Bombing Suspect Reportedly Awake, Responding In Writing

Investigators are now apparently able to get at least some information from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as he recovers from the injuries he received during Friday’s shootout:

April 21 (Reuters) – The 19-year-old suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, who was seriously wounded and unable to speak, is awake and responding in writing to questions from authorities, according to tweets by ABC and NBC news networks.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is in the intensive care unit of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is responding sporadically, the ABC news network reported on its Twitter feed.

NBC’s Pete Williams is also reporting Tsarnaev is writing answers to questions from law enforcement.

Tsarnaev is being treated for a gunshot in the mouth that exited the back of his neck, according Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, who was interviewed on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

There’s also some expectation that Tsarnaev will be charged as early as today. If that happens, then the legal process will start moving forward and the opportunity to question Tsarnaev without having to read him the Miranda warning will end.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. CSK says:

    Is he in a position to cut a deal, depending on what kind of information he has?

  2. JKB says:


    I suppose somewhere between life in prison and dying by lethal injection.

    But reports are he has tried to kill himself so I guess life in prison isn’t a choice he’d make.

  3. Mike says:

    @JKB: Better get some really large men to watch over him in his cell at night to help keep him alive and stuff.

  4. roger says:

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who would be very upset if there is a plea deal.

  5. CSK says:

    It may depend on whether the brothers were working alone or if they had helpers. If there were helpers whom he rats out, the feds may agree to a lighter sentence in exchange for that information. As it stands, he’s eligible for the death penalty if convicted of five counts of murder while committing a terroristic act.

  6. CSK says:

    The White House just released a statement that he won’t be tried as an enemy combatant.

  7. matt bernius says:


    I’m sure I’m not the only one who would be very upset if there is a plea deal.

    Unless he’s holding extremely valuable information, there’s little chance of a plea deal in this case. Generally speaking there is far too much evidence in favor of a conviction (which is arguably part of the reason why, beyond it being good form, the entire miranda thing is a bit of a tempest in a teapot).

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