Republican lawmakers opposed to judicial independence

The Wall Street Journal reports: A federal judge decided to advise Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of his Miranda rights, even though investigators apparently still wanted to question him further under a public-safety exception.

The judge’s move, made on Monday in the hospital where Mr. Tsarnaev was recovering, has prompted some Republican lawmakers to press the Justice Department as to why it didn’t make a stronger bid to resist the judge’s plans.

Those lawmakers say Mr. Tsarnaev’s interrogation should have continued without him being advised of his right to remain silent, because they say agents should have had more time to determine if there were other undetected bombs or plotters. After being read his rights, the suspect stopped talking to investigators, officials said.

“There will be more instances like this, and we will need to have a much better understanding about what is appropriate,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R., Mich.) said in an interview Thursday. “We have a long-standing tradition that the judiciary does not interfere with investigations. This sets a very dangerous precedent.”

Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said Thursday, “The rules of criminal procedure require the court to advise the defendant of his right to silence and his right to counsel during the initial appearance.” Mr. Boyd said Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler made it clear on Sunday, after the first sealed charges were filed in her court against Mr. Tsarnaev, 19 years old, that the hearing would be held the following day.

Federal rules require that defendants appear before a judge without unnecessary delay—usually defined as within one business day. [Continue reading…]

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1 thought on “Republican lawmakers opposed to judicial independence

  1. rosemerry

    Since they shot him in the throat in the “firefight” as he lay unarmed in a boat, he could not talk anyway and was “reduced” to wrting his answers. How convenient for the prosecution!

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