged people not to rush judgment about their motivations.

U.S. officials said a special interrogation team for high-value suspects would question the Massachusetts college student without reading him his Miranda rights, invoking a rare public-safety exception that exists in cases of immediate danger.

The American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern about that possibility. Executive Director Anthony Romero said the exception applies only when there is a continued threat to public safety and is "not an open-ended exception" to the Miranda rule, which guarantees the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.

The federal public defender's office in Massachusetts said it has agreed to represent Tsarnaev once he is charged. Miriam Conrad, public defender for Massachusetts, said he should have a lawyer appointed as soon as possible because there are "serious issues regarding possible interrogation."

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Saturday afternoon that Tsarnaev was in serious but stable condition and was probably unable to communicate.

"I, and I think all of the law enforcement officials, are hoping for a host of reasons the suspect survives," Patrick said after a pregame ceremony at Fenway Park to honor the victims and survivors of the attack. "We have a million questions, and those questions need to be answered."

The all-day manhunt Friday brought the Boston area to a near standstill and put people on edge across the metropolitan area.

The break came around nightfall when a homeowner in Watertown saw blood on his boat, pulled back the tarp and saw a bloody Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding inside, police said. After an exchange of gunfire, he was seized and taken away in an ambulance.

Raucous celebrations erupted in and around Boston, with chants of "USA! USA!" Residents flooded the streets in relief four days after the twin explosions ripped through the marathon crowd at the finish line, killing three people and wounding more than 180.

Michael Spellman said he bought tickets to Saturday's Red Sox game at Fenway Park to help send a message to the bombers.

"They're not going to stop us from doing things we love to do," he said, sitting a few rows behind home plate. "We're not going to live in fear."

During the long night of violence leading up to the capture, the Tsarnaev brothers killed an MIT police officer, severely wounded another lawman and took part in a furious gun battle and car chase in which they hurled explosives at police from a large homemade arsenal, authorities said.

Chechnya, where the Tsarnaev family has roots, has been the scene of two wars between Russian forces and separatists since 1994. That spawned an Islamic insurgency that has carried out deadly bombings in Russia and the region, although not in the West.

Investigators have not offered a motive for the Boston attack. But in interviews with officials and those who knew the Tsarnaevs, a picture has emerged of the older one as someone embittered toward the U.S., increasingly vehement in his Muslim faith and possessed of a strong influence over his younger brother.

The Russian FSB intelligence security service told the FBI in 2011 about information that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a follower of radical Islam, two law enforcement officials said Saturday.

According to an FBI news release, a foreign government said that Tamerlan Tsarnaev appeared to be strong believer and that he had changed drastically since 2010 as he prepared to leave the U.S. for travel to the Russian region to join unspecified underground groups.

The FBI did not name the foreign government, but the two officials said it was Russia. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the matter publicly.

The FBI said that in response, it interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and relatives, and did not find any domestic or foreign terrorism activity. The bureau said it looked into such things as his telephone and online activity, his travels and his associations with others.

An uncle of the Tsarnaev brothers said he had a falling-out with Tamerlan over the man's increased commitment to Islam.

Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., said Tamerlan told him in a 2009 phone conversation that he had chosen "God's business" over work or school. Tsarni said he then contacted a family friend who told him Tsarnaev had been influenced by a recent convert to Islam.

Tsarni said his relationship with his nephew ended after that call.

As for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, "he's been absolutely wasted by his older brother. I mean, he used him. He used him for whatever he's done," Tsarni said.

Albrecht Ammon, a downstairs-apartment neighbor of Tamerlan Tsarnaev in Cambridge, said in an interview that the older brother had strong political views about the United States. Ammon quoted Tsarnaev as saying that the U.S. uses the Bible as "an excuse for invading other countries."

Tamerlan Tsarnaev studied accounting as a part-time student at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston for three semesters from 2006 to 2008, the school said. He was married with a young daughter.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Students said he was on campus this week after the Boston Marathon bombing.

As of Saturday, more than 50 victims of the bombing remained hospitalized, three in critical condition.

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  1. "The ACLU is out of line. This guy does not get Miranda right at this time because his status is unknown."

    express445 -- no, the ACLU is correct. And what you call "Miranda rights" have been enshrined from the beginning in the Bill of Rights.

    "...nor shall any PERSON . . .be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." -- from the Fifth Amendment, my emphasis added

  2. I hate the s.o.b. as much as the next guy. The rule of law in the u.s. should be followed. These people aren't masterminds these guys are idiots who did a horrible thing. The world is a scary place that's a fact. We have the bill of rights for a reason! Why aren't the people in Guantanamo bay not giving trials? We are America, we have laws, use them.

  3. Why is it, the same idiots screaming about the "Guv'ment takin' all my guns away", are perfectly okay with suspending the Miranda warning? What they do to someone else, they will do to YOU! Get it sheep? This kid is a piece of trash, but our justice system works for all. Trash, cowards, any and all.

    Every time I walk outside, I hear a soft, constant bleating.

  4. Tamerlane developed a philosophical hatred of the United States as a Country. He wasn't holding up a liquor store or stealing a car for cash gain. He wasn't shoplifting or siphoning gas out of a Crown Vic.

    He desired to kill as many people as possible by striking at an easy target that would create the most terror. This bombing was not a revenge action against the Boston Marathon. Rather, it was an action against this country as a whole. He was given a home here, food, freedom and education and instead, he chose to become a citizen of Islam and assassinate American Citizens.

    This action is comparable to bombing Pearl Harbor, just on a smaller scale. If the military government in Japan could have leveled California, they would have.

    Enemy combatant is a very good description. Had he the access to a nuclear bomb, he would have used that first. Would anyone defend Miranda rights for Kim Jong Un? (Yes - but I don't want to know at the moment.)

  5. To the reader who wonder about the so-called rights being misapplied at Guantanamo Bay -- they are not citizens of the USA did not do their terrorist activity in America... They do not get US Constitutional protections and that is why the Miranda Laws and and other civilian law does not apply. They are WAR criminals.

    As for this clowns Miranda rights, as a WAR criminal, which the Government is considering, we have no obligation to read or give him any rights, including a 'speedy' trial.
    If we deem this to NOT be terrorism, but a simple act of violence with death, then he will be turned over to the local government to be prosecuted.
    He may be tried under both laws eventually.

    js

  6. "As for this clowns Miranda rights, as a WAR criminal, which the Government is considering, we have no obligation to read or give him any rights, including a 'speedy' trial."

    jshawaii -- wrong. What part of "any PERSON" do you need explained to you?

    "We have long since made clear that a state of war is not a blank check . . ." -- Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, 542 U. S. 507, 536 (2004)

  7. The ACLU is entirely correct to express concern about the government bending the rules.