At the top of Monday night’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow described the remarkable scene that unfolded on Monday in the hospital room of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston bombing suspect. Federal Judge Marianne Bowler and attorneys converged at the 19-year-old’s bedside at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to read him his Miranda rights and advise him of his right to an attorney.
Tsarnaev is reportedly awake and cooperating. His is still unable to properly speak and is answering questions in writing or by nodding or shaking his head.
“Late this afternoon they released a transcript of the court hearing conducted right next to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s hospital bed,” said Maddow, before beginning to read from the transcript of the hearing, which was conducted with a doctor present.
Tsarnaev was finally read his Miranda rights, the “public safety” exemption period presumably having come to and end. The judge appointed him a public defense attorney and the alleged bomber became a defendant in the United States civilian court system. The next hearing was set for May 30, when Tsarnaev will presumably be able to appear in a courtroom.
Tsarnaev is charged with one use of a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death. The maximum penalties include life imprisonment and death.
“That’s the way we do it in this country,” said Maddow. “Even if justice has to travel to you in your hospital bed as you recover from gunshot wounds to the head and the neck and the legs and the hand. The judge will come to you and the prosecutor, and you will get read your rights and be assigned a defense attorney if you cannot afford one, and you will be tried in court, in civilian court. You are nothing special.”
Watch the clip, embedded below via MSNBC: