Tag: MIT

Apr 21

Marathon Suspect in Custody, Not Mirandized

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday was taken into custody last night in Watertown, MA. Nineteen year old  Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, was found hiding in a tarp covered boat in a backyard shortly after the “stay in place” order was lifted. He was bleeding heavily from gunshot wounds to the neck and leg. He is listed in serious condition in  Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center, the same hospital where several of the bombing victims are recovering and his brother, Tamerlan, died of his wounds.

Boston Police commissioner, Edward Davis, thanked all who had helped in the manhunt stating, “It’s a proud day to be a Boston police officer.” Crowds lined the streets near the site of the capture, cheering the officers and other first responders as they left the scene. Crowds of relieved Bostonians gathered in the Commons chanting “USA” and “Boston” and waving American flags.

This morning, there has been no further word on Dzhokhar’s condition. The FBI has stated that he has not been read his Miranda rights at this time, citing the so-called public safety exception. Dzhokhar is a naturalized American citizen from Chechnya. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Dzhokhar should not be read his Miranda rights and should be questioned for “intelligence purposes.”

“It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city,” McCain and Graham said late Friday in a joint statement. “The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorist trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans.” [..]

“We need to know about any possible future attacks which could take additional American lives,” they said. “The least of our worries is a criminal trial which will likely be held years from now.”

Constitution? What Constitution? Joseph Stalin would have loved these two.

Constitutional lawyer and columnist for The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald explains the “public safety” exemption:

(T)he Obama DOJ exploited and radically expanded the very narrow “public safety” exception to Miranda, which was first created in 1984 by the more conservative Supreme Court justices in New York v. Quarles, over the vehement dissent of its liberal members (Brennan, Marshall and Stevens, along with O’Connor). The Quarles court held that where police officers took a very brief period to ask focused questions necessary to stop an imminent threat to public safety without first Mirandizing the suspect, the answers under those circumstances would be admissible (in Quarles, the police apprehended a rape suspect and simply asked where his gun was before reading him his rights, and the court held that the defendant’s pre-Miranda answer – “over there” – was admissible).

The Court’s liberals, led by Justice Thurgood Marshall, warned that this exception would dilute Miranda and ensure abuse. This exception, wrote Marshall, “condemns the American judiciary to a new era of post hoc inquiry into the propriety of custodial interrogations” and “endorse[s] the introduction of coerced self-incriminating statements in criminal prosecutions”. Moreover, he wrote, the “public-safety exception destroys forever the clarity of Miranda for both law enforcement officers and members of the judiciary” and said the court’s decision “cannot mask what a serious loss the administration of justice has incurred”.

As Marshall noted, the police have always had the power to question a suspect about imminent threats without Mirandizing him; indeed, they are free to question suspects about anything without first reading them their Miranda rights. But pre-Miranda statements were not admissible, could not be used to prosecute the person. This new 1984 “public safety” exception to that long-standing rule, Marshall said, guts the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that one will not be compelled to incriminate oneself. As he put it: “were constitutional adjudication always conducted in such an ad hoc manner, the Bill of Rights would be a most unreliable protector of individual liberties.”

As controversial as this exception was from the start (and as hated as it was among traditional, actual liberals), it was at least narrowly confined. But the Obama DOJ in 2011 wildly expanded this exception for terrorism suspects. The Obama DOJ’s Memorandum (issued in secret, of course, but then leaked) cited what it called “the magnitude and complexity of the threat often posed by terrorist organizations” in order to claim “a significantly more extensive public safety interrogation without Miranda warnings than would be permissible in an ordinary criminal case”. It expressly went beyond the “public safety” exception established by the Supreme Court to arrogate unto itself the power to question suspects about other matters without reading them their rights (emphasis added):

   “There may be exceptional cases in which, although all relevant public safety questions have been asked, agents nonetheless conclude that continued unwarned interrogation is necessary to collect valuable and timely intelligence not related to any immediate threat, and that the government’s interest in obtaining this intelligence outweighs the disadvantages of proceeding with unwarned interrogation.”

That is what Graham advocated regarding Miranda: that Tsarnaev be interrogated about intelligence matters without Mirandizing him, and that’s exactly what Obama DOJ policy – two years ago – already approved. Worse, as (Emily) Bazelon noted: “Who gets to make this determination? The FBI, in consultation with DoJ, if possible. In other words, the police and the prosecutors, with no one to check their power.” At the time, the ACLU made clear how menacing was the Obama DOJ’s attempted roll-back of Miranda rights for terror suspects.

