Former FBI Interrogator, Prosecutor Say Federal Prosecution of Tsarnaev on Track

Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today said it is not surprising that accused Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was interrogated for 16 hours before receiving his Miranda rights and subsequently asking for an attorney before continuing to answer questions. The organization, which has long ties to federal prosecutors and interrogators, noted that this positive development is par for the course in such case and said claims to the contrary would be nothing short of political posturing.

“This is how our federal system works,” said Human Rights First’s Daphne Eviatar. “Federal prosecutors and investigators have navigated all of these waters before and have successfully completed nearly 500 terrorism cases since 9/11. To try and paint these latest developments as anything but ordinary would be disingenuous.”

Joe Navarro, who spent 25 years as an interrogator with the FBI, notes, “The FBI and our federal prosecutors know what they’re doing to keep us safe and pursue this prosecution successfully.  Just because a suspect stops talking for some time, doesn’t mean the investigation stops or that cooperation ends.  Calls to put Tsarnaev in military custody as an ‘enemy combatant’ make a mockery of our values and are not in our national security interest.”

Former federal prosecutor David Laufman adds, “Both before and since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the American criminal justice system consistently has proven to be a successful forum for the investigation and prosecution of terrorism offenses.  The government is adept at balancing the need to obtain intelligence information with the imperatives of the Constitution, and the notion that Miranda has been an impediment in that endeavor is belied by the historical record.”

For more information see the following resources:

FACTSHEET: Federal Courts Continue to Take Lead in Counterterrorism Prosecutions
FACTSHEET: Myth v. Fact – Trying Terror Suspects in Federal Court
FACTSHEET: Guantanamo by the Numbers


Published on April 25, 2013


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