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-- typical legal questions that now face federal authorities as they plan to file charges against the Boston Marathon bombing suspect.
The FBI has reportedly begun questioning him in the hospital and this is our.
Hi interrogate high value interrogation group that is trying to get some information out of young Joseph Carr is -- may have.
They did not read him his Miranda rights as we all well know by this point that means that nothing that they learned from him in these interactions.
Could be used against him.
In a criminal court.
But some lawmakers say that they don't believe that that will matter.
We're about to -- she's gonna be convicted I want the intelligence we can save American lives and that and that can only be done I believe effectively if he's treated as enemy combat overnight it is not about just roll right.
Stood -- like John Ashcroft attorney general of the United States under former president George W.
Bush is now CEO.
The Ashcroft group sir good to have you here this morning thank you for being here.
Delighted it's -- delighted to be with you.
Talk to me about what you just heard Peter -- clearly feels as though there is no drawback to not having read it.
This young man who is an American citizen and his Miranda rights what do you think.
Well it it -- the Miranda warning it is to be given to individuals.
But if it's not given to individuals it provides a basis for excluding from evidence in later trials any thing that the individual provides by way of information.
Since there is so much very substantial proof of offenses against this individual.
It's extremely likely that the person could be convicted on the basis of the video evidence that's available on the basis of eyewitness testimony.
And physical evidence it's available in this case so that the exclusion of just any evidence.
That he might provide them is likely to be irrelevant at least as it relates to state charges and it relates to federal charges.
It's possible that a person could be charged for violations of state laws.
And federal laws and also laws of war which are adjudicated of course in military commissions military commissions can adjudicate.
Violations of state or federal laws they adjudicate violations of the law.
And that would not apply here you know there was some discussion about law of war when all of this began and the question of whether or not this administration perceives us to -- still.
In a war on terror and whether or not those rules apply sort some of that out for us what's your thinking on that.
Well the president makes a determination.
As to whether or not a person is an enemy combatant and then if the nation is in a situation which qualifies for -- of war.
And then a person could be apprehended as an enemy combatant and tried.
For violations of the law of war and adjudicated are tried in that setting in a military commission.
We had early on in the war on terror what was called the authorization to use military force.
-- itself abbreviated as.
And that has been held by our Supreme Court to have the effect of invoking the president's ability to operate as if we are at war.
So if the president were to conclude on the basis of information which I don't have privy I'm not privy to and but if you were to find out that this is it was an incident connected.
To the war on terror it could be possible that the president could make a finding that -- individuals an enemy combatant and then.
Not only would the individual be subject to prosecution for state offenses.
Ban federal offenses but also offenses against the law of war because clearly there -- -- law of war violations.
If indeed this is an enemy combatant in a wartime situation no uniform.
An assault against an innocent civil civilian population etc.
those would be law of war violations.
Incidentally all law war violations.
Are potentially death penalty offenses.
It's very serious.
If there is -- law of war violations.
No -- asked about that because did and other former attorney general.
Gonzales was on earlier today.
And he talked about -- it is a very complex case and you know both of you have approached this in your answers I must say it you know it.
Just in terms of -- legality of it and how strong -- case is and what how.
You know what the different avenues for for going forward are and it's been -- need to listen to -- book.
But he -- you know this is a very complicated case he said what I would hold open the possibility.
Of a plea deal with this nineteen year old -- -- -- you know suspected terrorists as to say.
The plea deal that would happen to save his life.
You know to to put the death penalty on the table if indeed he has more information about any other ongoing -- what do you think about that.
And the determination and has to be made.
By individuals who are carefully considering the circumstances now there is no death penalty.
For offences against the state laws of Massachusetts but there are death penalty offenses I think that are arguable.
In this case including the a carjacking in the and the outcome of the carjacking which included him running over his brother that might well provide for a federal.
Death penalty as well as some of the other things that in terms of the terrorist activity so there are.
There are lots of offenses here literally it's possible that he could be prosecuted for a number of them.
He can be tried and convicted in -- state court for state offenses.
Theoretically then he could be tried and convicted in a federal court for federal offenses.
And there's nothing that would keep him from being tried and convicted.
As an enemy combatant by military commission for offenses against all of war it.
And I had good sequence these things in ways that were designed to maximize the harvest of information.
That would help us prevent harm to America and the policy -- should be.
That very careful and I'm confident that they are.
They're they're very carefully deciding how do we best prevent additional harm to America.
And deploy the various resource is a prosecution state federal and military.
In a way that maximizes the safety of the American people.
When you talk -- state court though in that none of what he would say it before he's ran -- would be admissible and that state court.
Said would you make the argument that perhaps he should be Moran -- Or -- you too concerned about him -- up and what what having an attorney on his side might prevent terms of national security.
Well she can have a he'll have an attorney no matter what.
And let me just to make an observation.
-- there are there may be a time when it would be in the interest of public safety.
And in the interest of -- national security for him to have an attorney.
One of the things we've learned in various prosecutions like this is that sometimes the defendant doesn't understand the reality of what's happening.
And the threat of his losing his life for his his adjudication.
And sometimes the attorney helps bring that reality into the situation and say things like.
You better cooperate -- your only hope is to cooperate how far they have you on videotape committing crimes that are going to.
Put you away regardless of anything you might say.
So there's a little bit too much being made I think the -- situation here.
-- same and also the confession.
That he's believed to have made to the person whose car he took away.
John Ashcroft thank you so much for being weather today great staff very interesting.
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