Report: Tsarnaev Admitted Guilt Before Being Mirandized
The Boston Globe reports that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admitted to authorities that he and his brother set the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon last Monday and that they killed an MIT police office late on Thursday night:
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev admitted to authorities Sunday that he and his brother were behind the Marathon bombings, according to a senior law enforcement official.
Tsarnaev made his admissions to FBI agents who interviewed him at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds. He had not yet been given a Miranda warning.
Tsarnaev’s attorneys are certain to challenge the legal admissibility of those admissions, and other information he gave them, such as claiming that he and his brothers acted alone, and that his brother was radicalized in an extreme form of Islam in part because he opposed US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But in an interview with the Globe, a senior police official said authorities are not worried about the initial admission to authorities being thrown out, because they have a strong witness: the man who was abducted by the Tsarnaev brothers last Thursday night.
Police sources told the Globe that the carjack victim has told police that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his brother pointed guns at him and, in an apparent effort to intimidate the victim and dissaude him from trying anything foolish, Tamerlan Tsarnaev told him, “We just killed a cop. We blew up the marathon. And now we’re going to New York. Don’t [expletive] with us.”
If this case goes to trial, we’re likely to see a legal battle of some kind regarding the admissibility of Tsarnaev’s statement, assuming that prosecutors will want to use it in Court. Without knowing more about the context of the conversation that elicited this confession, it’s hard to say exactly what the outcome is likely to be. However, we could well see an interesting legal battle over the boundaries of the “public safety” exception to Miranda v. Arizona.