Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, was captured Friday night after a citywide manhunt. He was not initially read Miranda rights due to a public safety exception because of his status as an alleged terrorist.
CBS and the Associated Press report that Tsarnaev “acknowledged to the FBI his role in the attacks but did so before he was advised of his constitutional right to keep quiet and seek a lawyer, U.S. officials said Wednesday.”
Authorities questioned the suspect for nearly 16 hours before a magistrate judge and a U.S. attorney's office representative entered Tsarnaev's hospital room and read him his rights. He immediately stopped talking.
Amid the debate on how to stop terrorism, many are questioning the issue of Miranda rights. Nearly 30,000 people have signed the American Center for Law and Justice's “Petition Against Miranda Warnings for Enemy Terrorists.”
The petition reads:
“Thanks to the courage and persistence of law enforcement, Boston’s nightmare has ended. One terrorist is dead, and the other is in custody.
“Yet there are many unanswered questions. Did the terrorists have help? Are there more terrorist cells in Boston? Are Chechen terrorists now actively targeting the United States? Do we face a greater threat?
“The ACLU wants to grant the captured terrorist a right to remain silent. Granting this right could be a deadly mistake. It is time to investigate now, prosecute later.
“To President Obama, Attorney General Holder, and Secretary of Defense Hagel:
“Unlawful enemy combatants are not common criminals. We are at war. Take the steps permitted by the Constitution and federal law to interrogate unlawful enemy combatants until we obtain the information we need.”