Constitution? What Constitution? Good work, Barack.

Apr 19

Breaking News: Possible Arrests In Boston Marathon Bombings

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Up Date 08:00 EDT: The two suspects have been identified as brothers who have been living legally in the US:

The suspects are Chechen brothers with the last name Tsarnaev, law enforcement officials told NBC News. The suspect at large, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is 19, was born in Kyrgyzstan and has a Massachusetts driver’s license, they said. The dead suspect was identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, born in Russia.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was run over by a vehicle during the firefight, law enforcement officials told NBC News. Law enforcement officials also told NBC News that the brothers entered the United States in 2002 or 2003, and that Tamerlan Tsarnaev became a legal permanent resident in 2007. [..]

Law enforcement officials said the tumult began just before 11 p.m., when the suspects approached a police officer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and shot him in the head.

The two then stole the officer’s cruiser, robbed a nearby 7-Eleven, carjacked a Mercedes SUV and briefly kidnapped the driver, the sources said. The suspects threw explosives out the window during the chase that followed, they said. A Boston transit police officer was shot and wounded, authorities said.

Up Date 06:05 EDT: From The Guardian:

All public transport has been suspended including buses and subways in the Massachusetts Bay area – Boston and the surrounding areas – it was announced. People at stations were asked to “please go home” and not congregate waiting for the system to come back.

The authorities want the residents of Watertown, Newton, Waltham, Bellamont, Cambridge, and the Austin and Brighton neighbourhoods of Boston to stay indoors for the time being. They are also asking businesses there not to open.

The person who was identified as suspect #1 came into  the hospital in “traumatic arrest” and was pronounced dead at 01:35 EDT. He died of multiple gunshot wounds and blast injuries. Suspect #2 is still at large. He is considered armed and extremely dangerous.

Up Date 04:57 EDT: The Guardian is reporting that one of the suspects was shot and killed as per police at a news conference. The other is still at large.

A shooting late last night on the campus of MIT that left a campus police officer dead and a shoot out in Watertown, MA with explosions, may be related to the deadly bombing at the Boston Marathon. The FBI released photos of two suspects in that case.

There are a lot of conflicting reports that about these two incidents and whether or not they are related to each other or the marathon explosions. There is one person in custody but it is unknown if this person one of the suspects.

One suspect apprehended, another remains on the loose

By Wesley Lowery, Akilah Johnson, Eric Moskowitz and Lisa Wangsness, The Boston Globe

WATERTOWN, MA – One suspect in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings has been captured, according to an official with knowledge of the investigation. Another remains on the loose in Watertown after a firefight with police. Authorities have established a 20-block perimeter as they search for him.

A scene of chaos descended on Cambridge and Watertown late Thursday night and early Friday morning, as police confirmed an MIT police officer was shot and killed, and an apparent carjacking led police on a wild chase into Watertown.

Witnesses in Watertown said they heard explosions. Police officers were screaming about improvised explosive devices.

Authorities would not comment on whether the events were connected to Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings. At least one of the suspects in Watertown appeared to be a man in his 20s.

Here is the live feed from MSNBC. The commentators are being very cautious in their reporting.

Here is the live feed from The Guardian.

Update from Think Progress

Law enforcement officials believe that one suspect in Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon was killed Friday morning after a shootout and car chase with police, while the other is still on the loose. NBC’s Pete Williams reports that the two are brothers, age 19 and 20, and are legal permanent residents of the United States, living in Cambridge. The first suspect was taken into custody by police and was pronounced dead at Beth Israel Hospital at 1:35 AM. As many as nine thousand police officers are now conducting a door-to-door search for the second individual, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev according to NBC, and are asking residents to stay in their homes.

The two robbed a 7/11, killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus police officer in his car after 10 PM on Thursday night and later carjacked a Mercedes SUV. Pete Williams of NBC News reports that the suspects told the man that they killed a police officer and were the marathon bombers. The owner of the car was held at gunpoint for 30 minutes and later released near a gas station in Cambridge.

The men then led police on a chase to Watertown, where they exchanged gunfire and threw bombs out of the vehicle window at law enforcement, including one made from a pressure cooker. They stopped the car in Watertown, where the first suspect got out, was shot and likely detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) strapped to his chest. The second suspect drives on and later abandons the car.