When bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is able to communicate, federal officials will question him closely about any possible co-conspirators and additional plots. No one can be certain that all immediate threats have passed. That’s why there’s a recognized exception to the so-called Miranda rule, informing suspects of their rights to a lawyer and to remain silent, for ongoing threats to national security. And as soon as the FBI has finished questioning him, he should be given his Miranda warning, and the legal process should go forward.
But that’s not enough for a group of Republican senators led by John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and including New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte, who immediately began clamoring Friday for Tsarnaev to be transferred to military custody rather than face justice in federal court. Thankfully, the Obama administration ignored them, and prosecutors formally charged Tsarnaev on Monday.