Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is not immediately being given a Miranda warning on his right to remain silent, the Department of Justice confirmed to multiple news networks.
Instead, the U.S. government is invoking the "public safety" exception that can be triggered when police officers believe there is a need to protect themselves or the public from immediate danger.
"There is a public safety exemption in cases of national security and for acts of terrorism," U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz told reporters Friday night.
The FBI has a full explainer of the public safety exception, but here's the takeaway:
When police officers are confronted by a concern for public safety, Miranda warnings need not be provided prior to asking questions directed at neutralizing an imminent threat, and voluntary statements made in response to such narrowly tailored questions can be admitted at trial. Once the questions turn from those designed to resolve the concern for safety to questions designed solely to elicit incriminating statements, the questioning falls outside the scope of the exception and within the traditional rules of Miranda.
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