The Department of Justice has just announced that the suspected Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been charged from his hospital bed. Tsarnaev will not be tried as an enemy combatant in a military tribunal. Instead, he is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and will be tried in a federal civilian court.
White House spokesman Jay Carney says Tsarnaev cannot be tried in a military tribunal because he is a U.S. citizen (he was sworn in on September 2012). "We will process this terrorist through our system of justice," just as they've tried and convicted other terrorists since September 11, 2001. An elite interrogation team will question Tsarnaev without reading him his Miranda rights.
Here are details on the charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the Department of Justice:
One count of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device or IED) against persons and property within the United States resulting in death, and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death. The statutory charges authorize a penalty, upon conviction, of death or imprisonment for life or any term of years.
So that's two counts, including using a WMD, and if convicted, Tsarnaev could face the death penalty. (See the full charges against Tsarnaev.) The charges were delivered by a magistrate judge in Tsarnaev's hospital room at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The bombing suspect is being treated for gunshots to the head, neck, legs, and hand. He will also face state charges relating to the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier.
Meanwhile, investigators are questioning Tsarnaev on "public safety exceptions" -- in other words, they're trying to find out if there are are any other planted bombs or other devices that could harm the public. Based on the evidence found this weekend, investigators say they have reason to believe the Tsarnaev brothers were planning other terrorist activities.
One of the brothers' carjacking victims claims Tsarnaev asked him if he'd heard about the bombings in Boston. "I did that," one of the bombers told him. Chilling.
Do you agree with the decisions to try Tsarnaev in federal court and to refrain from reading him his Miranda rights?
Image via Boston Police Department/Twitter