Now that police have secured the second of two suspects in Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing — who as of Saturday night lay hospitalized in serious condition under heavy guard and apparently in no shape to be interrogated — the long and meticulous process of examining motives, methods and possible links begins.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said Saturday afternoon that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in serious but stable condition and was probably unable to communicate. Tsarnaev was at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where 11 victims of the bombing were still being treated.
“I, and I think all of the law enforcement officials, are hoping for a host of reasons the suspect survives,” the governor said after a ceremony at Fenway Park to honor the victims and survivors of the attack. “We have a million questions, and those questions need to be answered.”
There was no immediate word on when Tsarnaev might be charged and what those charges would be. The twin bombings killed three people and wounded more than 180.
The most serious charge available to federal prosecutors would be the use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill people, which carries a possible death sentence. Massachusetts does not have the death penalty.
A Justice Department official said Friday the government is invoking a seldom-used public safety exception permitting officials to engage in a limited and focused unwarned interrogation of a suspect — in this case Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — without first reading him his typically assured Miranda rights. That official, as well as a second, both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity, says Tsarnaev will be questioned by a special interrogation team for high-value suspects.