Below, an array of perspectives on what legal rights the 19-year-old American citizen suspected of co-executing the Boston Marathon bombings has, and whether law enforcement is obliged to honor those rights under the circumstances:
• "If captured, I hope [the] Administration will at least consider holding the Boston suspect as [an] enemy combatant for intelligence gathering purposes. If the Boston suspect has ties to overseas terror organizations he could be treasure trove of information. The last thing we may want to do is read Boston suspect Miranda Rights telling him to 'remain silent.'"—Republican senator Lindsay Graham, on Twitter.
• "There's no way an American citizen committing a domestic crime in the city of Boston could be tried as an enemy combatant. It could never happen. And that shows absolute ignorance of the law."—Alan Dershowitz, prominent defense attorney and Harvard law professor, speaking on CNN.
• "The next time you read about an abusive interrogation, or a wrongful conviction that resulted from a false confession, think about why we have Miranda in the first place. It’s to stop law enforcement authorities from committing abuses. Because when they can make their own rules, sometime, somewhere, they inevitably will."—Emily Bazelon, Slate.com, on citizen and suspect Tsarnaev not being read his Miranda rights before interrogration.
— "Not surprising that Carmen Ortiz, who refuses to read Tsarnaev his rights, is same DA who pursued aggressive tactics against Aaron Swartz."—Heidi Moore, Guardian.
• "Needless to say, Tsarnaev is probably the single most hated figure in America now. As a result, as Bazelon noted, not many people will care what is done to him, just like few people care what happens to the accused terrorists at Guantanamo, or Bagram, or in Yemen and Pakistan. But that's always how rights are abridged: by targeting the most marginalized group or most hated individual in the first instance, based on the expectation that nobody will object because of how marginalized or hated they are. Once those rights violations are acquiesced to in the first instance, then they become institutionalized forever, and there is no basis for objecting once they are applied to others, as they inevitably will be."—Glenn Greenwald, in the Guardian.
• "The capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect raises a host of freighted legal issues for a society still feeling the shadow of Sept. 11, including whether he should be read a Miranda warning, how he should be charged, where he might be tried and whether the bombings on Boylston Street last Monday were a crime or an act of war."—Ethan Bronner, Charlie Savage, and William K. Rashbaum in the New York Times.
• Law enforcement is reportedly questioning him today, despite his compromised, critical physical condition. He cannot talk, but he "has been responding sporadically in writing to questions."