Dershowitz: Authorities Will "Regret" Not Reading Boston Bomber His Miranda Rights


Alan Dershowitz, Civil Liberties and Criminal Attorney, talks about the legal road ahead for the Boston bombing suspect. Dershowitz says authorities will "regret" not reading Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, his Miranda rights and "may have blown the death penalty" also.

MSNBC ANCHOR: Authorities decided to withhold reading Dzhokar his Miranda rights, invoking a public safety exception. As time passes, does the justification for this wear off? And, in your opinion, does the U.S., do investigators stand to regret that?

DERSHOWITZ: They will regret it, I think. A: There was never a basis for the public safety exception. As you know, when they announced it, the police had already announced that the public safety danger was over, they had arrested everybody. They didn’t think there was any further risk to the public. So they were using it as a subterfuge.

Why will they come to regret it? Because they think that this case is going to be made based on videotapes the physical evidence. Bu there are two elements to every crime: The actus reus, that is the crime itself, which they will have no problem proving. And the intention. Now in order to get the death penalty they have to prove a terrorist intention. Now, in order to do that, they may get the information from him without having Mirandized him. And that information may be kept out of a trial. So they may have blown the death penalty, by not giving him his Miranda rights.


DERSHOWITZ: And I do that there will be a price to be paid for it. I know the courts in Boston, I practiced in front of the federal courts in Boston. They're very tough on insisting that the rules be followed. And if they try to circumvent these rules by not giving him his Miranda rights, I can easily see a federal court saying, 'you can't use any of his statements that he gave you in writing in the hospital.' They may not be able to use them anyway because he may be not be competent to provide incriminating statements while he is in and out of sedation.

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