April 20, 2013

ACLU eyes Boston bombing suspect's Miranda rights

The Associated Press

BOSTON — The American Civil Liberties Union says it's concerned the surviving Boston Marathon bombing suspect will be questioned by investigators without being read his Miranda rights.

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WHAT ARE MIRANDA RIGHTS?

The concept of "Miranda rights" was enshrined in U.S. law following the 1966 Miranda v. Arizona Supreme Court decision, which found that the Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights of Ernesto Arturo Miranda had been violated during his arrest and trial for domestic violence. (Miranda was subsequently retried and convicted.)

The Supreme Court did not specify the exact wording to use when informing a suspect of their rights. However, the court did create a set of guidelines that must be followed. The ruling states:

"...The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he or she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court; the person must be clearly informed that he or she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he or she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent her or him."

— Source: Wikipedia

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remained hospitalized Saturday after being wounded in a firefight with police Friday. His brother was killed earlier.

U.S. officials say a special interrogation team for high-value suspects will question Tsarnaev without reading him his Miranda rights, invoking a rare public safety exception triggered by the need to protect the public from immediate danger.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero says the exception applies only when there's a continued threat to public safety and is "not an open-ended exception" to the Miranda rule.

Twin explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line Monday killed three people and wounded more than 180. Tsarnaev's father calls him a "true angel."

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