Boston marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged
HERB BOYD Special to the AmNews | 5/23/2013, 4:26 p.m.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the bombing suspect still recovering from gunshot wounds, was formally charged at his bedside by federal prosecutors, along with a magistrate judge, on Monday, according to a report from Reuters.
Tsarnaev, 19, is listed as being in serious condition at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston with bullet wounds to his leg and throat, which limits his ability to speak. He was reportedly charged with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction leading to the death of three people and injuries to more than 170 others, though the complaint itself was sealed.
The meeting in Tsarnaev's hospital room was, in effect, an arraignment, according to several attorneys, because there was a judge, a prosecutor and a public defender present. The suspect will not be getting out on bail.
"What this does," said attorney Jeffrey Toobin on CNN, "is start the 30-day clock toward an indictment."
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said that Tsarnaev will not be tried as an enemy combatant. He possibly faces the death penalty, though such a sentence does not exist in the state of Massachusetts.
A multitude of political, cultural, legal and religious questions have emerged as this case develops, and none more pressing than the rights of the suspect and whether he was read his Miranda rights and if the "arraignment" was conducted using the public safety exemption ruling, which was apparently the case. How this will impact the subsequent trial is among a sundry of speculations.
There is still the issue of what questions were posed by the Justice Department to the wounded suspect and whether he was responding with nods of his head or in writing. Moreover, others questions may have included if there were others involved in the bombing at the Boston Marathon and if he and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev--who was killed in the shootout the night before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested--were connected to radical groups in Chechnya.
It has been reported that last year, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, visited Dagestan, the country of his birth, and possibly Chechnya--both of which are hotbeds for militant Muslims opposed to the Russian government. There is suspicion that Tamerlan Tsarnaev may have been radicalized during his six-month stay in the region, a fact that the FBI apparently glossed over, according to Republican critics who rushed to use the bombing incident as a reason to delay immigration reform.
Rep. Peter King seems to be calling for a heavier surveillance of the Muslim community, citing the way the Irish Westies and Italian Mafia were put under the microscope in the past.
"He's wrong about that," said Rep. Keith Ellison from Minneapolis, who is a Muslim, during a television appearance. "They did not go after the entire Irish and Italian communities, and they shouldn't be going after the entire Muslim community. Right now, we don't know the bombers' motivation and thus far there has been no indication that their religion had anything to do with it; now's the time for prudence and calm."
A nationwide calm was planned for 2:50 p.m. to mark the moment a week ago Monday when the two bombs ripped through a crowd near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing Krystle Campbell, 29; Lu Lingzi, a Chinese graduate student; and 8-year-old Martin Richard.