“One of the reasons why I and so many others are hoping the suspect survives is we have a million questions we want to ask him,” the governor said in an interview. “He’s in serious but stable condition. He’s in bad shape. He was bleeding for nearly a day. He was pretty weak and not in great shape.”
If and when he recovers, Tsarnaev is expected to be questioned by a special federal team of interrogators from the CIA, FBI and the military, tasked with grilling high-value terrorism suspects. The marathon bombing, which killed three people and wounded more than 170, has not been linked so far to any overseas terrorist network or any larger terrorist cell within the United States.
The brothers are also believed by authorities to be responsible for the shooting death of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer, 26-year-old Sean Collier, on the school’s campus late Thursday night.
Federal prosecutors are planning to bring charges against the surviving suspect, but the complaint had not been filed as of late Saturday afternoon.
Authorities have not read him his Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Federal law enforcement officials said they plan to use a public safety exception, outlined in a 1984 Supreme Court decision, “in order to question the suspect extensively about other potential explosive devices or accomplices and to gain critical intelligence.”
A delay in issuing Miranda warnings is justified when suspected terrorists are captured in the United States, according to a 2010 memorandum from the Justice Department. But on Saturday, the American Civil Liberties Union warned against too broad of an interpretation of that public safety exception.
“Every criminal defendant is entitled to be read Miranda rights. The public safety exception should be read narrowly. It applies only when there is a continued threat to public safety and is not an open-ended exception to the Miranda rule,” said Anthony D. Romero, the ACLU executive director.
The Miranda warning would come into play only if prosecutors planned to use any incriminating statements Tsarnaev might make against him. Federal authorities may feel they already have amassed much evidence against the teenager.
Miriam Conrad, the federal defender for Massachusetts, told the Associated Press her office expects to represent Tsarnaev after he is charged. Conrad says she thinks he should have a lawyer appointed as soon as possible because there are “serious issues regarding possible interrogation.”