Boston Bombing Developments: Saturday

Here's a thread to discuss continuing developments in the Boston Marathon Bombing case and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The Federal Defender in MA today said it expects its office to be appointed to be appointed.

What I've been reading:

What I'm not reading: Any of the garbage put out by Lindsay Graham. [More...]

Random reads:

I'm pretty much ignoring the anecdotal stories and all opinions by the Doogie Howsers of terrorism.

One question I did have: News reports have said that Dzhokhar is a U.S. citizen but his brother Tamerlan is not. Yet according to LexisNexis public records, Tamlerlan has two Mass. voter registration records (the entire family -- mom, dad, the 2 brothers and 2 sisters -- was registered to vote.) According to the MA voting website:

Who may register? Only a person who is:

  • a US citizen, and
  • a resident of Massachusetts, and
  • 18 years old on or before election day (must still meet registration deadlines set forth below)

The New York Times has this article on the legal issues.

Talk of the death penalty is way premature. There is a lot that goes into such a decision, and the heinousness of the crime is but one factor. DOJ's death penalty protocol is here. One important component:

In any case in which (1) the United States Attorney or Assistant Attorney General recommends that the Attorney General authorize seeking the death penalty, or (2) a member of the Capital Review Committee requests a Committee conference, a Capital Case Unit attorney will confer with representatives of the United States Attorney's Office or Department component to establish a date and time for the Capital Review Committee to meet with defense counsel and representatives of the United States Attorney's Office or Department component to consider the case. No final decision to seek the death penalty shall be made if defense counsel has not been afforded an opportunity to present evidence and argument in mitigation.

As to the public safety exception, in addition to the underwear bomber, DOJ used it to interrogate Times Square attempted bomber Faisal Shahzad, who like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was a naturalized U.S. citizen. Charges were filed within 2 days of his arrest.

First things first: DOJ should file a Complaint with charges so the Federal Defender can provide him with counsel.

Update: The clever interrogation team not only got Shahzad to talk, they got him to agree to waive his right to appear before a judge (who would appoint him counsel) for 2 weeks. He was held in a safe house where he was interrogated from his arrest on May 3 until May 18. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a press release:

Following his arrest, Shahzad spoke with officers of the Joint Terrorism Task Force for almost two weeks. During those weeks, Shahzad admitted that he had purchased all of the components of the bomb; built the bomb; and loaded it into his SUV. Shahzad also said that he believed that his bomb would kill about 40 people and that he had been prepared to conduct additional attacks until he was captured or killed.

A copy of the docket is here. Shahzad pleaded guilty without a plea agreement and was sentenced to life. He did not appeal, and is serving his life sentence at Supermax in Florence.

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  • Display: Sort:
    A possible test of the whole shebang? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dadler on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 06:18:32 PM EST
    Just a hypothetical, but provided the captured suspect is a citizen, that puts in play, in some respect, all the dark possibilities regarding what can or can't be done to citizens regarded as terror/enemy of state/war threats. IOW, I think a big fat domestic example liable to be made, in order to scare off others in the future.

    One report said he became a citizen on (none / 0) (#3)
    by ruffian on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:28:35 PM EST
    Sept 11, either last year or the year before.

    I read this morning that their mother is a citizen also.

    We already had an example with 'the American Taliban', right? Can't remember his name. He was tried and convicted in the US.  Did not seem to scare these two.


    John Walker Lindh (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:44:30 PM EST
    He did more or less nothing that broke U.S. criminal law, as far as I could ever tell, and yet was lucky to escape with a 20 year sentence.

    He was in the wrong place at the wrong time... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by unitron on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 08:00:20 PM EST
    ...while being a U.S. citizen when someone entirely else killed a CIA operative without his foreknowledge or consent, but his real crime was getting Nancy Grace mad at him.

    he was charged with committing a crime (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 08:31:07 PM EST
    on the battlefield in Afghaniastan.

    Right. What the heck sort of "crime" (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 09:37:15 PM EST
    is that?  Fighting for the Taliban against the Northern Alliance. Not against the U.S.

    Irony abounds. Suspect can not talk - literally, (none / 0) (#8)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 08:05:34 PM EST
    Good - if true (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Peter G on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 08:30:28 PM EST
    Whatever information he has is his most valuable bargaining chip to save his life.  He should provide that information to the authorities under the guidance and protection of defense counsel, as soon as he is well enough.

    I don't understand, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#12)
    by citizenjeff on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:44:44 PM EST
    You wrote: "As to the public safety exception, in addition to the underwear bomber, DOJ used it to interrogate Times Square attempted bomber Faisal Shahzad..."

    Isn't the Miranda issue about only what evidence is or isn't admissible? Why would it be necessary to use the public safety exception to be entitled to interrogate a suspect who hasn't been informed of his or her Miranda rights? Isn't the permissible duration of confinement about whether or not the suspect has been categorized as an enemy combatant, rather than about whether or not the suspect has been informed of his or her Miranda rights?

    Or the real issue (none / 0) (#13)
    by Tamta on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 11:10:32 PM EST
    is not being brought before a judge within 48 hours, thus having extensive, unsupervised interrogation while in custody?

    Forgot to add a (none / 0) (#14)
    by Tamta on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 11:17:37 PM EST
    Yes, that's what I had in mind (none / 0) (#16)
    by citizenjeff on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 11:49:38 PM EST
    when I referred to the permissible duration of confinement, and to categorizing the detainee as an enemy combatant. A person who has not been informed of his or her Miranda rights could be interrogated and could reveal valuable information in less than 48 hours. So I'm still baffled as to what the controversy is here. Glenn Greenwald praised Emily Bazelon for her great analysis... denouncing the DOJ's decision to delay reading Tsarnaev his rights." Greenwald also wrote that "the Obama administration has already rolled back Miranda rights." And Jeralyn referred to "the public safety exception to Miranda rights."

    It seems that all the well-informed people I mentioned believe the government has in some way previously deprived detainees of Miranda rights, and is again doing so in the marathon case. I thought the Miranda issue is about only what the judiciary decides is or isn't admissible evidence. I don't see how prosecutors are in a position to "roll back Miranda rights."

    What am I failing to grasp?


    "What am I failing to grasp?" (none / 0) (#17)
    by NYShooter on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 05:05:46 PM EST
    If you are serious, and still connected to this thread, speak up, and I, or anyone else here, will help you gain a better understanding of this matter.

    Until then, I wouldn't make too many more comments regarding this.

    I'm serious, no insult intended.


    I heard (none / 0) (#15)
    by lentinel on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 11:45:49 PM EST
    an interview with the Watertown chief of police.

    He said they were able to track the whereabouts of the brothers after they stole the car because the owner's cell phone had been left in it.

    New details on the death of Tamerlan? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 07:58:06 PM EST
    Maybe I'm the only one who missed this.

    Confirmation that Tamarlan was run down by his brother after Tamarlan ran out of bombs and bullets and was being placed in custody.

    - Boston Globe, readable today only.

    I don't think that's a new detail; (none / 0) (#19)
    by Anne on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 08:44:06 PM EST
    I heard it on a news report fairly soon after he was reported dead - are they saying it was deliberate?  Because what was reported at the time was that it was an unintended consequence of the driver's effort to get away from police.