Skip to content


News Posted on April 25, 2013

Professor Chin Comments on Boston Bombing Suspect and Miranda Rights for KCRA-3

Professor Gabriel "Jack" Chin commented for a news report on television station KCRA-3 on issues related to the interrogation of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who was questioned without a reading of Miranda rights by U.S. officials invoking a rare public safety exemption.

Professor Chin said the Miranda issue was not unexpected in this case. "This case obviously involves a lot of casualties, a lot of danger to the public, and it's understandable that the police would want to get as much information as they can without the risk that if they give the Miranda warnings that he will stop talking."

Professor Chin said that Tsarnaev will be read his Miranda rights once authorities have enough information to assess whether there is a continuing threat to public safety.  It appears unlikely that he will be tried by a military tribunal rather than a civilian court, based on the information released so far, Chin added.

"There is a federal statute the governs trial by military tribunal, and it generally requires some connection to an international terrorist organization," he said. "In the news coverage I've heard so far, I haven't heard that.  It seems that these are a couple of people who lived in the United States who more or less on their own decided to engage in terroristic acts, and on that basis I would be surprised to see this in a military tribunal."

Gabriel "Jack" Chin, who joined the King Hall faculty in 2011, is a prolific and much-cited criminal and immigration law scholar whose work has addressed many of the most pressing social issues of our time.